Thursday, November 15, 2012


Deepavali, or Diwali, or Divali - however you say it, it's arguably the best Indian festival. New clothes, fireworks, lamps, colorful rangoli designs, family and friends - it combines some of the most enjoyable aspects of any holiday.

And the food.... Sweets galore! Boxes of homemade goodies. Salty snacks. Food fit for wedding, or even a king.

I was inspired - what a great opportunity to use some of my CSA produce, and make some delectable somethings. Just don't get carried away...

Too late. Here's the menu (leftovers anyone?). I marked the ones I made vegan with V.

Divali marundhu - literally "Divali medicine" this black paste is a concoction of herbs, ghee/vegan-butter and jaggery (super-raw sugar) said to counteract the ill-effects of the rest of the day's overindulgence! V

Rice - a staple. Plain brown, white, and some mixed in with yogurt and seasoning.

Appalam - also known as paapad, a crispy chip-like thing made of lentils or rice flour. V

Sambar - a liquid curry with dal, tamarind, and spices. I added red daikon cubes from the box. V

Rasam - another liquid curry served over rice, made with tamarind, tomatoes, spices, and dal. I added some pineapple guava pulp from a neighbor's tree. V

Kootu - a liquid vegetable with dal. This was moving dal and Indian mustard greens from the farmer's market. V

Cabbage - another CSA find, this was lightly sautéed with a few FM grapes. V

Potatoes - FM yellow, red, new, sweet, all mixed and oven-roasted with turmeric and salt and pepper. V

Thohaiyal - a paste made with mixed dals, tamarind, coconut, and in this case Indian store ridge gourd (peel and all), made as a chutney or to mix in rice. V

Pachadi - usually made with mangos, this chutney-like dish combines sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. No mangos, but tart apples from the box did nicely. V

Vadai - puffy little savory donuts made with lentil flour, deep fried. Yum.

Payasam - a liquid sweet of milk, sucanat, cardamom, and semiya (rice vermicelli). I used sucanat or jaggery for all my sweets this Divali.

Halva - a rich, sticky sweet made with flour, oil, sucanat, raisins, nuts. This one included a friend's soft Hachiya persimmons. V

Burfi - crisp squares of pure decadence, this is the fudge of India. These were sucanat and frozen sweetened coconut. V

Peda - another treat, these are made with milk, boiled down to thickness, with ghee and sucanat. I added the box's kobucha squash.

Add a little spicy pickle and the menu's complete!
Happy Deepavali to all!

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