Reflecting The South-Asian Lifestyle
DIWALI 2019 EDITION
Festive FASHION A Healthy
CELEBRATION The Many
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Publishers: Gurvinder S. Hundal Ramneek S. Dhillon Editor: Petrina D’Souza Online Editor: Sumesh Sharma Art Director & Graphic Designer: Vinay Giridhar
Contributing Writers: Arun Wali Gurleen Kaur Bajwa Jaskirat Sahni Jorge Ignacio Castillo Naina Grewal Paarull JS Bakshi Petrina D’Souza Ruby Bassi Shweta Kulkarni Siddhi Jain/IANS
Cover Credits: Cover: Alia Bhatt in Punit Balana Photo: Courtesy of Punit Balana
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IN THIS ISSUE
52 The Light in our Lives
08 A Beautiful Diwali with Alia Bhatt
61 A Healthy Celebration
18 The Importance of Diwali
68 Festive Specials by Chef Ranveer Brar
26 The Many Histories of Diwali
88 Diwali Delights by Hetal Vasavada
32 An Environmentfriendly Diwali
102 How Diwali is this Movie?
36 Keeping the Traditions of Diwali Alive
109 Be the Light
42 Get your Home Festival-ready 48 Let the Light of Diwali Transform your Lives
113 Diwali Style Spotlight Anju Modi Ritu Beri Punit Balana 122 Diwali Tech Gifts
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COVER STORY The festival celebrates light, positivity and happiness and Alia practices these values in her daily life. She talks about her journey, her goals and the role she plays in encouraging others to follow their dreams.
By Petrina D'Souza
hen an actor with a Bollywood background makes a debut, everyone believes that he or she has got it easy. But what one does not see is the insurmountable responsibility the person carries on his or her shoulder. The standards are high for this individual as the pressure he or she is facing is two-fold – the pressure to perform and prove your talents and the pressure to make sure the name and fame created by your predecessors in Bollywood is not tainted. Lately, there have been a parade of celebrity kids making their debut in Bollywood, and many more young debutants are expected in the coming year. While most of them get the chance to debut, many have succumbed to the demands and public criticism. And very few have managed to create an identity separate from their ancestors. But a prominent name among these successful celebrity kids is that of Alia Bhatt.
Daughter of notable director Mahest Bhatt and Soni Razdaan, Alia has proved to the world that she is not just her father’s daughter. Giving one hit performance after another, Alia has won hearts with her versatility and infectious energy. At present, she is one of the top actresses in Bollywood who has worked with diverse actors and played dynamic roles — and she’s only 26 years old. Alia describes her acting journey as being very fulfilling, creative and challenging. “But I believe the journey has jut begun,” she asserts. “If I am able to sum up my journey already, then that is quite boring to me. As of now, I am just relishing all the new challenges and experiences because eventually it is all about challenging yourself and becoming a better version of yourself,” says the young star. Becoming a better version of yourself is indeed what the Diwali spirit stands for. As we celebrate the Festival of Lights, Alia’s success, caused by her hardwork and positive attitude, stands as inspiration to those making new resolutions during Diwali. The festival celebrates light, positivity and happiness and Alia practices these values in her daily life. Alia talks about her journey, her goals and the role she plays in encouraging others to follow their dreams.
What do you like about Diwali? What I like about this festival is that it brings family, extended family, friends and colleagues under one
Photo: Viral Bhayani
roof. It’s that one occasion when everybody comes together leaving their work aside. For me, it’s just an excuse to be with your people and friends and do something that brings everyone together. Also, with time, I have really started to enjoy dressing up in Indian clothes, because one doesn’t really get to take out Indian wear as much, besides weddings. (Excerpt from Times News Network article by Neha Maheshwri)
What does Diwali mean to you? It’s a very special festival and it means so many beautiful things on different levels. I believe that the light really is within you. So, Diwali is that day or time of the year when you remind yourself that the light has to come from within and you have to keep that fire going. Whether you are having a good time or a bad time, whether you are going through a positive phase or not — it’s a good
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COVER STORY occasion to remind yourself that eventually, it’s your strength and light over everything. I really like what this festival embodies. (Excerpt from Times News Network article by Neha Maheshwri)
What has been the proudest moment in your professional and personal life? The proudest moment would have to have been with Raazi, with the kind of love and response the film got. It has been a very critically acclaimed film but it has also been an audiences’ film. For me that is a very proud moment because that just makes me feel that content is the real driving force in cinema today. I don’t really get very proud of myself in my personal life so when I work hard and when I am sleepless but in my heart feeling the excitement to still go to work and not let the lack of energy affect me, that always feels nice.
You are always seen in strong, versatile roles, how do you decide on a film or role? What connects you to it? For me versatility is almost second nature. It is not something I plan, it is something I crave for which is why I choose characters like that. I am a true Piscean which is why I am a
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very moody person, I am also someone who likes to do different things, watch different things, perform different characters, and that is what makes me choose the different films because there is no one kind of film that I will continuously do. It is the difference I am attracted to, the difference in storyline and in character and genre.
How has Bollywood changed since your debut? It has changed a lot. The importance that we are giving right now to writers and screenplay today, that has been the most important thing for me. Now I can say that even the audience is making those choices. They are pushing the content films forward. It gives people who write films of that kind more confidence that they should go for subjects that are new, different, and effective along with the dose of entertainment.
Has any particular role or film had an impact on you personally? Why and how? No role has really impacted me personally but yes I have learnt a little something from every character I have
played. For example, when I did Kapoor And Sons, I played a girl who had lost her parents very young and when I was doing that scene, I realized how we take our parents for granted from time to time. Doing a film like Raazi made me realize how important it is to feel patriotism rather than to express or flaunt it because just loving your country is not enough. If you feel it, you will do things to contribute to society.
Having worked with so many actors/ actresses and directors in Bollywood, is there an actor or director you want to work with in the near future? My bucket list of directors and actors will go on and on. I don’t like taking names but honestly I am getting such beautiful opportunities to work with all of them. It is not like I only want to work with particular people and I won’t work with the others. I am open to working with everyone, new, established and up and coming, as long as the story and screenplay attracts me. That for me is the most important – the story and core of the film.
How has Bollywood changed over the years
COVER STORY also very critical of myself. I am not attached to my work, when I act, I am not attached to my performance. If you have a point, I will listen to it. Eventually I am my directorâ€™s actor, so whatever I do is purely based with the conviction that I have on my director. Credit: Alia Bhatt in Anita Dongre, courtesy of Anita Dongre
You are an inspiration to many, who are your role models? I find having one role model quite a clichĂŠ. I think you can find inspiration in anyone and everyone. It is just how open you are to knowing that you donâ€™t have all the answers. In that manner, you can find inspiration from people who have been around much longer than you or people who have just come around or people who are not even related to your field.
with its acceptance of actresses and women-centric films? It has changed, the perception has changed. By perception I mean that people are not considering women-centric as a drawback anymore. I think they are just making their decisions purely based on what they see in the trailer so that is a very big change. But the fact that we are talking about women-centric films, female directors, that for me is still
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an issue. The day we stop talking about it as though it is a completely strange thing, for me the perception will honestly have changed.
How do you deal with criticism related to your films?
What is your message for young girls who are aspiring to enter this industry? It is difficult and rejection is hard but keep your head up high and dream with your eyes wide open.
