(Diwali decorations in Trafalgar Square, London, by flickr user Paul Carvill)
The more I celebrate this holiday, the more excited I get about it. Really.
This year I couldn’t sleep for all the excitement. I bought many little clay diyas at a mela a couple of weeks ago, as well as a new outfit. And I actually cleaned my house in preparation (I know this doesn’t sound like huge thing, but I am a very messy person, and so it’s big)! And cleaned my little mandir space, and rearranged things! I made my usual rangoli, but this time I didn’t have the right flour, so while it’s done, I’m not showing you, because the results are less than satisfactory. I hope the mailman enjoys them…
Anyhoo, it feels like a particularly auspicious year, being the third in which I’ve celebrated this festival, and the weather seems to match, too! It was rainy and dark and overcast all of yesterday, and today the sun is out and the sky is clear and blue. I can’t think of better weather for a day that’s all about dispelling darkness and welcoming in light.
I also made the attempt to cook doodh peda (milk fudge). I did it the cheater way, with powdered milk, but they turned out pretty good! A little firmer than I’m used to, but they’re smooth and the flavor is marvellous. I’ll keep on working on them. (The recipe is from Sailu’s Food, and if you haven’t seen her blog, you must go look at it. All the recipes are easy and delicious.)
You start out with this sort of weird, clumpy, soupy mix:
And then you stir. And stir and stir. And wait for it to become a thick paste.
I think this was the point at which I needed to stop cooking:
It’s thick enough to form into a little soft ball, but still very soft. I was worried it was too soft, so I kept cooking until it looked like this:
It looks a lot like the fudge I’m used to in this photo, though I found out after the fact that it makes really solid peda if you let it go this long.
Then after it cooled a bit, I formed it into many little mini-peda:
I finished these with a small piece of cashew and (as you can see on a few) a dot of cardamom powder. Next time I’ll use more cardamom, and maybe experiment with some saffron.
So easy and so tasty! The folks at work think they’re lovely.
Tonight I will fill my house with light, but only after (hopefully) visiting the BAPS mandir for their wonderful fireworks show. They go totally over-the-top, but it’s really kind of amazing to see.
I hope that your Diwali is a wonderful day, and that this coming year is full of light, health and prosperity. May Sri Ram and Maa Lakshmi give you their blessings!