Celebrate Diwali with the Golden Hue of Saffron
Diwali, often referred to as the "Festival of Lights," is not just an Indian festival but a global celebration. Revered as one of the most significant festivals in Indian culture, Diwali is a beacon of hope, symbolizing the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. As the world gets adorned with the shimmer of candles, the dazzle of colorful lights, and the spectacle of fireworks, families come together in a spirit of joy, feasting, and exchanging gifts.
Spanning five days, Diwali is more than just a festival; it's a journey. It aligns with the Hindu New Year, marking new beginnings and fresh starts. The pinnacle of this celebration, the actual Diwali day, is observed on the third day.
Food plays a pivotal role in this festivity, with Indian sweets taking center stage. These delicacies, bursting with colors and flavors, are not just a treat for the palate but also a feast for the eyes. And among these hues, one color stands out - the golden hue of Saffron. In the tapestry of Indian culture, saffron is more than just a color or spice. It's the color of Agni (fire), symbolizing purity, illumination, and spiritual awakening. As the flame dispels darkness, bringing forth light, it metaphorically represents knowledge dispelling ignorance.
This Diwali, why not infuse your celebrations with the richness of saffron? Here's a traditional Indian sweet recipe, Kesar Peda, that embodies the essence of this festival:
Kesar Peda (Indian Milk Fudge with Saffron)
- 2 cups dry milk powder
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed cardamom
- A few strands of saffron
- 1 tablespoon milk (to soak the saffron)
- 1 tablespoon sliced pistachios (for garnishing)
- Begin by soaking the saffron strands in warm milk and set it aside.
- Using a low heat setting, heat a frying pan (preferably a heavy-bottomed nonstick one). Combine the cream and milk powder, mixing until it achieves a thick batter-like consistency.
- Continuously stir the mixture on low-medium heat until it becomes lumpy, resembling soft dough. This should take about 12-15 minutes.
- Introduce the saffron and cardamom, mixing well, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer this mixture, known as khoya, to a bowl and allow it to cool until it's lukewarm.
- Incorporate the sugar into the khoya and knead until it forms a soft dough.
- Divide the mixture into 20 equal parts (or as per your preferred size) and shape them into balls. Create a small dent in each peda.
- Garnish with pistachios. The finished peda should have a slightly grainy texture.
As you light up your homes and hearts this Diwali, let the golden glow of saffron add a touch of tradition, taste, and transcendence to your celebrations. Here's wishing you a Diwali filled with warmth, sweetness, and the timeless allure of saffron