Credit: Main picture/White Salwar
I love criticism, I think it is very important and I am
Picture - Alia Bhatt in Punit Balana, Courtesy of Punit Balana
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The A significant religious festival in Indian culture, Diwali sees millions attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world on this day every autumn. 18 DIWALI 2019
Diwali By Arun Wali
he Festival of Lights, commonly known as Diwali or Deepavali in India and in countries all over the world, is the most important festival for Indians. The celebrations signify triumph of good over evil, purity over impurity and light over darkness. A significant religious festival in Indian culture, Diwali sees millions attend firework displays, prayers and celebratory events across the world on this day every autumn. Diwali is also celebrated in a big way by the diaspora in Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Thailand, New Zealand, Tanzania, South Africa,
DIWALI 2019 19
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Netherlands, Canada, and Ireland. Apart from India, countries having an official holiday for Diwali are Fiji, Guyana, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Diwali holds significance not only for Hindus but also for followers of Sikhism and Jainism. Sikhs celebrate it as Bandi Chhor Divas
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(Prisoner Release Day) to commemorate the release of their sixth guru, Guru Hargobind along with 52 Rajput princes from Mughal Emperor Jahangirâ€™s custody. Celebrations include
lighting of candles at gurdwaras, singing shabads (sacred songs) in praise of the Guru, langar (free meal served to visitors at community kitchens in gurdwaras), and bursting of fireworks. Jains celebrate it as the day when the 24th and last Jain Tirthankara Lord Mahavira, attained Moksha, that is, liberation of the soul. Lord Mahavira attained Moksha at Pawapuri in the Nalanda district of Bihar at the dawn of the Amavasya (new moon). The presence of many Gods on the occasion illuminated the darkness. The following night was pitch-black, so people light up their houses to symbolically keep the light of their Masterâ€™s knowledge alive. The five-day Festival of Lights coincides with the Hindu New Year. Dhanteras marks the beginning of the
Dhanteras marks the beginning of the five-day festivities. The second day is celebrated as the main day of Diwali in parts of South India as it is said that the demon Narakasura was killed on this day.
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five-day festivities. It is an auspicious and lucky day for buying expensive goods, also a day to offer charity. The second day is celebrated as the main day of Diwali in parts of South India as it is said that the demon Narakasura was killed on this day. Most parts
of India celebrate Diwali on the third day. The fourth day, first day of the New Year in the Hindu calendar, is known as Goverdhan Puja. On this day Lord Krishna lifted Govardhan Hill to shelter villagers from torrential rains. As a tribute, food is prepared for distribution. Bhai Dooj, on the fifth and last day, celebrates strengthening of ties between brothers and sisters. Welcoming Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, many Indians decorate their
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Welcoming Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and prosperity, people decorate their homes with diyas and draw colourfully designed rangolis in their courtyards.
homes with diyas (small clay lamps) or candles, draw colourfully designed rangolis in their courtyards, make sweet dishes and other tempting foods to offer and exchange with the family and guests. Gujaratis consider it the ideal time to make new investments in commerce and real estate or launch a new business venture. In Maharashtra, people begin Diwali festivities by worshipping a cow and its
calf to celebrate the bond of motherhood. Another practice in most parts of South India is the ritual bath in scented oils before visiting the temple. In Andhra Pradesh, prayers are offered to Lord Krishnaâ€™s consort who is said to have killed the demon Narakasura. Arun Wali is the senior vice-president of AB Smart Concepts, a hotel, travel and tourism consultancy company in New Delhi, India, and a journalist with over 40 years of experience.
DIWALI 2019 25
Diwali Diwali is centered on a very fundamental concept of the victory of good over evil.
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By Gurleen Kaur Bajwa
iwali, annually falling between mid-October to mid-November, is celebrated in many ways and by millions of people from all walks of life. It has its roots in drastically broad cultural and religious values.
Diwali is one of the most prominent holidays in Hinduism. It relates to the Hindu epic, Ramayana, which centers around Prince Rama, the avatar of Vishnu. Diwali celebrates the day of the return of the beloved Prince Rama from a 14year exile, after the defeat of the demon king Ravana. The people of Ayodhya lit up the streets with lamps and fireworks, welcoming their prince home. The day is also associated with
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whom symbolize the victory of good over evil. Diwali, or more commonly called Bandi Chhor Divas in Sikhism, is celebrated for similar circumstances as Diwali for Hinduism. The day marks the release of the sixth guru, Guru Hargobind Ji, from the Gwalior Fort prison, along
Lakshmi, the wife of Vishnu and the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Several customs such as cleansing of the home, Lakshmi puja, and setting up plates of sweets for the goddess are often followed. Hindus of eastern India may associate the day with the goddess Durga, while others in northern India might associate it with Krishna, both of
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with 52 other newly freed kings, by the Mughal emperor Jahangir. However, what many may not know is that the importance of Diwali for Sikhism actually goes further back. The third guru, Guru Amar Das Ji, had built a well in Goindwal with 84 steps, a famous place of pilgrimage even now, and invited Sikhs to bathe there on Vaisakhi and Diwali. Moreover, Diwali also relates to two other key events in Sikh history; it is the day of the founding of the city of Amritsar, and Bhai Mani Singhâ€™s martyrdom was brought on by a failure to pay a fine imposed in 1738 for celebrating Diwali, and his refusal to convert to Islam. Sikhism and Hinduism host perhaps the more prominent and well-known forms of celebration associated with Diwali. However, both Buddhism and Jainism also
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Sikhism and Hinduism host perhaps the more prominent and well-known forms of celebration associated with Diwali. However, both Buddhism and Jainism also have unique customs and histories linked to Diwali. have unique customs and histories linked to Diwali. The festival is not as widely celebrated in Buddhism
as the aforementioned, except perhaps in Nepal and Newar. Several deities in the Vajrayana Buddhism are worshipped and Lakshmi is also offered prayers. In Jainism, Diwali is observed for â€˜Mahavira Nirvana Divasâ€™, in remembrance of the physical death of Mahavira. There are some similar practices to Hinduism in which the customs include the lighting of deva and praying to Lakshmi. The focus, however, remains on Mahavira. According to Jainism, the tradition of the lighting of the lamps began at the passing of Mahavira. The 18 kings who had gathered started the practice in remembrance. Diwali has another, more westernized definition as well;
the Festival of Lights, which aptly captures the hope and goodwill attached to the many interpretations. Additionally, despite these different interpretations, Diwali is centered on a very fundamental concept of the victory of good over evil. There is a common theme of righteousness and of overcoming the darkness in whatever form it might take in our lives. Diwali helps remind those who celebrate it, that despite their differences, they share a respect for a strong moral code, that resonates across cultures.
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Friendly Diwali By Jaskirat Sahni
Some of the practices used to celebrate this time of year are polluting the environment, and this can easily be changed if we work on making mindful changes. 32 DIWALI 2019
lthough Diwali is known as the Festival of Lights, at its core, Diwali is about tradition, family and a celebration of peace. Diwali celebrates the triumph of good over evil in multiple religions, providing hope and joy to many communities around the world. However, some of the
practices used to celebrate this time of year are polluting the environment, and this can easily be changed if we work on making mindful changes to how we choose to celebrate this festival. For instance, firecrackers have long been the prime source of entertainment and celebration on Diwali, but its affects on the environment are detrimental in many ways. Fireworks leave each city hazy and full of smoke, which creates great difficulty for those with respiratory problems. In a research study done in 2013 on the emissions of Diwali fireworks in India, a twofold to threefold
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DIWALI FEATURE Firecrackers have long been the prime source of entertainment and celebration on Diwali, but its affects on the environment are detrimental in many ways. Fireworks leave each city hazy and full of smoke, which creates great difficulty for those with respiratory
increase in aerosols, black carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions was noted as a result of fireworks each Diwali for three consecutive years. Similarly, other densely populated regions where people celebrate Diwali have produced harmful pollutants and gases several times greater in concentration than on the average day. Instead of using fireworks, finding other sources of light and dĂŠcor can make up for their absence. Something as simple as using LED lights instead of more energyconsuming electrical lighting can reduce the energy consumption by as much
as 80 per cent, and it also eliminates the need for fireworks. Further, using natural colours rather than chemical ones to decorate, and fresh flowers or organic incense sticks as fragrance for the home are easy ways we can make a difference not just on Diwali, but in our daily lives. Create your own DIY diyas and use oil diyas which are more traditional, cost-effective and biodegradable. Creating a rangoli, a colourful pattern made on the ground using rice, flower petals, sand and chalk, has been a great tradition for years. Using things found in nature to
make these patterns is a great way to celebrate Diwali more sustainably, and can be a fun and easy activity for the entire family. These can be made through various art mediums, such as by painting, sketching or using any household supplies to get creative and decorate! It is all about changing the mindset and developing eco-friendly habits which will allow us to look after our planet and preserve it for the future generations. Spend Diwali with those you love, and try to celebrate Diwali responsibly, where minimal environmental consequences take place.
