Importance of Food in Indian Festivals
The Indian festival season is a time when we indulge in what we love the most - the food! Festivals like Diwali, Holi, Durga Puja, Ganesh Chaturthi, Christmas, New Year's Eve and many more have their own special dishes associated with them.
Food plays a vital role in Indian festivals. The importance of food in Indian festivals cannot be undermined. Although the festivals are celebrated on different occasions, they are all linked through their traditions of feasting, sharing and spreading joy. There are many elements that are common to all the festivals.
The food we eat matters as it is closely linked to our health and wellness. Food traditions and rituals aren't just about making and sharing delicious food; they offer us an opportunity to catch up with family and friends, foster relationships and bring people together.
The festival of lights has taken on a variety of forms in different cultures over time, but the origin of Diwali lies in the story of Lord Rama, his beloved wife Sita and brother Lakshman.
The festival is celebrated for five days starting from Dhanteras (the day which marks the beginning of Diwali) and concluding on Bhai Dooj. Dhanteras is the first day of the festival where lamps are lit up. According to a legend in Hinduism, Lakshmi, goddess of wealth and prosperity resides in lamps and thus it is customary to keep a lamp lit until the tenth day when goddess Lakshmi is believed to have left.
Prashad or prasad is the term used for an offering of food made to Devi (a goddess) or God. Apart from this, there are several other reasons like puja or tarpan, bhog etc. why people perform this act. The offering of prasad nourishes the soul of the deity, purifies the heart of the devotee and nourishes his body.
Top 10 dishes to enjoy this festive season
You can never have too many options on what you should munch on during the festive season. We’ve compiled a list of some of the dishes that are quintessential for this time of the year. So whether it’s bhog you are looking to feast on, or mithai that you need to stock up on, here are some of the tastiest festive dishes that will satiate your tummy.
- Paneer Makhani
Paneer makhni is a shashi vegetable dish relished during the festivals and is made using ingredients like paneer and cream. The creamy texture is given to the dish to enhance the taste and it can be served with butter roti, naan or makki ki roti.
- Malai Kofta
Malai kofta is another shahi dish which is prepared using ingredients like potato, onion, cashew and paneer. The potato balls are deep fried in olive oil and then dipped in the gravy. It can be served along with roti or butter naan.
- Shallots-Pepper Chicken
Shallots-pepper chicken takes a bit longer to prepare as compared to other vegetarian dishes. However, the preparation time is worth the wait as it is one of the most delicious and flavourful dishes. It is prepared using ingredients like chicken, shallots, curd, coconut and other spices.
- Palak Paneer
Palak Paneer is a healthy and yummy dish served to guests as well as children at home. It is prepared using ingredients like palak, paneer and tomato. It can be served along with hot butter roti or makki ki roti.
- Chhole Bhature
Chhole bhature is a typical Indian dish famous all over the world. The dish is a combo of two yummy foods; chhole and bhature. The chhole is a type of sabzi made up of chhole and gravy. The bhature is the Indian bread made up of wheat flour and is then deep fried in olive oil. The dish is generally prepared during the festive season and is served along with onions and lemon.
Kachori is one of the most crunchy and yummy snacks prepared during festivals. It is made up of ingredients like moong dal, wheat flour, vegetables and Indian spices. The kachoris are deep fried in olive oil and served along with different types of chutney. To give it an interesting touch, anar dana is spread over it.
- Aloo Tikki
Aloo tikki is a popular street food which is extremely famous during the festive time because people go for outings all day long and prefer to eat more pleasurable food. Aloo tikki is a type of potato cutlet that can be served along with curd and Indian spices or chutney to make it more tempting.
- Litti Chokha
Litti chokha is a traditional dish of bihar and jharkhand but is also famous all over India especially during festive season. The litti is prepared using flour and stuffed with shahi vegetables. The chokha is like a sabzi that is served along with litti and is made up of potato and Indian spices. The dish is somewhat like daal baati but with a twist. The dish is served hot and coriander leaves are sprinkled all over it.
- Ras Malai
Any Indian festival is incomplete without having different varieties of sweet dishes. Ras malai is one of the most famous Indian desserts which is usually made using ingredients like milk, milk maid, khoya and dry fruits. It is served chilled and some dry fruits are sprinkled all over it. The dish is loved by all and its creamy texture is extremely tempting.
Last but not the least, how can we forget the evergreen and world-popular dish- biryani. It is prepared using basmati rice, fried onion, Indian spices and ofcourse chicken.
Well, biryani can be prepared using only veg ingredients as well and it is mostly preferred over non-veg biryani during festive season because the sentiments and rituals of Indian festivals are a way to connect with God. The veg biryani is made up of basmati rice and many seasonal vegetables.
Now that you guys are well-prepared for the upcoming festive season, wear your chef coat and dive into the preparation of some mouth-watering dishes. However, do not forget that your health is of utmost importance and prepare a diet accordingly so that you can indulge in some off-the-table eating activities without compromising with your health. Also, continue with your yoga exercises for the festive season in order to prevent obesity.