Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Hong Kong Diwali

It's our first one here and I'm really not the worlds most festive person. So no breaking out the decorations and dressing to the nines for me. I'll join in the traditional celebrations when family is around (last year was case in point - we were in Bombay in V's brother P's home with parents, other brother R and all the kids in attendance) but to me and my own childhood memories it's essentially a festival of relaxation and food.

However in honour of being in Hong Kong I decided I would at least carry out my threat of 'food'!!! So instead of our traditional bar of chocolate as a sweet, I braved the Internet and made a 6 ingredient kalakand. The results are below and now mainly in our tummies! 

Last night I sent out an impromptu email to the 6 women I know in my neighbourhood and invited them for brunch at 10 this morning. Then without waiting for any replies I got the ingredients for papri chaat organized, soaked some sabudana and boiled some  potatoes. 

This morning 4 of these friends turned up and we spent 3 hours eating sabudana (sago) tikkis with dhania (coriander) chutney, plates of papri chaat with glistening pomegranate and squares of kalakand. 

They left and I got onto getting dinner ready before Kid got back from school. I and my lovely helper have cooked (in record time) Channa, Kashmiri dum aloo and Ulli Theeyal. It sounds haphazard (north south combo) but I decided that I didn't care much if they didn't match. It's what I wanted to cook and I have. Rice and paranthas, salad and raita, pickle and papad, to accompany the mains. I think food coma is round the corner. 

That's the moment the FRIED potatoes went into the fennel seed gravy. I can't tell you how divine it all smells. An agarbati of food so to speak! I'm stuffed with food but waiting eagerly for dinner. 

I thought the house was all set up. Lights fans and handymen have been the focus for an age. But a set of lights for each of the bathrooms and the kitchen were delivered today. Light delivery on Diwali, auspicious, no?! 

In other Diwali news I have been reading a book about it to my reluctant little Indian. It's called 'Amma, tell me about Diwali' - the story of Rama and of Lakshmi. It's a good book but I can't get my head around the little boys name - I know no one called Klaka - and so I change it to Karan or Karthik every time I read it. I really like the simple way the story is told and the illustrations. Kid has been enjoying it - we have re read it for the last three nights. I thought he was getting into the story, asking a few relevant questions. 

This was our conversation shortly after reading the book last night (in the run up to bedtime):
Kid: Mama, I remember when we celebrated Diwali in P tauji's house. We had firecrackers.
Me: shall we go back to celebrate there tomorrow? 
(This is the tauji that squeezes these cuties out of love!)


Kid: So will we have firecrackers tomorrow?
Me: No.
Kid: Why?
Me: Because we haven't bought any.
Kid: SERIOUSLY!!!! What is the POINT of this Diwali then?! 

And he stormed off to his room. To say I'm dreading the teenage years is an understatement! 

Happy Diwali to you and yours, from me and mine. (Forgive the Hallmark sounding greeting). May your year be filled with love, laughter, learning and light. 


  1. I could have done with being in a food coma too - the things you made sound heavenly! Glad your Diwali was lovely!

  2. Anonymous6:52 PM

    Happy belated Deepawali to you too(you see how I insert my name every chance I get:-))

    The chaat n' sabudana party- delish but my favorites were all in your dinner menu. I'm in awe you made two sumptuous meals in a day with all that moving and settling kid into school and what not. I recall our moves always left me in a coma, alas not the food kinds, for atleast a month or two(although the actual move used to be a cinch given I kinda love moving and can organize and pack like a fiend).