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By Gurleen Kaur Bajwa
Diwali is one of the days family is remembered and met as a sanction from the bustle of everyday lives.
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iwali, Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, is a vibrant celebration of culture, religion, new beginnings, family, and the triumph of good over evil. It originates from several religious roots. With Hinduism it was the day of celebration for the return of Prince Ram from his 14-year exile, during which he won a battle against Ravan. With Sikhism,
Diwali or more commonly called Bandi Chhor Divas, celebrates the release of Shri Guru Hargobind Ji along with 52 princes from a Mughal Empire prison. Additionally, Jains observe Diwali for the final liberation of Mahavira and some Buddhists celebrate Diwali by worshiping Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. So, the importance of Diwali cannot be understated for a variety of religions, where it is synonymous with such huge milestone events.
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The significance of Diwali has the potentiality of fading away, due to the decreased interest showed in it by the next generation.
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Diwali further holds great cultural significance, as the holiday commonly overtakes entire countries, and is a recognized holiday in India, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka, among others. More modernly, Diwali is also seen as a celebration of family. In a place and time, where different branches of the same family live apart by hundreds of miles, Diwali is one of the days family is remembered and met as a sanction from the bustle of everyday lives. However, despite all these motivations to value Diwali, the significance of it has
the potentiality of fading away, due to the decreased interest showed in it by the next generation. This is especially true for those who live in different countries, speak different languages, and follow different cultures than their parents knew. The reason children might be at risk for forgetting their own culture, can be traced to three basic principles. They are not involved, they are not taught, and they are not excited. First and foremost, children must be involved. They cannot know the importance of
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Making sweets, visiting the temple, or setting up deva are some ways in which children can become more invested in the celebrations.
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something they are not there to see. Cleaning the house, making sweets, visiting the temple, setting up deva, or participating in the large group light shows that take place annually â€“ are all ways in which children can become more invested in the celebrations. The light show gatherings are especially amazing to witness, if only for the enthusiasm of those in attendance. The number of people in Surrey alone who take part, is significantly large, showing that a few thousand miles donâ€™t in anyway hinder the celebrations. And that is
something that is important for children to see. This leads to the second point of having children learn the significance of what they are celebrating. This includes the religious history behind the day, the cultural value to the South Asian community as a whole, and the way it brings families together. Lastly, no amount of teaching or involvement ever lasts if there is no genuine interest or excitement toward the day itself. This can be remedied in a number of ways. Allowing children to participate as a part of a larger light show, planning get togethers with extended family they havenâ€™t seen in a while, and even having special dishes or rituals associated with the celebration can help raise the distinctiveness of the day. The more distinctive the day becomes, the more important it becomes, and the more likely to be celebrated again. After all, Diwali, which forms the very connecting cord between so many brilliant colours and religions, deserves to live on.
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Get Your Home
By Shweta Kulkarni
Save big bucks by decking up your home this Diwali with these easy recycling ideas. 42 DIWALI 2019
he Festival of Lights is upon us and as usual there will be a ton of things to do before you actually begin the festivities and celebrate with your loved ones; including getting your house festive-ready. Painting the walls, purchasing soft furnishings, investing in new lamps, torans and several other
glittering items, is the drill one tends to follow every year to deck up their homes for Diwali. While decorating your pad in sync with the festive spirit is always a fun thing to do, it isn’t always easy on the pockets and also not really kind towards the environment. So, what to do? Well, pretty simple – recycle and reuse. There are plenty of creative ways to get your home festiveready without really burning a hole in your pocket and marring the nature. Here are a few easy recycling ideas that will not only help you to decorate your home but also save big bucks.
Recycle Old Sarees And Dupattas Every year a majority of people end up spending a fortune on soft furnishings not realizing that there are plenty of old items in their wardrobes that can be creatively recycled
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DIWALI DÉCOR and are just perfect to be turned into cushion covers, curtains, table spreads, or quilt covers. For example, your old worn-out sarees and dupattas can easily add a dash of traditional splendour to your homes, which is just ideal for the festive time. While sarees can easily be cut and stitched into cushion covers, fancy window blinds, table covers, quilts, the thick embroidered bordered can easily be used as table
up your pad every year. You can actually decorate your home with innovative DIY runners. Even old vintage fancy light arrangements. For dupattas can easily be starters, a used wine bottle sewed into table runners or or alcohol bottle can easily cushion covers. The trick is be turned into the prettiest to let your imagination go looking lighting piece without wild and keep Google much effort. Creative lanterns handy for some DIY ideas. can be made from something as simple as paper and thread. Paper cup lanterns and torans are not only easy to make but can also make your space look What’s the Festival of Lights absolutely beautiful. One can without lights, right? But also use old mason jars as tea you needn’t necessarily light/ candle holders or simply have to keep buying as lanterns. Used bulbs can expensive fancy lights to lit also be turned into beautiful oil lamps that can enhance the festive look of your space.
DIY Diwali Lights And Lamps
Dress Up The Walls Unless the paint is really peeling off, you don’t really need to paint your walls always to get your house ready. You can simply spruce up your walls with handmade
DIWALI 2019 45
Turn Junk Into Decorative Pieces
Upcycle Old Furniture
traditional wall murals, wall hangings, photo frames, or fancy lights. One can use old CDs to create interesting looking photo frames and wall art, vintage sarees can once again come in handy as chic-looking fabric wall art, vibrant wall hanging can be made from waste materials or paper to deck up the walls.
46 DIWALI 2019
Old furniture pieces doesn’t need to be always discarded; you can turn them into statement pieces with a few simple tricks. Ever tried decoupage? Mod podging your furniture is a great idea to upcycle your old furniture pieces. Internet is filled with plenty of decoupage furniture project ideas and you can easily add a fresh festive touch to your worn-out furniture pieces. If decoupage seems tad overwhelming, simply spray paint your furniture to instantly give them a brand-new look.
You don’t need to always buy beautiful-looking decorative pieces to enhance the décor of your home. For example, you can make interesting looking light fixtures from old wire baskets. Tea lights can be made from old bottle caps, broken ceramics can easily be turned into designer planters for indoor plants. While used boxes can be decorated and turned into tissue box covers, old CDs can be painted bright keeping in with the festive spirit and used as coasters or even tea light holders. Old greeting cards can easily turn into interesting torans and some old vintage suitcases can be effortlessly converted into interesting furniture items. The possibilities to deck up your home for Diwali with recycle ideas are infinite, all you need is a little bit of imagination.
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Let the Light
By Paarull JS Bakshi
When we brighten up the homes with lights during Diwali, it brings prosperity and invites the Goddess Laxmi into our lives. Goddess Laxmi represents luck, wealth and prosperity. 48 DIWALI 2019
iwali is a time for new beginnings, new hopes for many all around the world, a time where those who feel connected to the festival get together with their families and their loved ones. This is when light wins over darkness in our homes and in our lives. Being a Marketing and Public Relations professional, I feel that it is also a good time for Corporations and Personal Brands to also absorb this feeling of ‘light’, ‘new beginnings ’ and ‘change.’ They should just let there be LIGHT, let Good take over Evil and make that start for a new transformation.
Let Diwali Deliver Change Having worked and created personal brands for many, I feel that some are hesitant of change but what they don’t realize is that we must keep changing and evolving daily in order to stay current with the times. They must remember to brand themselves in a way which makes them inimitable until they truly stand out above the rest in their respected industry. Just like the ‘Diwali Diya’ brightens up homes, this new change for brands can brighten up their image.
