Saturday, November 10, 2007


Images of our small Diwali celebrations this weekend...

A Diwali-themed Fabric Mural

This gorgeous mural was created as a unique gift for me by my two aunts and a cousin. It is a mixed-media collage: oil painting interspersed with bits of fabric, paper and scraps of embroidery and jewelry. It shows all the small touches that make Diwali so special: the kandeel or lantern in the top left which decorates the entrance of a home, the tulsi vrindavan or "home of the holy basil plant" which is lit with an oil lamp, a depiction of us girls celebrating with new festive clothes (I assure you that I have never worn an outfit quite like this; let's just call it their artistic license!), the tiny panati or diyaas or lamps that are lit around the home to symbolise this "festival of lights", the auspicious string of marigolds and mango leaves at the doorway shows at the top, and the colorful floor decoration called rangoli, made traditionally with colored powders (depicted by the diamond at the bottom of the panel). My aunts told me, "We know how much you adore dogs, so we put a little puppy in the picture just for you!" hence the little happy pooch in the bottom left :D If you wish to see details on this mural, click on the picture and see the higher resolution files in flickr.

Our makeshift lantern:

A friend and I got together, and with very little expertise (but a generous dose of enthusiasm to compensate), made a few sweet and savory goodies. I want to thank my fellow bloggers for sharing easy and detailed recipes for these sweets and savories, which made it possible for novices like us to give them a try:
Tikhat Shankarpale or spicy diamonds, inspired by Swapna

Cornflakes chivda, inspired by The Cooker


Besan Ladoo or Chickpea Flour Sweets, inspired by Nandita

Kaju Kathli or Cashew Diamonds, inspired by Saffron Hut

Pineapple Sheera

Carrot RicottaHalwa, inspired by Rajitha

Can you guess what it is? Hint: it is NOT a popular antacid!

Dale wants you to see his new Diwali scarf...

We celebrated Diwali on the weekend rather than on the official day, so my greetings come a little late- but with all my heart nonetheless...

Wishing all my friends, fellow bloggers and readers a very

Joyous Diwali

and a hope that a central theme of Diwali- the triumph of good over evil (and the triumph of good over apathy, perhaps?) comes true for the world we live in.


  1. Lovely post Nupur and all the savories look delish..
    Happy Diwali to you and ur family..:).. and also, I do want to mention, that seeing Susan's event in ur post, today I made some Bean and Rice Croquettes and sent as my entry. :D...They came really well..:DD

  2. Nupur,

    Beautiful post, Diwali wishes to you and your family

  3. Nupur - Happy Diwali. A very nice post, loved all the sweets & savouries u made!! That drink - is it Rose milk or Rohafsa???

  4. How lucky you are to have such caring and talented aunts, to make this wonderful textile for you (and to give you a new outfit in it, too!). Happy Diwali to you and your family.

  5. Nupur - Shubh Diwali! Thanks for the yummy recipes and the beautiful pics.

  6. is it rose-milk??...and damn nupur!!...why aren't you wearing the famous ghagra-choli ;) went all out and made so many sweets and khara..yum!! and thnks for getting inspired by one of my creations :)..made me very happy!!!

  7. It was such a lovely party, Nupur, a collection of so many people from so many places and with connections both from within St Louis and afar.

    And the food? The food! I woke up dreaming about the chickpea flour cookies, yum! Hmm, is that in my little doggie bag? Off to find my purse ...

    PS For all, I wish there were a photo of Nupur herself, she was radiating both an outer and inner beauty all her own ... and V was looking extra-handsome in his wedding outfit!

    PPS When I arrived and looked up to remember your floor, all the little lights were shining from the windows ... I knew exactly where the 'festival of lights' was being celebrated. Hugs to you, Nupur!

  8. Lovely post. Looks like your family had blast on diwali with your food!

  9. HI Nupur,

    Thanks for sharing ur aunt's gift with us. It's truly beautiful, and they thought of everything, including a puppy.

    Your diwali offerings look ymmy.

    Wishing you all a very happy diwali

  10. A very festive post Nupur, and you captured it all so beautifully. The mural is really so pretty and more so because it is personalized. Diwali greetings to you and your family!

  11. Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones too, Nupur :). Looks like you had lots of fun for Diwali-is some chivda and chakli still left, so i can join ;). Love that mural, and the fact that its been sent by your loved ones, makes it all the more special! You girls really have lots of enthusiasm to dish out so many goodies :). Is that a strawberry lassi/smmothie?

    Have a fun-filled and joyous time, dear!


  12. Beautiful celebration captured in the mural. It evoked fond memories of a Diwali back home, the sounds and smells and excitement. What a yummy spread of pharal. Looks like you all had a great time making all the goodies. Have you attemtpted to make Anarse? Those were one of my favs among the Diwali Pharal regulars in the family. A very Happy Diwali to your family.

  13. What a great post! Last year and this year both I've really enjoyed seeing all the traditional Diwali sweets. The things you made look just amazing!

