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Deepavali- The Festival of Food

The word Deepavali is not something new for many but to summarize it shortly, it is festival of light where the victory of light over darkness being celebrated. When the word Deepavali is mentioned, first thing comes to our mind would be a colourful, lively and joyous celebration where at home people often decorate with kolam, lit up clay lamp, performe prayers and rituals, give gifts, fireworks and naturally there is food!

Deepavali is not complete without a sumptuous feast of sweets and other gastronomic delights. Food have been the best thing of every festival; especially during this festival of light it’s much celebrated than usual days. Food adds much more enthusiasm to the festive spirit and connects us as family. It’s all about connecting your roots through the authentic and traditional foods prepared in every household.

Celebration of food starts as early as weeks before Deepavali. Talking about Deepavali, brings good old childhood memories for many. Those were the days, our mothers and grandmothers grind flours and the grinding sound of ulundha maavu (orid dhall flour) for murukkus, plain arisi maavu (plain rice flour) for athirasam and paasi paruppu maavu (mung bean flour) for nei urandai brings so much of joy to many of us as kid; with the aroma of the sweets and murukku which starts to permeate in the house and we would be waiting eagerly and patiently for the day of Deepavali arrive so we can have the first bite right after prayers.

Deepavali morning couldn’t start better than the sweet aroma smell of sakkarai ponggal (sweet dish made with rice, brown sugar, ghee, cashew nuts and raisins) spread through the air. We can never miss a wholesome Indian breakfast from plain thosai, idli and different varieties of chutney; pudina (mint), tomato and coconut to choose from. A warm badam milk definitely completes the Deepavali breakfast. While some people go strictly vegetarian on Deepavali, certain households it is tradition to not have non-vegetarian on the festival day. The chicken curry/mutton gravy and idli combination is the best combo for breakfast and it has been practised for generations. For some reason, only on Deepavali day, it was made like this and on other days, mutton gravy was made to be mixed with rice.

The lunch O’clock of Deepavali is the most anticipated for us where all our friends and family gathers and celebrate the festival of light with abundance of love and obviously food as well by preparing variety of dishes and serving it to each other. Mutton and Deepavali something that should be celebrated on its own and that’s the highlight of every Deepavali. No Deepavali celebration is complete without mutton in most households along with other common dishes such as stir fried crab masala, chicken curry, spicy fried chicken, vegetable dishes and definitely the must have Deepavali food in every household, the briyani. As the norm of every festive occasion, instead of using usual porcelain plates, we use freshly cut banana leaf and nothing beats the taste of having biryani on a banana leaf.

We cannot think of Deepavali without sweets and the one thing not changed yet and will not change. The lunch meal would be usually ended with Deepavali sweets such as nei urundai (sweet ghee balls), gulab jamunus (made with curdled milk and little flour which are kneaded into a dough) or laddus (ball shaped sweets made with chickpea flour, wheat semolina and coconut). These sweets are highly potent in making you sling into a soulful smile and chances of napping after your heavy lunch. The next exciting part of celebrating food during Deepavali would be snacks! Snacking murukku, omapodi, kara murukku and achu murukku alongside with a cup of masala chai tea in between you chats with family and friends or whilst watching newly released movies for Deepavali is true bliss and this would end up as daily evening snack or throughout the day snack and ultimately finishes within days.

Deepavali is truly festival of food; a true celebration for food throughout the day. From savoury pleasure to sugary delights, these dishes make the true meaning of Deepavali.

We from Muthustore hope you celebrate this festive season by staying at home during this COVID-19 pandemic by munching your laddos, murukku and eat your briyani non-stop these Deepavali with your friends and family. Happy Deepavali and celebrate the food around you with gratitude!