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DIWALI 2019 49
SWEET SHOP & RESTAURANT
Let Diwali Shine Light On Innovation
With the brightness of Diwali, Corporate and Personal Brands can discover innovation within their brands, I feel that there is something magically unique about all brands whether they are large or small. With the help of the lights of Diwali, strategizing to innovate and to be a little better than we were yesterday can take things into a whole new direction. A new PR strategy or a new brand image perhaps can help This Diwali, bring businesses prosper and prosperity in business in change, invite always leads to a happy prosperity, show and fulfilled corporation. innovation and Carve your brands in a way produce fulfillment Goddess Laxmi represents luck, that they always see the light. wealth and prosperity. Much This Diwali, bring in change, into your lives. like this, if corporations and invite prosperity, show May the shining personal brands should bring innovation and produce light of Diwali this light to their image by branding fulfillment into your lives. uniquely and remember that May the shining light of year bring your being unique is key. This can Diwali this year bring your brands into the light lead to their brand to become brands into the light that that they deserve! more and more profitable. they deserve! I treat the brands I create or Paarull Bakshi is a Marketing and Invite Prosperity manage much like a plant, Public Relations professional who With Diwali I feel they need constant care, has worked on branding various corporate and personal brands. attention and nurturing; then She also specializes in celebrity They also say that when we one day you magically see them management, celebrity public media relations and brighten up the homes with grow. It certainly makes people relations, event marketing and promotions. lights during Diwali, it brings like myself very happy as we Contact her at www. paarullcommunications.com prosperity and invites the take pride in the creation of Goddess Laxmi into our lives. this process.
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Exploring the Importance of Human Connections
Our By Naina Grewal
Having deep, meaningful relationships and affiliation with a group of people creates a sense of acceptance and helps people feel supported. 52 DIWALI 2019
A heart-to-heart talk with your best friend, an exchange of laughter with the store cashier, a video shared on the family WhatsApp group: as social animals, humans thrive on connection. It is widely accepted in psychology, that after a person’s physiological (water, food, sleep) and safety-oriented (shelter, protection) needs, love and belonging are
essential to one’s well-being. Having deep, meaningful relationships and affiliation with a group of people creates a sense of acceptance and helps people feel supported. During times of celebrations and festivals, these connections become amplified and bonds are nurtured. Be it anything – how your day went today or planning your lifelong career – talking to your loved
DIWALI 2019 53
54 DIWALI 2019
Playing board games with friends, singing in a choir, babysitting your neighbour’s kids while they go out to celebrate, and helping siblings with a rangoli are all examples of connection through activities that promote social engagement in the name of the festive spirit. ones act as a vacuum to take everything out from your head and put it into words. These conversations help people share their experiences with one another and creates a safe space for discussing ideas and issues. Moreover, time spent with others often exposes one to different schools of thoughts, culture, traditions and beliefs, which further develops empathy
and tolerance. Being part of such a group can tackle depression, decrease anxiety and stress, combat loneliness and enhance one’s selfperception. In fact, studies show that those with social support from family, friends and coworkers have better health. Note that not all connections come from intense relationships or family gatherings.
Socializing at a work or school Diwali event or even wishing the restaurant waiter ‘Happy Diwali’ is sometimes enough to lift your spirits. This is because we value finding similarities with others, even if they may be different from us. Festivals bring together people from all backgrounds and cultures. Commonalities spark connection and thus a sense of belonging. Playing board games with friends, singing in a choir, babysitting your neighbour’s kids while they go out to celebrate, and helping siblings with a rangoli are all examples of connection through activities that promote social engagement in the name of the festive spirit. Of course, in the age of social media, the parameters of human connection have drastically been redefined. A very proactive friend on social media, liking all your posts, may totally avoid
DIWALI 2019 55
This Diwali, let us celebrate each other and the light we illuminate through our connections within the global village. greeting you in person. This creates grey area surrounding the subject of whether digital connection truly qualifies. While a Diwali text or e-card can revive lost connections, a warm hug can make all the difference. However, introduction of video chatting technologies creates an interesting bridge between the offline and online worlds, often posing as the solution to maintaining connection when distance is the problem. Especially for those who are far from home – in particular, students –
56 DIWALI 2019
video calls are the perfect way to partake in the celebrations overseas. Surely, everyone has their own frequency when it comes to the level of social connection that is required to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but social connection is vital to survival for all. Interestingly, a theory called The Six Degrees of Separation suggests that we are all just six, or fewer, connections away from each other. In other words, you
are a maximum of six introductions away from anyone else in the world – “a friend of a friend” and so on. Undoubtedly, what a small world! This Diwali, let us celebrate each other and the light we illuminate through our connections within the global village.
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Celebration By Ruby Bassi
iwali is a festive celebration where families and friends get together and eat a variety of flavourful food such as pakoray, samosa, jalebi, gulab jamun, butter chicken, shahi paneer, dal makhani and even
mango shakes. Eating in moderation and choosing healthier options will help you and your family to reduce your risk of disease such as diabetes and heart disease. South Asians are 2-3x more likely to get
heart disease and diabetes. So when you are attending a Diwali celebration and reach for a samosa, remember that is like eating four teaspoons of sugar and about three teaspoons of fat. Pick up three pakoras and you are adding three more teaspoons of sugar and one more teaspoon of fat. Add something sweet and deep fried like a jalebi, and you are looking at six more teaspoons of sugar and almost three teaspoons of fat. Grab a cup of sweet chai made with homogenized milk, you are drinking three teaspoons of sugar and one teaspoon of fat. This appetizer meal contains a grand total of 16 teaspoons of sugar and eight teaspoons of fat.
DIWALI 2019 61
Eating foods high in unhealthy carbohydrates and unhealthy fats can take a toll on your body. remember to take smaller portions and eat in moderation • Make water your choice of drink and cut back on sugary beverages
During Diwali consider these healthy tips to reduce your intake of sugar and fat: • Balance your plate - half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables • If you choose to eat foods high in fat and sugar
62 DIWALI 2019
• Eat a healthy snack before you leave home like an apple
Eating foods high in unhealthy carbohydrates and unhealthy fats can take a toll on your body. Carbohydrates are used as fuel for our body, when eaten they are converted into energy. There are two types of carbohydrates:
simple and complex. When simple carbohydrates are eaten in excess they can lead to diabetes, high cholesterol and weight gain. Simple carbohydrates are found in sweets, potatoes, roti, white pasta and noodles, pizza, white atta flour and rice. These foods spike blood sugar and digest quickly, leaving you hungry shortly after. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, vegetables, dals, nuts and seeds. They are high in fibre so they digest slowly, thus helping control blood sugars, managing weight and may also lower cholesterol.
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E : Neetu.email@example.com DIWALI 2019 64
Eating in moderation and choosing healthier options will help you and your family to reduce your risk of disease such as diabetes and heart disease.
Fat is important for good health but remember not all fats are the same. Eat fats that are high in unsaturated fat to keep your heart healthy. Examples of unsaturated fats are canola, olive and mustard oil, nuts, and avocados. Avoid or limit fats that are high in saturated fats and trans fats to reduce your risk of heart disease. Examples of saturated fats include butter, cheese, coconut oil, ghee, buttermilk, and sour cream. Dishes that are high in saturated fat use cream such as in butter chicken, dal makhani and
shahi paneer, and fried and processed food. Making small changes to your diet can make a huge impact on your health. This information is not to deter you from enjoying the auspicious festivities, but a reminder to consume the foods we enjoy in moderation. Have a healthy and happy Diwali! Ruby Bassi is a Registered Dietitian at South Asian Health Institute Fraser Health Authority (SAHI). The Institute is working to raise awareness and educate the community that self-management can be used as a preventative tool to living a healthy lifestyle.
DIWALI 2019 65
HAPPY DIWALI from Andrew Wilkinson & the BC Liberal Caucus
Stephanie Cadieux MLA Surrey South
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An independent member Broker 15483 104th Ave Surrey BC V3R1N9
May The Beauty And Festivity Of Diwali Fill Your Home With Happiness And Joy. Happy Diwali! WHERE BUILDERS BUY DIWALI 2019 67
With over 15 years of experience in the food industry and over 10 years as executive and corporate chef across India and the USA, chef Brar has been recognized for his contribution to various cuisines by institutions such as The American Institute of Wine & Food, Academy for International Culinary Art’s and James Beard House, among others.