  14. Greetings of the season :)
    You had so much of sweeeetssss !!!!

  15. Happy Diwali Nupur!!! Looks like quite a spread...Do you know of an easy recipe for chakli? I wanted to make it this year but couldn't find an easy shortcut for it.:)

  16. Happy Diwali!
    I must say, you have the most artistic and talented family (I am still in awe of those aprons...)! The hanging is so lovely. I'm not Indian, but I lit a small oil lamp in honor of Diwali this week and send my greetings and well-wishes to all.

  17. Happy Diwali Nupur and what a lot of lovely pictures and goodies. Is that, perhaps, rose milk? :)

  18. Happy diwali Nupur...i loved the mural seem to have a lot of creative ppl in your family :) you seem to have cooked up a storm on pineapple sheera looked delicious ...can you please provide the link for the recipe? Ever since i discovered blogs like yours i rarely find myself reaching for cookbooks, do keep up the good work,

  19. What a wonderful theme to celebrate and something we can all work towards - happy Diwali to you and V, Nupur! I hope you're going to share some of your recipes - they all look so good (well, with the possible exception of the pink stuff :) ). I clicked on the link for the Besan Ladoo, but I'm not clear on what kind of sugar is required - it says powdered sugar, but not icing sugar... did you use confectioners sugar or something else?

  20. what a gorgeous gift from your family that mural is!! happy diwali to you and your loved ones. you made a wonderful spread. but my fav pic is that of dale. he is the best.

  21. You have a heart of gold, Nupur.

    Diwali wishes to you and your family and yes, to Dale too -- I'm sure he loves the fact he was depicted in that lovely collage :)

  22. Hope you had a great Diwali Nupur! That mural looks great! And all the treats look yummy...

  23. Siri, I saw your croquettes..they look delicious!

    Sreelu, Wishing you and your family a wonderful Diwali too!

    Seema, you are right! It is rooh-afza mixed into milk to make rose milk :) Looks suspiciously like pepto bismol :0

    Lydia, yes, I am so so lucky to be the niece of these talented and generous souls! Thank you for the wishes :)

    Manju, Shubh Diwali to you and your family too!

    Rajitha, yup, rose milk it is :) trust me, my love handles and that ghagra choli are not going to be very compatible :D Your ricotta-gajar halwa was delightful! Thank you for sharing that recipe.

    Alanna, thank you so very much for being part of the celebration...we are enjoying your pie today! are the best for saying such nice things :)

    Kalva, we sure did! Nothing like loads of food to get the party started ;)

    Vimmi, yes, the personal touches meant so much to me! Wishing you and your family a very happy Diwali too!

    Namita, thank you, my dear! Glad you liked the mural. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Diwali and a great year ahead!

    Musical, Diwali greetings to you and yours too! There is plenty of goodies for you, so come on over :)

    Reva, exactly...that mural captured all those things that I love best too! No nasty smelly fireworks here :)
    No, I have never attempted to make those awesome goodies like anarse and chirote. Maybe this can be my project for next year :) Wishing you and your family a very Happy Diwali too!

    Kalyn, thanks so much :) It definitely was fun to make and eat and share all these goodies!

    Shn, I did! We did go a little overboard with the sweets, did'nt we?? :) Hearty greetings to you and your family too!

    Smita, no, unfortunately I still have never attempted chakli. But it is on my list of things that I really want to learn to make :) Happy Diwali to you too!

    Diane, Happy Diwali to you! It is so sweet of you to light a lamp for is just a universal symbol of hope and never fails to give me a surge of joy. I am so totally lucky to be part of this family...I know :)

    Laavanya, yup, you guessed it! Happy Diwali to you too :)

    Roshni, Happy Diwali...your name is so appropriate for this festival :) Here is the link for pineapple sheera:
    I just stirred in 1 cup of chopped pineapple (canned, with juice drained out) at the end. You could add pineapple essence for more flavor but I did not have that on hand.

    Cathy, thank you so much for the wishes! Wait till you taste the pink stuff, you will love it ;) For the besan ladoo, I took regular sugar, then pulverized it in a spice/ coffee grinder along with cardamom, resulting in fine cardamom sugar. I would say the texture (coarseness) is in between regular sugar and icing/confectioner's sugar.

    Bee, Happy Diwali to you too! I agree with you, Dale is the sweetest thing on this page :) Right now, he is thumping his tail approvingly at you :D

    Linda, Thank you for the sweet wishes and your sweet words, dear Linda :) Dale already has airs and graces around him, and being on a mural is not helping his modesty, I'm afraid :D

  24. Beautiful photos! Happy (belate) Diwali!

  25. Hi Nupur, wish u and ur family a very happy diwali, looks like u had a lot of fun, nice pics

  26. I can't believe you made all that! I know, I know along with an enthu friends but still the sheer variety is amazing! Happy Diwali, N! ANd Dale looks dashing in his new scarf, I must add! :)

  27. Nupur, I enjoyed your Diwali pics but what I am most attracted to is the fabric mural! I love it. You are so fortunate to have family members with such talent. I remember what great aprons your mom had made for you too. Really great stuff. The mural totally wows.

