This weekend is one of India’s most vibrant and biggest festivals, Diwali (or Deepavali), the festival of lights.
“Deep” means light and “availi” means row, so as the translation suggests, streets, houses and pathways are lit up with endless rows of lights, with everything in full illumination, and the skies are dotted with lights and crackles of firecrackers.
Diwali’s significance and history is manifold but in short, it signifies the triumph of good over evil. The lit lamps symbolize going from darkness into light which is to bring about happiness, prosperity and goodwill to ourselves and to others, moving us one step closer to divinity.
So during Diwali we light “diyas” small decorated lamps with a cotton wick immersed in ghee (clarified butter).
During Diwali, we celebrate with lights, decorations and of course, sweets!
We celebrate with spreads of Indian sweets known as mithai. We make an immense variety of mithai and offer them to guests in colourful or decorated boxes.
This year Hallowe'en fell just around the same time as Diwali celebrations. So why not pair the two together? In the fall season we have pumpkins available so this is the perfect time to combine Indian spices with your fall harvest.
Try Arvinda's Chai Masala in all your Diwali and Indian inspired sweets.
Arvinda's Chai Spiced Pumpkin Ka Halwa
4 cups pumpkin, shredded
2 tbsp. ghee or butter
¼ cup jaggery or raw cane sugar
½ cup cashew halves
1 tsp. Arvinda’s Chai Masala
¼ tsp. nutmeg, to garnish
In a large skillet, melt ghee on medium-low heat. Add jaggery and dissolve into ghee.
Add shredded pumpkin. Place the lid on the skillet and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, until pumpkin is cooked.
Remove lid and further reduce until all liquid is absorbed. Fold in cashews and Arvinda’s Chai Masala. Serve warm in a decorative glass with a freshly grated nutmeg. Enjoy as a sweet treat after an Indian curry meal!