A Taste of Diwali in Ireland – With Four Special Recipes To Try Out At Home

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Diwali in Ireland

There’s a reason why some doors in Dublin are lit up with fairy lights and adorned with strings of gold, green and orange ornaments. It’s not that Christmas has arrived early; these are homes and families prepping up for, and celebrating Diwali.

If you do see a brightly decorated door and the foyer looking all pretty with intricate designs on the floor called rangoli, and your neighbours dressed up in all their finery, do wish them a very happy Diwali. Chances are that they would invite you to their homes, treat you to bowls of sweet and savoury snacks, and also tell you about their customs and traditions.

But if you are too shy to do so, fret not. We have brought to you glimpses of Diwali in Ireland, and along with it, four special recipes to try out at home. Because really, this festival is all about creating little pockets of light and love, and generously sharing your food and festive cheer. With family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and even strangers.

Milie and Santosh, Three Leaves, BlackrockEarthen lamps and rose cookies

Diwali in Ireland
Santosh and Milie of Three Leaves, Blackrock

If you have been to the Blackrock market, chances are that you would have run into Milie. She runs the front office at Three Leaves – a unique Indian casual dining room that has been recommended by Michelin since 2019. Millie has such an infectious smile, and is so full of genuine warmth, no wonder she’s won the Best Front of House award at the Irish Curry Awards 2019. She and her husband, Chef Santosh together run Three Leaves. Millie also works as a cancer nurse.

For Diwali, says Millie, “Santosh and I will have our evening together. We will light up the diyas (earthen clay lamps), and since he loves his sweets, I will make coconut or mango barfi. I will make a generous batch of it so that friends and family can have them too. I will also make murukku and achappam – something that I always had whilst growing up. The achappam, I used to wear them like rings around my fingers!” (Achappam is a deep-fried rose cookie made with rice flour. It is a signature Syrian Christian food believed to come from Dutch influence. Murukku is a savoury, crunchy snack originating from the Indian subcontinent. The name murukku derives from the Tamil word for “twisted”, which refers to its shape.)

The recipe below is by Chef Santosh Thomas.

Diwali in Ireland

Mango Barfi

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 Mins

Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients

Ghee: 2 tablespoons

Mango Puree:1/4 cup

Milk Powder: 1 cup

Sugar:3 tablespoons

Kesar(saffron): 6-7 strands (dissolved in 2 tbsp of warm milk)

Pistachios for garnish

Heat a pan on low heat. Add ghee and mango puree, and slowly cook it through.

Add kesar with the milk and the sugar to the pan. Keep mixing it slowly until the sugar dissolves completely.

Then add the milk powder and cook it on low heat till the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.

Transfer this mixture to parchment paper and roll it into a log of desired thickness.

Let this cool in the fridge for 1 hour.

Cut them into 1-inch thicknesses and garnish it with pistachios.

Asheesh Dewan, Director, Jaipur Group – A Taste of our Childhoods

“Diwali is the most special of occasions. The festival of light brings people together in celebration, regardless of wealth or status, race, background, or beliefs. Diwali provides a welcome occasion to stop, take a pause for breath, gather loved ones, and celebrate all that is good and serene in the world around. It’s a symbol of awakening, new joy and hope, and the ushering of their new year.

I wanted to share a recipe for churma ladoos with your readers. It’s what we all made on Diwali in our homes growing up. These are small and delicious, sweet treats that are a staple in every Indian household and are traditionally gifted to loved ones throughout this festive season,” says Asheesh Dewan who has shared the recipe below, clearly a childhood favourite of his. Dewan is the director of Jaipur Group, and one of his offerings – Ananda, a fine dining restaurant (listed in Michelin Guide) has put together a Diwali special tasting menu as well. The recipe is by Chef Meharwan Singh, the Executive chef at Jaipur Malahide.  

