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Hope for Sweet Beginings this New Year

Be the light of your life…Sadhguru

Diwali or Deepavali was celebrated in the ancient land of Ayodhya where earthen lamps were lit to mark the arrival of its beloved prince Lord Ram with his wife, Sita and brother Lakshman after 14 years of exile. For them, it was the beginning of a rule of justice, happiness and truth, ending an age of darkness.

This Diwali , the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar (in North India) which is known for its beautiful lighting on Diwali night…did not illuminate itself to mark an age of Darkness… all Gurudwaras (holy place of the Sikh community) around the world decided not to mark the occasion following recent incidents of sacrilege of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, and subsequent incidents of violence across Punjab.

Concieved by the 5th Guru , Guru Arjan Sahib, Sri Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple's foundation was laid by a Muslim Saint Hazrat Mian Mirji of Lahore in 1588.

The recent acts of violence in various parts of the world have led to a lot of sorrow, making me wonder if there is goodness still left in this world…and then I thought that the fact that we still celebrate this beautiful festival of Diwali after thousands of years is in itself testimony that good always prevails over evil .

"The Awakening of Consciousness is the next evolutionary step for Mankind."- Eckhart Tolle

Apart from our prayers and peace marches , we all must awaken ourselves, rekindle our inner light and spread the message of peace all over the world…If we do not find peace within ourselves, we will never be able to spread it …Don’t just update your whatsapp or facebook profiles…..”Be the change you want to see”. I definitely cannot lose hope..I must not lose hope..

"There is only one time when its essential to awaken ...That time is now."- Buddha

Diwali marks the New Year according to the Hindu calendar which follows a lunar year. As we step into the new year, let this year be a year of awakening …to dissolve all borders of religion, race, colour , caste and gender - to stand up for what is right, to stand up for others, to see ourselves as “one”..

This Diwali(new year), I strolled the streets of Bur Dubai, an area where one can feel the buzz of Diwali..still holding on to the hope ...the hope of light...beautiful colours, flowers and the joy of celebrating Diwali hung in the air that morning...

To mark the New Year -and do know that after darkness there will always be light...I present an authentic Indian dessert ....

Lauzeena or Indian Bread Pudding


1 no. Bread Loaf, one day old, crusts removed, I used wheat based bread

1 cup Ghee

1 cup Sugar

½ tsp Saffron

1 cup Wholemilk fudge, crushed , Khoya

2 cups Milk

10 gms Raisins

¼ cup Pistachio slivers

¼ cup Almond slivers

A pinch of Saffron

¼ cup rose water, gulab jal

4 silver leaves, varq

To prepare:

  1. Cut each slice of bread onto half.

  2. Fry the slices in hot ghee until brown. Remove and keep aside.

  3. Mix two cups of water with sugar and make the sugar syrup of one-string consistency (to test this, take a small amount of the syrup between your index finger and thumb and stretch it. It should make one string between them).

  4. Add saffron and mix well. Dip each slice of bread into hot syrup, remove and keep on a tray.

  5. Boil the milk till reduced to half. Add whole milk fudge, or khoya, and mix well.

Home made Khoya....

6. On a flat tray, pour 1/2 of the milk mixture and spread the bread slices carefully, and sprinkle raisins, pistachios and almonds. Pour the remaining milk mixture and syrup on top of the bread. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is dry. Remove and serve at room temperature.

7. Sprinkle saffron dissolved in rose water and serve decorated with silver leaves.

The choice is ours...I leave you with a quote by Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Monk , a disciple of an Indian mystic , Shri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Deva....that has touched my heart deeply.....

"All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have to put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark."

For easy home made Khoya, milk fudge: Take 1 cup milk powder,1/2 cup ghee and 1/2 cup of milk . Mix the powder and ghee in a glass bowl . Add the milk slowly and mix very well. Microwave it for around 2 minutes .Check the consistency. It should solidify.

Recipe courtesy: The Emperors table, by Salma Hussain

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