This Diwali, indulge in some traditional faral
Diwali Faral In fact, feasting is a major part of all Indian festivals where each one of them is dominated by a typical sweet offering. During Diwali it is a mixture of sweets and savoury items that are relished throughout the festive season. Be it the traditional shankarpales or the namkeen chaklis, Diwali isn’t complete without these savouries. As we celebrate the festival of lights, here’s a lowdown of the traditional Diwali fare that is a must at all Indian homes ahead of the celebrations.
These are small square or diamond-shaped cubes made of powdered sugar, ghee and flour. Apt for munching on and off during Diwali, shankarpales make a delicious addition to the Diwali faral. “You need to keep a huge stock of shankarpales at home during Diwali as everyone munches on these every time they pass by the kitchen,” said Anju Kakade, a homemaker.
A beautiful spiral shaped, deep-fried delight made from a mixture of spices and multi-grain flour, chaklis enjoy a special position in the faral plate. Sheetal Upadhyay, a homemaker, said, “Kids love to play with the spiral shape and chaklis usually keep them busy, thanks to their crispy texture and taste. Those who are keeping a check on their diet can also bake these in the oven instead of deep-frying them.”
The sweetest and most difficult treat to prepare during Diwali is chirote. Made using refined flour they resemble the puff-pastry in looks but are very different than the traditional bakery product. These are created after layers of rolled dough is placed on each other separated with a brushing of pure ghee. These are then cut into thin, long strips and deep-fried, before being dipped in sugar syrup. Neha Patel, a Commerce student who helps her mother prepare these during Diwali, said, “Making chirote is a very difficult task, even a small push or disproportion changes the whole shape and taste of the sweet, and sometimes it even turns out into spiral shape chaklis while frying, so one must be very careful during the preparation.”
Diwali faral would be incomplete without the addition of some variety of sev on the plate. It is made of a simple batter of chickpea flour, salt and water which is dropped into a pan of hot oil through a special sev-making equipment. “Sev is a must for Diwali. The demand for baked sev has increased a lot as people avoid deep-fried sev these days,” informed Rajesh Kumar, a Diwali snack seller.
Nashik is well known for its chivda as much as it is known for grapes. It can be made using different varities of poha and cornflakes and takes the lowest amount of time to be made. Shital Shah, another homemaker, informed, “It’s one of the hot favourites during Diwali, and when there’s a continuous string of guests visiting, this is the easiest thing to make and serve.”
These soft delights are made with roasted gram flour, sugar and pure ghee and enhanced with the addition of raisins. In joint families, everyone sits together to mould this laddoos round and sing along Marathi traditional songs. Meena Deshmukh, a homemaker, said, “It has fewer ingredients but a very long procedure. Traditionally laddoo bandhna is done together and is thus meant to bring the families together.”
A scrumptious semi-circular Diwali sweet, Karanji, or gujiya as it is known in other parts of the country, are made using a grated coconut, dryfruits and jaggery stuffed inside a crispy flour covering and is deep-fried in pure ghee. Ramesh Chandratre, an ayurveda expert informed, “All these Diwali snacks are the best for a person’s body according to Ayurveda, but one must avoid over-intake of these treats. For example, if you eat one or two karanjis in a day, it is good for your bone and blood.”