Festive Specials By
r a r B
This Masterchef India (Season 4) co-judge is a professional food stylist and a television show host with successful food shows, namely, Breakfast Xpress, Snack Attack, Homemade, passionate foodie since The American Institute of Thank God It’s Friday, Health his early days, chef Wine & Food (AIWF), Bhi Taste Bhi and a travel series, Ranveer Brar believes God Academy for International The Great Indian Rasoi. lives in food! With over Culinary Art’s (AICA) Brar has managed hotel, 15 years of experience in the and James Beard House, restaurant kitchens and food industry and over 10 years among others, and has also restaurant chains, and been in as executive and corporate chef represented India at the World the fortunate position of being across India and the USA, chef Pastry Forum (WPF). He is a part of the opening team of Brar has been recognized for his a chef for life and it reflects multiple restaurants in India contribution to various cuisines in his joy for food and all his and abroad. by institutions such as work.
68 DIWALI 2019
The Most Trusted South Asian Brand Since 1955
The Most Trusted South Asian Brand Since 1955
From Our Family toFoods Yours, Since 1955
Happy Diwali! May joy, peace & prosperity, Illuminate your home...
Wishing you a Very Happy Diwali
The Largest Supplier of South Asian Foods in Western Canada DIWALI 2019 69 www.TejaWorldFoods.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chef Ranveer Brar
Preparation time: 40 minutes (5 days of fermentation) Cooking time: 15 minutes Serves: 12-14 aanarsa
Ingredients • 2 cups rice (the rice should not be sticky) • 2 cups jaggery, grated • 2 tsps ghee + for deep frying • 2 tbsps milk • 2 tbsps poppy seeds
70 DIWALI 2019
Preparation • Wash the rice twice; fill with water till all the grains are soaked. Keep the rice soaked for five days, keep changing the water daily. • On the sixth day, drain the water and spread rice grains on a cloth. Let them dry out. • Grind them to a dry powder. Make as fine a powder as possible. Sieve the powder through a fine mesh. • Combine powdered rice, jaggery and ghee, and start kneading. Add milk to make pliable dough. It should be semi soft.
• Divide into 12-14 equal portions and make balls out of it. • Sprinkle poppy seeds and place a dough ball. Start rolling over it and roll like a bit thick puri. • Heat ghee in a kadai. Deep-fry the aanarsa in the ghee till golden brown. • Drain the excess ghee and serve.
We Wish You and Your Loved Ones A Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali!
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By Chef Ranveer Brar Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 4
Ingredients • 1 cup refined flour • ¼ cup semolina • 3 tbsps ghee • ½ cup beetroot puree • 1 tbsp goney • 4-5 large gulab jamun • Oil, for frying
Preparation • In a mixing bowl, add refined flour, semolina, ghee and mix well. Add beetroot puree, honey and start kneading into a dough. Divide the dough into equal portions and make smooth round balls. • Crumble the gulab jamun into medium large
chunks. Stuff gulab jamun in the prepared dough balls and smooth it out. • Deep-fry the kachories in oil, on medium heat till nice and crisp. Remove on a kitchen towel and drain the excess oil. • Sprinkle cardamom powder over the kachories and serve hot.
• 1 tsp cardamom powder
DIWALI 2019 73
Preparation time: 1 hour, 20 minutes Cooking time: 10 minutes Serves: 4 aanarsa
Ingredients For the chakli flour: • ¾ cup rice • ¼ cup chana dal • 2 tbsps dhuli urad dal • 15 gms poha
For the dough: • 1 tbsp oil + for deep frying • 4 tbsps Thai red curry paste • 1 tbsp Thai red chili sauce • 3 tbsps sesame seeds • Salt, to taste
74 DIWALI 2019
Preparation • Dry roast the chakli flour ingredients individually. While roasting they should release a nice aroma. • Combine all the ingredients. When it has completely cooled down give it to a flour mill and make a very fine flour of it. (Alternatively you can grind it to a fine powder in a grinder and then sieve it. But you won’t get the same results). • Measure the prepared flour and take equal quantity of water (Suppose the flour is one cup then water should also be one cup). • Keep water for boiling. Add oil, red curry paste, red chili sauce, sesame seeds and salt. When the water comes to a boil add the chakli flour and mix briskly in one direction. Cover
By Chef Ranveer Brar and steam for one to two minutes. • When the mixture has cooled moderately, start kneading it. Add water if required. Knead into a soft dough. Keep covered with a damp cloth. • Put a portion of the dough in the chakli mould and pipe the chaklis on a paper. Cut it with a scissor when desired size and repeat. Form in batches. (If spirals are not being formed that means the dough has less moisture, add some water and knead well). • Heat oil in a kadai. Deep-fry the chaklis till golden brown. Remove and drain excess oil. • Store in an airtight container.
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By Chef Ranveer Brar
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 70 minutes (60 minutes for setting) Portions: 4 to 6
Preparation • Take a double-boiler and bring the water to a boil. • Once hot, add in the powdered sugar syrup and milk powder in the top pan. Stir continuously for two to three minutes till the sugar and milk powder are warm all the way through. • Pour the cashew powder in a mixing bowl. Once the sugar and milk powder are done, add them to the cashew powder in the mixing bowl. Add the cardamom powder and mix them all well.
Ingredients For the Cannoli: • 150 gms cashew (kaju), powdered • 110 gms powdered sugar • 60 gms instant non-fat milk powder
• 2 drops rose essence (optional)
For the fig (anjeer) & rose jam: • 150 gms figs, soaked and make smooth paste • 50 gms sugar
• 25 ml rose syrup
• 2 tbsps rose petals, chopped
• 1/8 tsp cardamom powder
• 100 ml water
• 2 tbsps water
76 DIWALI 2019
• If you are using the rose essence, add the two drops to the two tablespoons of warm water. • Start kneading by adding a little water at a time. Knead till it forms a dough and the cashew starts letting oil go. • Grease hands and rolling pin for easier rolling. Roll out the dough to the desired thickness onto a wax paper to avoid sticking. • Cut the rolled-out dough into three inch squares. Make a filling with chopped figs, chopped almonds and kalakand. Roll the katli while it’s still warm around the filling like a cannoli. • Cook the ingredients for the fig jam till a jam like consistency is reached, make quenelles and serve with rabri.
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Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Serves: 2-4
By Chef Ranveer Brar
Ginger Khara Sev
• 1 cup gram flour
• In a mixing bowl combine all of the gram flour, pepper powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, asafoetida and salt. Mix well.
• ¼ tsp black pepper powder • ¼ tsp turmeric powder • 1 tsp red chili powder • ½ tsp garam masala powder • A pinch of asafoetida (hing) • Salt, to taste • 1 tbsp ginger juice • 1 tbsp oil for kneading + for deep frying
• Heat one tablespoon of oil and add it to the gram flour mixture. Mix till you get a crumbly texture. Add ginger juice and water to make a soft dough (it will be sticky, so grease your hands). • Heat oil in a kadai for deepfrying.
• Grease the sev mould. Stuff a portion of dough in the mould and hold it above the kadai and start pressing it so the sev directly goes into the hot oil. • Press it in the circular motion and when it is enough cut with scissors. Fry till golden brown and crisp in texture. Remove with perforated spoon and drain excess oil. Repeat with the remaining dough. • When it cools down crack the sev in small pieces and serve or store in an airtight container.
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Preparation time: 10 minutes Serves: 1
Ingredients • ½ cup leftover mithai • ½ cup milk
For assembling: • ½ cup mithai, diced • ¼ cup flavoured sev • 2 tbsps rose syrup • 1 tbsp sabja seeds • 1 tsp almond, sliced • 1 tsp pistachios, sliced
For garnish: • 1 tsp rose syrup • 1 jalebi
Preparation • In a vessel take the leftover mithai, add milk and blend well.
