Cookies or chaklis, Modak? What is that?

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a prime fes...

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Ummm… I used to love the filling inside the modaks Girija tai (my nanny and maid) used to make, it was made of jaggery and coconut fried in home made ghee. Modaks are similar to dumplings and may be deep fried or steamed. These are sweet savories made by Indians during the Diwali festival.

Just like modaks, Indians also made other home-made snacks such as chaklis, chivda, shankar pali, karanji during Diwali, all of these together being called “Diwali Farral”, and til gul laddus during Sankranti, and so many other similar savories for all our festivals.

Festivals permeated our homes in totality, with all the snacks being made at home, lighting, shopping during festivals and so many other customs. We exchanged “Farral”, sweets, “Sonyache pane”, and other similar feel-good things during festivals when we visited each other.

Festivals also signified the time when we went shopping! Growing up, no one shopped all year round, primarily during festivals.

Sitting with some close friends a few days ago, we remembered, where did all those days go? Times have changed so much. Not just moving to another country, but influence from other cultures, and our busy life-styles have resulted in a lot of these things being taken away from us. Now all the Farral gets ordered in, and we shop all year round! (which though I admit is not such a bad thing, it takes some of the charm of waiting away)

I guess in the coming years, all the home made recipes for these fun foods will be lost to commercial manufacturers, and our coming generations will not know how it was to eat a chakli just freshly fried, or warm modaks (not heated in the microwave).


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