Even President Barak Obama also has declared a holiday for Deepavali in United States of America .
We do celebrate the festivals in traditional way. Each festival has his own history and tradition behind it. It is also called as festival of lights. There are different ways and traditions in different part of India. We do celebrate Deepavali for 4 Days.
The first day is called as Neeru tumbuva habba (means filling water to the big vessel with full of water to take bath next morning). In those days, even now we have big Hande in the bathrooms in my doddamma's (my mother's sister) house and father in law's house. That big hande (big vessel to boil water for bath) is washed nicely and decorated with red soil lines (or some simple art work), and pooja is done to the filled Vessel at night and it is called as ganga pooja and the neivedyam (offering some eatables to God) is prepared using coconut, jaggery and rice. This is called yere appa. (a fried dish). After pooja to Ganga Mata will have our dinner. (normal simple food along with yere appa).
The next day is Naraka Chaturdashi. It is believed that Narakasura (one of the powerful demon) used to trouble people on the earth. So God Narayana came to people's rescue and killed Narakasura. God being kind to him, he asked Narakasura to visit the earth on this day. So the people believe that Narakasura comes to earth on that day to visit them. Being a human they too have kind heart and welcome Narakasura. They get up in the early morning and with oil massage for the whole body will have hot water bath. Oil bath should be taken before the sun rise. (before 6 in the morning). We wear new clothes. Then Dosa and panchakajjaya (Flattened rice with jaggery and coconut) is prepared and offered to God and the whole family will enjoy Eating Hot dosa with chutney and Panchakajjaya and then burst the crackers. (just one or two ).This is the traditional way of starting the festival. The ladies will be busy preparing festival food for the family. The relatives, guest, newly weds in the family all get together to have lunch.
The next day is Amavasya or No moon day. This day Laxmi pooja is done in most of the houses. The following day is called Bali Padyami. There is also a story behind this day. Bali Chakravarthi who is very kind and generous Chakravarthy (King) and ruled his country so well. It is said that on this day he will come to see his prajas. I have seen people of my village sing some songs about this Bali Chakravarthi and in that song, Bali Chakravarthi is welcomed by his people. On that day they gather grass and put fire and lights will be lightened every corner of the house. And Tulisi Pooja starts from that day. It is continued till the day of Tulisi Festival. It is some thing which is very beautiful to watch. I am blessed to see those things in my childhood days.
The next day (fourth day) there will be poojas for cows and it is called govina pooja. They are washed nicely and put kumkum and brought in to the home and fed sweet flattened rice. (Panchakajjaya). They do pooja to the cows and then enjoy loads of home prepared food that day.
Now the time has changed and loads of eatables available every where and each and every one will be busy with their personal things. Visiting relatives has become very rare but still friends and relatives get together at lease for an evening and enjoy the festival.
We used to prepare many snack items and friends used to visit us and we too visit them one of the day in the whole week celebration. Each house will surely prepare some or the other yummy dishes
Lets see some easy dishes and enjoy this Deepavali. I am sure it is not that late to prepare these dishes. These dishes are good to have either for lunch or even it shines on High Tea ( Deepavali Party in the evening ).
The first one is Yere appa which is normally done on the previous day of Naraka Chaturdashi. You can just try. It is done with raw rice, coconut and jaggery. You can use cashews while grinding. It adds to the taste and Yere Appa turns tasty.
1. Here is a recipe of Yere Appa ...Prepare this and enjoy
2. Every one likes to have some sweet dish along with the elaborated lunch or High Tea.
Lets go with Rasmali, which is very easy to prepare and yummy to have. Give it a try. Less work and yummy dish is ready in minutes.
All You need is ready to eat Rasgullas. I have used Mayyas Ready to eat Rasgullas. As they say it is made with love. They are really yummy to have.
3. Deepavali is also called as festival of sweets. There should be some laddus to share with our friends and visitors.
Oats and corn flakes and almond laddu has no sugar and lots of nuts are used and we can say these are healthy laddus. As always it is simple, easy and quick. Give them a try and you will really love them.
Just check the recipe to note what all you need and the steps to prepare. Njoy eating them.
Lets check the recipe of Ribbon Pakoda which is every one's favourite. This snack is made of rice flour ( 3 portions) and one portion of chickpea flour. Glance at the recipe :
5. Now lets see one more savoury recipe, Karam Kuram the kids favourite to munch them most of the time and it can be good snack which goes well with cup of coffee or tea or even fresh fruit juice.
Sev is a perfect snack for Deepavali. It is prepared using chickpea flour and rice flour. It is very easy to prepare these sev. I am sure you
will surely love these sev.
6. This Crispy Cuts (Diamond Cuts or Shankar Poli) are well known and it is one of the favourite eatable for all age group. It is prepared using Maida (All purpose flour) and I have used millet with maida. It has turned crispy and it just melts in the mouth. You can feel the taste by giving a try. It does not take much of your time even to fry. But remember to fry them on low and medium flame.