Diwali – also known as the ‘festival of lights’ – is considered one of the most important festivals (there are hundreds, possibly thousands) amongst Hindus. Many fill their homes with oil lamps during this period to signify the triumph of good over evil.
For me, Diwali’s abit like Thanksgiving where families simply get together and be thankful for one another. Not forgetting the traditional wear, delightful sweets, colourful decorations and fire crackers. So really, it’s tonnes of eating, drinking and being merry!
This year also marks the first Diwali with my husband-to-be and to celebrate the special occasion, I decided to make a special Indian sweet called Kheer (directly translates to ‘milk’)! It is an essential dish made during Hindu celebrations and I thought it’d be the perfect way to kick things off this year.
Knowing how tedious the process of making these sweets can be, I was a bit nervous from the get-go. Little did I know, the actual cooking would be the least of my worries. The hardest part was getting all the right ingredients! If you ask any Indian in Singapore (or anyone for that matter), Mustafa Shopping Centre always comes up when inquiring about local produce. Unfortunately, I did not plan ahead and make a trip in advance so I tried my neighbourhood supermarket Fairprice instead. I did manage to get a couple of things but a few essential ingredients were missing – like ghee and broken vermicelli. Thankfully, there is a small little shop along Tanjong Katong – called Katong News Agency – that sells many Indian items. I remember this store from 20 years ago during my childhood days – it started out as a stationery and bookstore but today, it strangely offers a lot more! (Tip: for those looking for old school stationery, this is your place.)
Anyway, with all my ingredients in hand, here goes. First up, these are all the items you’ll need for the recipe:
And then comes the directions:
- Dry roast broken vermicelli with a touch of ghee. Once golden brown, turn off heat and set aside
- Boil milk in a deep pan. Slowly add the vermicelli to the milk while stirring constantly for 5 minutes
- Add condensed milk and cardamom pods to the mixture and stir well until the mixture starts boiling. Add sugar to taste
- In a separate frying pan, heat ghee. Lightly roast some cashew nuts and raisins for 3 minutes. Transfer it to the vermicelli dessert once done and voila!
- Serve hot or chilled – if you’re cooking this for the first time like me, try abit of both 🙂
Diwali may be over now but this sugar-coated memory still remains.
love / B