Divali sweet tooth
Trinidad’s Divali is a festival of lights to demonstrate love among relatives and friends. The significance of the lights of Divali is to remove the darkness where evil hides and brighten the lives of the good; basically the triumph of good over evil. Trinidad may need to light many deyas to accomplish what the police seem unable to do. The lights symbolise inner spiritual knowledge and inner peace, and defend against any darkness or ignorance. Fireworks play their part in making evil flee from the surroundings.
Our national Divali celebration includes all ages, religions, and ethnic groups. It is a festival of friendship. Everyone is welcome to participate, especially tourists. Everyone is expected to show their joy by lighting clay oil candles, deyas, decorating and welcoming relatives and friends to their well lit homes; all to encourage good fortune in the coming year.
Divali is so many things. First it is religious, and defines a lifestyle of compassion for relatives, friends, and enjoins everyone. This compassion is demonstrated in the cooking and sharing of traditional Divali delicacies especially in the various candies and cakes associated with this festival. Without indulging in the mouth-watering sweets of Divali, you can miss the spirit of the celebrations. Sharing the festival sweets means sharing happy moments. As our mouths water and taste buds gorge on sweets, we share the spirit of happiness. Gifting Divali sweets is a means of sharing you and your family’s spiritual happiness.
Here are a few Indian sweets easy to prepare, that your friends and family can enjoy during this festive period.
Ingredients: a half pound of butter, one lb flour, one TS ground cardamom, one can condensed milk, half cup evaporated milk, one cup of vegetable oil for frying, two cups of granulated sugar and four cups of water.
Method: Rub butter into flour and cardamom until crumbly. Add condensed milk and evaporated milk to flour and stir until milk is absorbed. Break off pieces and shape like an almond two inches long and deep fry until golden brown. Boil sugar and water to a thick syrup (until it spins a thread). Pour syrup over Goolab Jamoon, turning continuously to coat evenly until the syrup crystallises. Should make about 24.
Ingredients: half cup of firm margarine, one pound flour, four TBS condensed milk, one cup of oil for deep frying, two cups of granulated sugar and half cup of water.
Method: Rub margarine into flour until crumbly. Add milk and enough water to form a stiff dough. Roll out to approximately one quarter inch in thickness and cut into strips, cut the strips into three pieces. Deep fry until crisp and golden brown. Combine sugar and water and boil until thickened. Pour syrup over kurma, turning continuously to coat evenly and the syrup crystallises. Makes about two dozen.
Ingredients: one pound ground dhal (split peas), one TBS baking powder, half cup evaporated milk, two cups of water, one cup of vegetable oil, two cups of granulated sugar, one can condensed milk, half TS ground ginger and half TS ground cloves.
Method: Mix dhal with baking powder, evaporated milk and one cup of water and let sit for two hours. Form in small balls and fry in vegetable oil. Using a mill or grinder, grind the balls coarsely. Add sugar and remaining one cup of water and bring to a boil until you can take a small spoonful of the syrup and drop it into a glass of water; if it crystallise before reaching the bottom of the glass then the syrup is ready. Pour in the condensed milk and spices; stir briskly until the mixture becomes stiff. Fold in the ground split peas and while mixture is still hot, form in small one inch balls. Allow to cool and set. Makes about 30.
Ingredients: one pound of powered full cream milk, one cup of double cream, one and a half cup of granulated sugar, three quarter cup of water, one TS rose water, two pieces of fresh ginger, half cup of chopped cherries (optional), quarter cup of minced almonds and sprinkles.
Method: Mix powdered milk and cream (using your fingers) until very crumbly. Sift mixture through a sieve. Boil sugar, water, rose water and ginger for about ten minutes. Just before the sugar starts to get sticky remove the ginger. Stir in milk mixture and combine well. Press the mixture firmly into a greased dish using the back of the spoon. Decorate with cherries, almonds and sprinkles. Let cool and cut into two inch pieces. Makes about 30.