  28. Nupur your aunt & cousins are so very talented. That is a gorgeous mural and such a beautiful idea to mix oil and fabric. You have atalented family !!!

    And you have such a nice spread for wowwwwww

  29. The jar looks like rose milk to me... and everything looks lovely. :)

    happy diwali

  30. Nupur!

    I love this feast! And the pictures! But, obviously, my favorite part of this post is Dale - he's *so* cute! Obviously, I've got dog on my mind :)

  31. Happpy Diwali to you Nupur! We went for a diwali party over the weekend and my friend's mother-in-law had couriered diwali farral from Bbay. It was awesome. Perhaps next year I can add some of your recipes to the mix.
    Take care-Priya

  32. What a g8 spread of food and images! The mural and Dale being my absolute favs :D

  33. Happy Diwali Nupur! What a bright and lovely post :) That is quite a spread! The Mural is beautiful and Dale looks dashing! Hmm... the drink looks exactly like Roohafza milk shake :)

  34. And i dunno' how i missed the handsome's picture last time!! Really, i just can't believe i didn't see it last time. He's a sweet-heart :).

  35. Lovely post!!
    ALL the Diwali goodies look wonderful!! i'm SURE they tasted YUM! too!!!
    Dale - Ur scarf is cool! But then, U are one handsome Dude, anything will look good on u!!!
    Did Dale like the lights, kandeel?
    and is that 'roohafza'???

  36. My dear girl,
    your post made me feel like its Diwali all over again today - loved your detailed description of the mural - so thoughtful of your aunts to include a little pup for you....glad the laddoo recipe came of use to you - you've gone the whole nine yards in preparing sweets and stuff- warm wishes to all 3 of you for a brilliant year ahead.

  37. Kelly , thank you for the sweet words and the sweet wishes :)

    Rahin , Happy Diwali to you too...we did have a lot of fun!

    Vani, I can't believe I made it either :D it is very rare for me to cook up such spreads! Happy Diwali to you too!

    Cynthia, So glad you like the mural! I am definitely a very lucky girl to be part of this talented family!

    Sandeepa, I do :) I'm trying to absorb some of their talents but it is not easy :D

    Raaga, Happy Diwali, and yes, you guessed it!

    KayKat, Dale is taking all the attention away from my food ;) but dogs rule, so what can I say? I'm thinking of Vodka all the time...wishing him a speedy recovery.

    Priya, How awesome to get faral straight from Bombay!!! That must have been quite a Diwali party!

    Dhana, Dale think you have your priorities right ;) :D

    Shweta, Happy Diwali to you too! And you guessed it, it is Roohafza milk shake all right :)

    Musical, Dale was lost in a mountain of sugary treats :) and he sayd he's glad you finally noticed him ;)

    Sagari, thanks!

    Manasi, Dale liked the sweets most of all, kept trying to sneak past us and investigate and taste them :D he enjoyed the party, and managed to con some of the folks into feeding him some bites here and there.
    Yup, that is roohafza :) !!

  38. Sig, ooh, your comment got hidden and I nearly missed replying to it! Thanks :) and wishing you a wonderful Diwali too!

  39. though diwali is over, i am still drooling over your sprread1 what a glutton am I?

    lovely mural..the face is so realistic..

    Does the jar contain rosemilk?

  40. Looks like your celebration was true to the spirit of Deepavali. Dale, as always, is priceless - I bet he is on high alert, ready for any crumb that falls his way, with that starving, soul-melting look that dogs do so well.
    Is that rose milk? Or rose lassi??

  41. Dear Tai,
    What a great party and lovely decoration and lovely food too.We missed it.The wall mural must have been a hit for the occasion.With such good dishes, you don't have to tell us that people enjoyed. Tutun padale asteel.
    Aie is not here at the moment but I was rather impatient to see your dishes and decoration.
    With love,

  42. Yummy goodies and a beautiful mural - their love for you shines through!

    That rosy delight must be Rose milk?

  43. love the mural Nupur, happy diwali to you too. Looks like you had a lot of fun.
    Is that rose milk?

  44. Wow , your cashew burfy and pineapple sheera are looking lovely...:))
    All the sweets look yummy Nupur...!
    Hope u had a great time ...Thanx for visiting my blog!!

  45. Hi Nupur,

    Wonderful post on Diwali celebrations.The diyas,lovely mural and tasty treats are so good.Thanks for sharing.Durga.

  46. Its been a while since i have visited my favorite blogs Nupur! My apologies - i've missed so much. Looks like you guys had a good diwali, all the namkeen and sweets look so good! I tried saffron's kaju burfi and it was a disaster. I just dont have enough expertise to make sweets!
    I should drop over to u're place so i can learn first hand from you ;-) u're actually the closest bloggger to me :-)
    The chili, the thai croquettes and the biscottis all look so delicious!


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