Falooda By Chef Ranveer Brar
• Now for assembling, take a tall glass. Drop in the mithai pieces in. Top it up with flavoured sev and pour in the rose syrup. • Now pour in the prepared mithai milk. Add a layer of sabja seeds over it. Sprinkle sliced almonds and pistachios. • Drizzle rose syrup on top and garnish with jalebi. Serve chilled. PHOTOS: Courtesy of Ranveer Brar
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By Chef Ranveer Brar
Ingredients • ¼ cup peanuts, roasted • ¼ cup chana dal, roasted • 1 tbs dry coconut, grated • 1 tsp cumin seeds • ¾ cup rice flour • ¼ cup refined flour • 1½ tsp semolina • 1 tsp red chilli powder • 1 tsp sesame seeds • 1/8 tsp asafoetida • A sprig of curry leaves • Salt • 2 tbsps oil • ½ ltr oil, for frying
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Nippattu Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Serves: 4
Preparation • In a mixer jar take roasted peanuts, chana dal, dry coconut and cumin seeds. Blend to a fine powder. • In a bowl take rice flour, refined flour, semolina and the fine roasted peanut powder. Add red chilli powder, sesame seeds, curry leaves and salt to this and mix well. • In a pan heat little oil and pour it over the flour mixture. Combine everything and
get the mixture to a crumbly texture by gently rubbing in between your palm. Add water in intervals and knead to form a soft dough. • Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Roll out the small balls into small puris. • Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the nippattu on a medium flame till they turn golden brown and become crisp. Remove on an absorbent paper to drain off the excess oil. • Cool the nippattu completely and store them in an airtight container. They will last for 15-20 days.
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a coast-to-coast, video chat, recipe-development marathon with her mother, and through this process, not only became an accomplished cook, but also discovered a new career—as a chef and food blogger creating dishes that represented her “Not quite 100% American and not fully Indian” self. These culinary explorations rowing up as a firstlanded her a coveted spot generation Indianon MasterChef competing in American in New Jersey, front of Gordon Ramsey, and blogger, chef and author her first cookbook, MILK & Hetal Vasavada found her CARDAMOM: Spectacular mornings filled with Parle-G Cakes, Custards and More, biscuits and chai while Inspired by the Flavors of dreaming of the frosted India, a stunning collection of cupcakes that her friends Indian-accented sweets that enjoyed. It wasn’t until range from the traditional to Vasavada was an adult living the most delicious cultural in San Francisco that she mash-ups. Her recipes have realized how much she missed been featured in Huffington the Indian sweets of her Post, TASTE and The Times of childhood. She then began India.
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It’s the first sweet most Indian kids have, and is served as a prasad (blessed food), a breakfast accompaniment or a simple dessert after a meal at home.
Seero Makes 4 to 6 servings
lso known as sooji ka halwa, it’s the first sweet most Indian kids have, and is served as a prasad (blessed food), a breakfast accompaniment or a simple dessert after a meal at home. Seero is also the first sweet my daughter ever had when she was a baby. It has a soft, buttery texture with a nutty flavour that comes from the toasted semolina. My version doesn’t have much sugar, so feel free to increase or decrease the amount of sugar to your liking.
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Ingredients • 1 tbsp (8 g) shelled raw pistachios • 1 tbsp (9 g) raw almonds • 1 tbsp (9 g) raw cashews • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar • 1 cup (240 ml) water • ¼ cup (55 g) ghee • ½ cup (84 g) semolina
Credit line: Reprinted with permission from Milk & Cardamom by Hetal Vasavada, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019. Photo credit: Hetal Vasavada.
Preparation • Toast the pistachios, almonds and cashews in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat for four minutes. Pour into a bowl to cool. Once cool, chop the nuts coarsely and set aside. • In a small saucepan, add the granulated sugar and water. Dissolve the granulated sugar in the water over medium heat. Once all of the sugar has dissolved, set aside. • In a non-stick skillet, add the ghee and semolina. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat for four to five minutes while stirring. The semolina will turn light brown and give off a nutty fragrance. Pour the granulated sugar water into the semolina and turn up the heat to mediumhigh. Let it sit for one minute without mixing. The semolina will soak up all of the water and thicken. Stir for one minute and then spoon into the serving bowls. Top with the toasted chopped nuts and serve while warm or at room temperature.
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Bhapa doi is a Bengali dessert made with yogurt and jaggery. This simple, baked yogurt dessert is silky smooth and, I would like to think, healthy-ish.
Berry Bappa Doi Makes 4 (4-ounce [113-g]) ramekins
hapa doi is a Bengali dessert made with yogurt and jaggery. This simple, baked yogurt dessert is silky smooth and, I would like to think, healthy-ish. The texture reminds me of panna cotta, but without all of the fuss! Most of the sweetness comes from the berries, so feel free to play with the amount of sweetened condensed milk so that the sweetness level is to your liking.
Ingredients • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (see Note) • ½ cup (47 g) fresh raspberries • 1 tbsp (20 g) blueberries, about 10 berries 3 strawberries, destemmed • 1 cup (160 g) plain Greek yogurt (see Note) • ¼ cup (60 ml) sweetened condensed milk (see Note) • 1 tsp vanilla extract • ½ cup (113 g) fresh berries, for garnish
Preparation • Preheat the oven to 215°F (102°C). • Add the heavy cream and berries to a blender, and blend until smooth, about 20 seconds. Strain the mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the yogurt, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Whisk well. • Divide the yogurt mixture into the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking pan and fill the pan with water until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the center is barely set and wiggles a little when gently shaken. Cool and chill the bhapa doi in the refrigerator for at least four hours. Top with additional berries when ready to serve. Note: Feel free to change up the fruit and use whatever is seasonal and local to you! You can also use coconut cream, coconut yogurt or sweetened condensed coconut milk to make this dish vegan.
DIWALI 2019 93
This kulfi recipe uses the traditional method of boiling full-fat milk down until it is thick and creamy.
Hot Chocolate W
hen I was younger my grandma would bring me a Fudgsicle when she would pick me up from school during the summer. We’d walk home hand in hand enjoying our frozen treats. When she got older, she moved to India and whenever I would visit her, she would give me money to sneak away and pick up an ice cream for us from the corner store. Our little secret inspired this kulfi recipe, which uses the traditional method of boiling full-fat milk down until it is thick and creamy.
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Makes 6 to 10 servings, depending on the size of the mold
Ingredients • 4 cups (960 ml) whole milk • ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream • 2/3 cup (115 g) high-quality milk chocolate morsels • ¼ tsp salt • ½ tsp ground cinnamon • ¼ cup (40 g) roasted unsalted almonds, finely chopped
Preparation • Add the milk, heavy cream, chocolate, salt and cinnamon into a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir continuously until the milk comes to a boil, about six minutes. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often. Make sure to keep an eye on the milk as it might overflow. • Add the chopped almonds and simmer for an additional five minutes. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze for at least five hours. Set the kulfi out on the counter for five minutes before unmolding. Note: To make a no-mess, no-drip version for your kids, use a block of Abuelita Mexican chocolate instead of regular chocolate. It contains carrageenan, a thickener made from seaweed, which prevents the kulfi from dripping all over the place!
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• To make the pie crust, mix the flour, granulated sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub the butter and flour together until you get a wet-sandy texture. Add the egg and milk and use your hands to bring the dough together. Do not knead the dough too much, otherwise you’ll end up with a tough crust that isn’t flaky. Shape the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Makes 1 (9-inch [23-cm]) galette
Ingredients For the pie crust: • 1½ cups (188 g) all-purpose flour
• 3 tbsp (27 g) raw shelled pistachios • 2½ tbsp (23 g) raw cashews • 1/3 cup (68 g) unsalted butter, softened • 1/3 cup (66 g) granulated sugar
• 1½ tbsp (23 g) granulated sugar
• 1 egg, lightly beaten, reserve a tablespoon (15 ml) to brush the pastry
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed • 1 egg • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk, cold
For the ghughra filling: • 2½ tbsp (24 g) raw almonds
• 1 tbsp (8 g) all-purpose flour • 1½ tbsp (16 g) semolina • Ice cream, fresh fruit or powdered sugar, for serving
• To make the ghughra filling, blend the almonds, pistachios and cashews until you have a sand-like powder. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and granulated sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk well. Stir in the nut powder, all-purpose flour and semolina. Set aside. • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the dough on the baking sheet. Roll the pie crust out into an 11-inch (28-cm) circle that is ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Spoon the ghughra filling into the center of the pie crust and spread it into a thin layer, leaving a two-inch (5-cm) border of pie crust. Gently fold the edges of the crust over the filling. • Brush the pie crust with one tablespoon (15 ml) of beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. If the crust starts to brown too much, place a sheet of foil on top of the galette to prevent it from burning. Serve while warm or at room temperature with fresh fruit or dusted with powdered sugar.
