This diwali was NEW for me and my family. First time away from my parents, grandparents and my lil bro. Oh!! how much I miss them. Moving abroad has really made me close to my family and I miss them the most during these days. Festivals in my house is a BIG affair and diwali will be the best of all. Starting with the new dress purchase a month before, the two time crackers buying, the murukus that amma and GM makes, the special gulab jamun that pops up on the table the diwali morning. I have really missed a lot haven't I?
|Diwali SPIRIT :P|
But things have to change someday and I always knew that. But there are things which wont change too like the gulab jamun, new dress and muruku which happened right here in Geneva I still wish for the blessings from my grandparents which is like the best thing about any festival back home. Talking to them over the phone was actually not enough for me. I was with my parents the whole day on skype and got the diwali feel transferred through internet. My bro did not burst crackers this year and he reasons to global warming. I am so proud of you Bala. Amma told me what she and GM had made for diwali other than the regular muruku and gulab jamuns and I craved for some.
|My first ever MURUKU|
I also had few things to flaunt to my parents. For my happy diwali I made some yummy goodies that mama adored all the way. Then the new dresses that Babbi and I wore. I also got some candles from the Christmas sale to lighten up my diwali. It was fun lighting them and playing around with the wax and err....showing off.
Lets begin with the goodies part here. Muruku and diwali is like sky and blue for me. From a very small age I have seen the muruku making process in my family during every diwali. It starts with buying the rice and sunflower oil. Washing and drying the rice on one of amma's cotton saree, under the fan. Grinding the rice in the mill and finally setting up the kitchen so that amma can move here and there. Usually amma and our maid sit together and do the work due to the large scale production of murukus. Just few kilometers away my grandmother will do the same thing. Later they will discuss about how good their murukus have come. Then they will talk about the extras: thatai, badhusha, milk sweeet, barfi etc.
|The best of all!!|
I started pressing my muruku from the mold when I was 16 or something. It was fun and I had the patience to make tiny tiny muruku which is my special. Of course I get to eat to them and no one else can touch them. Now that I am capable of making my own muruku amma is just so proud of me. The basic problem with me making muruku will be the muruku making acchu which I don't have. I could have brought one from India a couple of months ago but I forgot, stupid me. Yes, it never occurred to me even once. Only when the diwali talks began between amma and me it struck like a bolt. But I was very confident about making my own kai muruku : stupid crazy me. Who was I thinking I was??? Thank god it did not happen. Something else happened though.
It is Christmas season here the shops are stocked with cookie cutters, chocolate making moulds, jelly moulds and what not. I wannna grab them all actually but I can't, they are seriously over priced. But there was this one small hand gun used to pipe butter creme and make biscuits which kept sitting in my mind all the time. I somehow convinced me that this was a better muruku making machine too. I told mama about it and showed him the gun once. He told me to buy it then and there but I wouldn't budge it was a tad bit expensive and I wished for a sale very badly.
Mama who really felt the diwali tension got it for me and said just one thing.
"Don't complain if it is not the right one" oh ya it was the right one and I owe him big time, which he will not know about :P
|The GUN :)|
It was very easy to get the age old family recipe and make muruku. But not from scratch though. I cheated with the rice, used ready made rice powder. I will not do that again. The muruku tasted OK-good but the texture and color was a big disappointment for me. Nothing like amma's muruku. Oh I was sulking all day.
There is this other item that is constant for diwali in my house. The gulab jamun will be it. when I was small I would go to sleep eating muruku and when I get up the next morning amma will give gulab jamun to me. I did not know how it came to the table since amma did not make them until ten in the night. But later I found out that amma left the gulab jamun for the last. I have no clue why. But one thing about her jamuns are the flavors She will add vanilla essence or cloves or rose water or cardamom powder or some new flavoring and it will always suit the jamuns.
|Oh!! yum yum yum|
I knew I can make my jamuns from the scratch but I had two things that was bothering me. One will be the list of items I was planning and if I was going to make most of them in a single day then I will be in big time trouble. Next will be mama of course, he thought I was over stressing and kept warning me now and then. With the baby around it is very difficult and I was a little sick too. He still does not understand that I might feel healthy if he let me do them and not keep bothering me. So we got a gulab jamun mix from the indian shop and it made things much easier (mama was happy too). Amma used to buy the MTR brand and I wished to get one for me too. But I must not complain and Geneva was kind enough to have one for me, considering its history with Indian stores.
|This one is mine :)|
The moment mama came from office he wanted one jamun, I was frying the final batch by then. Mama felt so much in ease when he saw the jamuns swimming in the jeera. Oh he loved them. Ate around 5 at a time and he wanted more. He was talking all day about how they melt in his mouth and gave out the most pleasant feeling. That my dear people felt like eating some. Babbi who had difficulty biting the muruku with just 6 white teeth became a fan for the jamuns too.
|Tide white :)|
The two more items in my list are not regulars at home but I wished to make them when I came across the recipe in Rak's kitchen. The blog itself is a find for me, it is loaded. But the pictures make me feel ashamed, so much perfection.
Amma used to make them long ago and then she stopped making them like the cakes. But I wanted to make those for mama mainly cuz we run out of snacks most of the days and mama will end up whining about how hungry he gets in the evening. Now that our house is stocked with both the hot and sweet versions of diamond biscuits mama is a happy man.
|Hooked on to them :)|
I have one more special diwali item to talk about. a few days ago Boo (Bhuvaneshwari Balakumar), one my closest friend who lives and works in the US sent a mail. This busy women seems to have made her first ever rava laddoo that she claims to have tasted so good. It looked much more appetizing I say when she sent the pictures of them. Diwali is not complete with ladoos but mine was complete with this virtual ladoo that Boo had made. I hope you had a lovely diwali Boo. I loved those bowls which had so much Christmas spirit in them, wish I could have one for me :)
|Boo's ladoos and that RED BOWL :)|
Now that the food part is over the diyas are the only one's that gave me the diwali spirit. Mama came home early to be with me so that I wont feel bad. I think the jamuns play a good part in he coming home early, lets not talk about it shall we??( he might read)
It was very windy that day and the diyas wont sit lit on the balcony. So we took them to the front and creep-ed out some of the neighbors (who are french). LoL I am kidding. They wont mind, I was not bursting crackers and creating scene. Now that I say it we really have a lot of place to leave rocket and flower pot on the balcony. Next time I am going to buy some crackers, get permission from the police (I think I must) and have a better diwali with mama and Babbi :)