Diwali or the festival of lights , always brings cheer, goodwill and happiness is everyone's lives.It is the homecoming of Lord Rama with Sita and Lakshman from exile after slaying the Demon king, Ravana . Goddess of wealth and prosperity , Lakshmi , is venerated during this festival. It is the festival of positivity, love and togetherness, victory of good over evil ,knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.
Diyas or traditional earthern lamps are lit in every household on Diwali night, the darkest night of the month of Kartik (mid October to Mid November) according to the Hindu Lunar Calendar . They symbolise the parts of the sun, the energy giver of Life.
Goddess Laxmi with Pechaka (the owl, worshiped in Eastern India)
Diwali , always re energizes me and makes me feel grateful for being surrounded by my loved ones. Lighting the diyas at my home , brings a sense of calmness and happiness . It allows me to be mindful. The first lamp is always lit by my daughter , the goddess of our family. It is a tradition that daughters light the first lamp of the home . Truly , blessed are the homes who have daughters.
I always like to be at our home during Diwali , decorating it ,offering prayers, getting the children to be involved in various activities and leaving our home open to the footsteps of Goddess Laxmi who visits all the beautifully lit homes and our home is always open to her!
To kick off this Diwali, I prepared a very simple but delicious kebab to please our goddess and my husband:)
Since Diwali or Deepavali , is celebrated throught India , I shall be bringing to the table dishes from its various regions to remind us that we are all connected.
My first offering is Gilawat Shammi Kebab, from Kashmir ....the Northen most state of India.
To prepare: This makes 18-20 kebabs
1 kilo Minced Indian Mutton
250 gms raw papaya
150 gms onions paste
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp ginger paste
Pinch of asafoetida (hing) water
A few chopped coriander leaves
For the filling:
Julienne(thin strips) of onions
Juliennes of ginger
A few chopped green chilles
Salt to taste
1. Mince the raw papaya into a paste. Add it to the minced mutton, onions paste, corriander powder, red chilli powder,ginger paste , asafoetida and coriander leaves. Mix well. Season it.
Keep this away for an hour.
2. Make some round balls , flatten it in your palm and add the filling inside it. Fold it and make round kebabs.
3. Heat a tawa or pan . Add oil. When it heats up, place the kebabs in the pan and cook till well done.
4. Finish it in the oven for 10 minutes at 180 deg. Garnish with julienne of onion and serve with mint chutney , roti or rice.