DIWALI 2019 97
Haldar nu Doodh
Panna Cotta My mom believed turmeric could cure just about every ailment there was. Sprained knee? Turmeric. Pimple? Turmeric. Sore throat? You guessed it...turmeric.
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients For haldar nu doodh panna cotta: • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream • 1 tsp turmeric powder • ¼ tsp ground cardamom • Pinch of saffron • 2 tbsp (30 g) granulated sugar • ½ tsp agar agar powder (see Note)
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For macerated peaches: • ¼ cup (96 g) peaches, ¼-inch (6-mm) diced • 1 tsp granulated sugar • ½ tsp honey
For cardamom whipped cream: • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream • ½ tbsp (4 g) powdered sugar • Pinch of ground cardamom • ½ tbsp (4 g) shelled roasted unsalted pistachios, thinly sliced
• To make the haldar nu doodh panna cotta, add the heavy cream, turmeric, cardamom, saffron and sugar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk well and bring to a boil, then simmer on low. Whisk in the agar agar powder and simmer over low heat for two minutes while continuously whisking. Pour the cream into four four-ounce (113-g) ramekins or a mold. Cool and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight. If you used a mold, just gently pop the panna cotta out of the mold and place onto your serving plate. • When you’re ready to serve, toss the diced peaches with the sugar and honey in a small bowl, and set aside for 10 minutes. • While the peaches are macerating, make the cardamom whipped cream. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and cardamom to a small mixing bowl. Whisk the cream until it reaches soft peaks, about four to five minutes. • To serve, top each panna cotta with macerated peaches, a dollop of cardamom whipped cream and a sprinkle of sliced pistachios. Note: This recipe uses agar agar powder instead of gelatin since gelatin is not vegetarian. You can find agar agar powder at your local Asian grocery store or on Amazon.
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DIWALI 2019 101
By Jorge Ignacio Castillo
Major Bollywood films open during Diwali every year, but seldom embody the spirit of the festival of lights.
iwali has long been established as a prime date to open tentpole Bollywood movies. Most times, these films share similar characteristics: Light as a feather action-comedies designed to pack the theatres with families, with one superstar or two
102 DIWALI 2019
thrown in for good measure. These features rarely take place during the Festival of Lights or refer to it. Take this yearâ€™s big ticket item, Housefull 4, set to open October 25. Once again, the franchise uses reincarnation and lingering curses as romcom devices: Three couples forced to part in 1419 reunite 600 years
later, but are set to marry the wrong person. Not very Diwali. Perhaps more interesting than the plot is the drama behind the camera. Sajid Khan, director of the first three films is not coming back following numerous harassment charges. Franchise mainstay Jacqueline Fernandez also departed to star in the remake of the Ryan Gosling movie Drive, out on Netflix just a week after Housefull 4. Other films that opened during Diwali in the last five years havenâ€™t strayed as far. Here is a look at recent titles that hit theatres during the holiday.
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Secret Superstar The 2017 smash hit made twice its budget during Diwali week alone and ended its theatrical run grossing US$154 million, 50 times over the original investment. Quite a feat for a movie without star power (Aamir Khan pops up, but in a supporting role) or special effects. The plot is simple, yet timely: Insia, a teenager in a household where domestic abuse is a regular occurrence becomes an overnight sensation when she uploads a video of herself singing while wearing a niqab. Insia attempts to leverage her success into a way out for her and her mom from the clutches of her violent father.
Diwali or not?
Thugs of Hindostan Last year’s biggest Diwali release, Thugs of Hindostan was a massive US$32 million production with two huge names headlining the film, Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. The film follows a band of sea-based bandits lead by Azaad (Bachchan) as they battle the East India Company early in the 19th century. The movie made its money back, if barely, mostly thanks to China and North America. Thugs of Hindostan was savaged by critics, targeting a script that wasn’t at the same level as the production values.
Absolutely. While it doesn’t refer the holiday directly, the film is the very definition of the victory of light over darkness. Available on Netflix.
Diwali or not? Not really. One could argue the transformation of Aamir Khan’s character from hired gun for the East India Company to Azaad’s ally represents the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, but it’s a bit of a stretch. Available on Amazon Prime.
DIWALI 2019 105
Prem Ratan Dhan Payo
Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Slightly more adult-oriented than your average Diwali fare, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil tells the story of star-crossed lovers Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) and Ayaan (Ranbir Kapoor). He is into her, but Alizeh is still in love with her ex-boyfriend. Scorned, Ayaan embarks in a relationship with Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), but mostly to make Alizeh jealous. It’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, but on a second view, you realize Ayaan is all kinds of awful: He spends most of the movie trying to manipulate Alizeh into falling for him, including telling her he loves her at her wedding and pushing her into a relationship after learning she has stage IV cancer, not to mention using Saba for leverage.
Diwali or not? Very little, but still watchable thanks to extended cameos by Shah Rukh Khan and Fawad Khan, plus the increasingly rare Aishwarya starring role. Available on Amazon Prime.
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Very standard Diwali fare, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo goes for every conceivable genre: Action, romance, intrigue and comedy, all peppered with massive musical numbers. Loosely based on The Prisoner of Zenda, the film revolves around Vijay (Salman King), the crown prince of Pritampur. He’s the living example that money doesn’t buy happiness: His half-sisters want his fortune, his half-brother wants him dead and he is engaged to a woman he doesn’t love. The answer to all his problems is Prem (Khan again), a doppelganger who takes his place when one of the assassination attempts comes close to succeed.
Diwali or not? The film is an embarrassment of riches and the music has a traditional feel to it. Also, it’s hardly a spoiler to say that good defeats evil. Pure Diwali goodness. Available on Amazon Prime.
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easy ways to give back to your community this Diwali season.
Volunteer your Time
Light By Naina Grewal
ur community shapes us into the individuals we are. Communities nurture us during our childhood and contribute to our development well into our youth. In times of celebration, we then have the humble responsibility to give back to the community that contributes to our happiness. Amidst the festivities that lace the celebrations of our nears and dears, here are seven easy ways to give back to your community this Diwali season:
Find a charitable organization, cause or group that you identify with and volunteer your services at a food shelter, hospital or soup kitchen. A great idea is to light up the day of a senior who may not have a friend to celebrate Diwali with. The options are endless and so are the many blessings you will get in return.
Donate Donations are not just financial. If you have the means and the health to do so, helping others in need through hair or blood donations are potential options. Furthermore, participating in seasonal food or toy drives that begin this time of the year can help the underprivileged. As you indulge in the Diwali cleaning, consider donating items such as books, lightly used clothing, bicycles, school supplies, or bags that you would otherwise throw away.
Spread Positivity A simple smile or â€˜helloâ€™ can turn a bad day into a good one. Diwali is about illuminating those around you by treating all as your own. Hold the door open, help a senior cross the road and do not hesitate to give compliments. If you want to take this to the pro level, leave an anonymous motivational note for someone to find and read. Sometimes, an effortless act such as lending your ear to an acquaintance can be a game-changer in someoneâ€™s life.
Share your Knowledge
Help tutor school children or give career advice to a struggling youth. Diwali traditions include that of gifting; what better gift than that of knowledge? Often,
The rewarding experience of taking such small steps to contribute to your community paves the path to common good. Being a good citizen triggers a chain reaction and creates a network of change-makers. 110 DIWALI 2019
educational institutions are speaking for professionals or even students that can share their experiences with others. Educating community members about opportunities and sharing resources is an investment back into the community that invested in you.
Promote Local Businesses and Talent Given that your community has led you to be the professional or student that you are, help others achieve their dreams by buying local whenever you can. This is not just limited to goods, but also attending events put together by local artists, especially surrounding artistic expressions of the Diwali spirit.
Bringing light into the world is not someone elseâ€™s responsibility. Often, we leave communal vices to be managed by others. If you see litter, instead of blaming others, be proactive and throw it in the garbage. If someone is in trouble, assist them in a safe manner rather than being a bystander.
Start at Home This Diwali, reflect on yourself. Make your living space, lifestyle and those you live with a reflection on the community you want. If something seems amiss in the community, look first into the values being embedded in your household. Teach the younger ones what you would like to spread into the world and become a compelling role model! The rewarding experience of taking such small steps to contribute to your community paves the path to common good. Being a good citizen triggers a chain reaction and creates a network of change-makers. With just a small gesture, you can create an everlasting impact that transcends well beyond the act. Spread the light within you!