Churma Ladoos

Method

1. Sift flour and salt together. Powder the sugar.

Strong flour 350gm

Wholemeal flour 150gm

Salt – a pinch

2. Powder the sugar.

White & brown lump sugar 100gm

3. Rub 2 Tbsp ghee in the flour, well. Add milk as needed and make a stiff dough. Divide into 20-22 balls.

Ghee 2 Tbsp

Milk as required

4. Heat ghee on a high flame and fry a few balls at a time. Lower flame after a while. Turn over the balls and see to it that they are fried well. Fry all the balls in batches. Cool.

Ghee 500gm

5. Grind all the cold balls in a mixer to a fine powder.

6. Add powdered sugar, nuts, cardamom powder and 100gm ghee to the powdered churma and form into laddus. This will make about 25 laddus.

Sugar 150gm

Chopped cashew 1Tsp

Chopped Almond 1Tsp

Coconut flakes or desiccated coconut 1 Tsp

Cardamom powder

Ankita Rohit Shirsat, host of YouTube channel called House of Creativity – keeping alive Diwali traditions

Diwali in Ireland
Ankita and her husband with their Diwali set-up – worshipping and welcoming the goddess of wealth and prosperity with diyas, pooja and special food and flowers

“Diwali is so special to us. We moved to Ireland in 2019, and have always continued with our traditions here. We do Lakshmi pooja (worshipping the goddess of wealth), and also make five types of snacks apart from creating beautiful rangoli designs and sporting our traditional outfits,” says Ankita Rohit Shirsat.

“The recipes that I create for my YouTube channel are easy to make and can be made from ingredients that are well-stocked in any Indian kitchen. That’s been my focus behind creating and posting recipe videos. The ones I am sharing for the readers of Travel2Ireland are my Diwali favourites and I usually make them every year,” says Shirsat.

Diwali special sweet – Shakespeare

Diwali in Ireland

Ingredients

Plain flour 3 bowls

Semolina 1/4th bowl

Powdered sugar 1 bowl

Hot ghee or butter 1 and a 3/4th bowl

Pinch of salt

Milk as required to knead the dough

Method

Take a container to make a dough

Add plain flour

Add the semolina

Add hot ghee/butter and a pinch of salt

Next, add powdered sugar

Mix all the above ingredients

Now add a little milk to the mixture and prepare the dough

Make a hard to medium consistency dough (it shouldn’t be too soft)

Once the dough is ready make 3 balls of dough

Take one ball of dough and roll it on a clean platform

While rolling, keep it thick – it should be like the consistency of a slice of bread

Once it is rolled, make a square shape with the help of a knife (cut the rolled dough vertically and horizontally)

Dough cubes are ready

Now heat the oil to fry the cubes

Fry these cubes on low to medium flame from both sides until the colour changes to golden brown

Take them out and serve them on a plate

They are now ready to be served and enjoyed!

(For the other two dough balls, follow the same method).

Diwali special garlic sev

Diwali in Ireland

Ingredients

Gram flour 1 bowl

Rice flour 1/4th bowl

Turmeric powder half teaspoon

Red chilli powder as per taste

Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon

Carrom seeds 1 teaspoon

Garlic 3 to 4 cloves

Salt to taste

Oil 1 litre

Sev Sancha maker (available online)

Method

Put the gram flour & rice flour through a sieve

Make a paste of garlic, cumin seeds & carrom seeds

Strain this paste in the mixed flour (gram & rice flour)

Add salt as per taste

Add red chilli powder as per your taste

Add turmeric powder

Add 2 teaspoons of hot oil

Mix all ingredients and make a dough (make a hard to medium dough, don’t make it too soft)

Heat oil in a pan to fry the sev

Now add dough to the sev maker and let gently drop the raw sev in the oil (please be very careful while doing so)

Fry the sev from both sides on a medium flame

It’s now ready to serve and eat

Here’s wishing all our readers a very Happy Diwali from all of us here at Trave2Ireland. We hope that you try out some of these recipes, and if you’re celebrating the festival of lights, we’d love a pic or two!

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