The festival of lights also famously known as Diwali was celebrated this year on the 14th of November. This festival symbolizes the triumph of light over darkness when the legendary prince Ram defeated the demon Ravan and returned back to his kingdom after his 14-years of exile. Diwali is one of my favourite festivals. It involves years of traditions where families and friends share a big feast with delicious food and sweets, exchange presents, light up endless number of fireworks and dance our feet off.
In previous years, the University’s Indian, Singaporean, and Malaysian societies came together to organize a grand function. I remember just last year when all my friends and I would stay up late evenings to practice our dance performances for the event and had enjoyed ourselves on the stage. Even though it was hard being 4900 miles away from home during festival times, Dundee’s celebrations had created fun memories with my friends.
However, this year has been so unpredictable with covid that we had to cancel the annual Diwali event due to social distancing restrictions. It was already hard being away from home, but now we couldn’t even meet our friends. However, I had decided that I wouldn’t let my spirit down and would try my best to make the most out of this situation.
My day started with cleaning my flat and putting new decorations like fairy lights and LED lamps in our living room. On special occasions, like Diwali we wear colourful Indian outfits and adorn ourselves with gorgeous jewellery. I had already bought an Anarkali from my lockdown shopping that had luckily fit me well. An Anarkali is a dress like clothing that is styled like a long frock. During the afternoon time, my flatmates and I went grocery shopping to prepare for our dinner plans. We got inspired by pinterest boards and decided to to make a creamy curry ‘Malai Kofta’ and pair it with garlic naan. It was a complex dish with various steps however after three hours of hard work the dish looked out of Michelin star dinning.
Around the evening time, my flatmates and I were ready to light up the candles and do the pooja (pray). My mother had parcelled my favourite sweets ‘bessan ke ladoos’ that were first offered to the gods and after that we ate them. After the pooja, I had called all my family and friends on zoom calls to wish them and showcase our amazing house decorations. One of my friends had even made a beautiful artwork with colourful ground rice powder and flowers called Rangoli.
Soon, it was time to taste our home-cooked food. We got inspired by a blogger to test out our bartending skills to make our own version of special Indian cocktails called ‘Rum Ananas’. The drinks had a unqiue bitter-sweet flavour as we added our own twist by adding chaat masala (spice). I have added the link to the recipes if you would like to try making them. My ‘stay at home’ Diwali was one of a kind experience that I will always remember.
Malai Kofta – https://foodviva.com/curry-recipes/malai-kofta/?fbclid=IwAR0lNtA5RJK9sJ4oeSPLc7S7eW2T15JCcHpxMGWokQRvE620nLQnm5ldKCg
Coctails – https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/5-superhit-desi-cocktails-for-your-next-party-1531612?fbclid=IwAR1PdvmWCj2zDuZiPkk72vsUUWSFjiwVqmfm1LZvIlJoIGqIQmDVZ-aFRcQ