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By Siddhi Jain/ IANS
Anju Modi, the Bajirao Mastani and Ram Leela fame designer has come up with a festive collection designed for Indian wear brand BIBA.
Festive Collection by
ANJU MODI The festive season is approaching. What’s your guide to season’s dressing? I think this time people should go more for the mix and match. You can mix the dupatta with something which you previously bought
and give it a new look. And the shararas can be worn with other certain kind of kurtis or a t-shirt which again you must have bought earlier. So, this will serve you in a very longer and I would say in an economical way. And I think that’s the need of the hour
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now. Be more economical, more ecological and do not spend more than necessary and make use of your garments for a longer time in your life. Keeping the same in mind, my designs are very much classic so I think it is where you can take it forward for the next 10 years.
PHOTOS: IANS, Biba.in
What are the fashion virtues you swear by? This is something which is not exactly my rulebook but rather my heart rulebook. My heart goes for the handloom, the India crafts
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and our way of traditional culture around. The historical, vintage and cultural flavour is always there in my designs.
Can you tell us more about this collection? I realized that as a client base, everybody has to attend so many festivities in this coming season, whether itâ€™s Diwali, wedding parties or other functions. Keeping this in mind, I designed a range which should be practical and affordable too.
I designed the line accordingly where it goes with the thematic parties at weddings which have those enchanted jungle kinds of look having beautiful lit candles all around. People always have dancing and fun elements at such events, so the girls can dance around in their lehengas and shararas and flaunt the flare and be classy.
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From Our Family to Yours Wishing You A Very Happy
Happy Diwali Rita Chohan
Founder & Owner
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Ritu Beri’s latest collection, Ferghana Fantasy is a mélange of two great cultures – India and Uzbekistan, representing India’s Khadi and Uzbekistan’s Ikat.
Mix of Contemporary & Traditional by
RITU BERI U
zbekistan plays muse to Ritu Beri’s latest collection, Ferghana Fantasy. Beri is the Cultural and Tourism Ambassador of Uzbekistan in India, appointed by the Ministry of Tourism in Uzbekistan. This was in recognition of the stellar contribution made by her towards bringing two countries together by way of her fusing cultures in her clothes line.
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Photos: Courtesy of Ritu Beri
Continuing with what she does best, blending cultures and traditions through her work, Beri’s collection is inspired by Uzbekistan. The Collection takes its name from the land of Ferghana, a region in Uzbekistan traditionally famous and known for its Ikat (khanatlas). Till today, much of the Ikat weaving in the Ferghana
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The outfits are plush, magnificent, sprawling and a delightful mixture of contemporary and traditional silhouettes. Valley is done in private homes, keeping the age-old tradition alive. The collection, which Beri presented at the Delhi Times Fashion Week, is a mélange of two great cultures – India and Uzbekistan, representing India’s Khadi and Uzbekistan’s Ikat. The outfits are plush, magnificent, sprawling and a delightful mixture of contemporary and traditional silhouettes, matched with jewellery by Turquoise Jewels by Nanu Puri.
We Wish You a Happy & Prosperous DIWALI!
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Festive Fashion By
prints in natural dyes including bandhej, stripes and chequered prints. Movement and proportion are the core of the design philosophy. Each and every ensemble like the fun skirts and top has been designed to be moved, danced and celebrated in; perfect for both brides and bridesmaid for mehendi or sangeet. Dominated by black and very unique hues of dry hena and butter cup, Rabari, the new festive line is modestly extravagant perfect for the upcoming festivities like Diwali.
Photos: Courtesy of Punit Balana
ell-known Indian designer Punit Balana unveils his new festive line Rabari, inspired by the Rabari woman known for their diligent embroidered textiles, creativity, aesthetic and identity. Progressively rooted, the new collection showcases comfortable silhouettes in Punit’s signature Beautiful embroidery of amla, mirrorwork, and dori work enhances the collection showcasing Balana’s aesthetic which is a return to the fundamentals of material, print motif and embroidery, and yet a progression of form and silhouette.
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Seven cool gadgets to give your loved ones this festive season.
Gifts By Shweta Kulkarni
he most-awaited festival of the year – Diwali is upon us. While the Festival of Light marks the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, Diwali is also a festival to celebrate togetherness, affection, love and appreciate the presence of our dear and near ones in our lives. Hence gifting is a significant custom of Diwali, it is a way of showing your loved ones that you care for them and how much they mean to you.
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Smartwatch While sweet boxes, dry fruits, jewellery are usually the common gifting options, how about pampering your loved ones this Diwali with some unique cutting-edge gadgets? Here are seven exciting gadgets that not only make for the perfect gifting option this festive season but are sure to bring a smile on your dear one’s face.
No matter the age or gender of your loved one, a smartwatch can be a great gifting choice. From tracking fitness to checking email and responding to calls, the smartwatch is an ideal gift to get for your dear ones. Available in a diverse range, from futuristic and stylish looking timepieces to unique smartwatches designed especially for children, there are plenty of options to choose from. So, go ahead pick one now and make your loved one’s Diwali spectacular.
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Happy Diwali festival of lights
Happy Diwali from the team at Surrey Hospital Foundation We are proud to be the largest hospital in BC which supports your entire family, from birth to end of life. Our donors make a profound difference in this community, today and every day. With you, we can do more. Itâ€™s easy to give online at surreyhospitalfoundation.com 124 DIWALI 2019
Handheld Gaming Console If you are looking for an ideal present for the video gamer in your life, trust us, nothing would be better than a good handheld gaming console. The market is flooded with various handheld devices that are not only lightweight but also offer full home console experience.
Smart Sunglasses Presenting your family or friend a cool pair of shades is always a good idea, but whatâ€™s better is getting them a pair of sunnies that not only help them make a statement but are also packed with smart features that enables them to listen to music and attend phone calls. Smart sunglasses are the in-thing today and definitely make a cool Diwali gift. There are plenty of brands and styles available in the market.
Smart sunglasses are the in-thing today and definitely make a cool Diwali gift. There are plenty of brands and styles available in the market.
Polaroid Camera With instant photography swinging back into fashion, a polaroid camera makes for a great gifting option, especially if the gift-receiver loves clicking pictures. This fun little retro gadget, which prints pictures instantly, will definitely appeal to people of all ages. Image: InstaxMini 9
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DIWALI GIFT-GUIDE Alarm clocks have been our faithful companions for the longest time and now they have gotten smarter and better, which makes them a perfect choice as a Diwali gift.
Temperature Control Mug You may have gifted your loved ones a coffee mug before but nothing can beat a temperature control mug. This smart mug, which can control and regulate the temperature of the coffee to one’s liking throughout the day, is definitely a great Diwali gift for all the coffee lovers in your life. Image: Cauldryn Battery Heated Mug
Smart Alarm Clock Alarm clocks have been our faithful companions for the longest time and now they have gotten smarter and better, which makes them a perfect choice as a Diwali gift for your loved ones. So, what’s so special about these upgraded smart alarm clocks? Well, apart from telling time and waking us up, these devices have either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant built-in, and can not only be customized with voices but the alarm clock can also control smart home devices, call an Uber, read the morning news, and help with daily tasks. Sounds like an ideal gift already, doesn’t it? Image: Lenovo
Move away from the traditional leather wallet and this Diwali gift your loved ones a smart wallet. A smart wallet is not just a wallet but much more. Loaded with several features like Global GPS system that secures your wallet from robbery, Bluetooth alarm system that notifies every time one forgets the wallet, power bank to charge the phone, a smart wallet is an exciting and unique gift, which is sure to make your dear ones happy. Image: Ekster 3.0 Smart Wallet
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Photos: iStock, Pictures for representation
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The Festival of Lights, commonly known as Diwali or Deepavali in India and in countries all over the world, is the most important festival f...
Published on Oct 17, 2019
The Festival of Lights, commonly known as Diwali or Deepavali in India and in countries all over the world, is the most important festival f...