Festive Food

Food and festivities go hand in hand. Festivals in India are actually aligned to the seasonal changes that happen in the region. As an agrarian country that is the 7th largest in the world, every part of the nation has a different season and flavor to celebrations. Navratri for us is a was to celebrate light and life. In my part of the world, we make sundals from different spouted pulses but similar recipes. The pulses are soaked overnight and pressure cooked with a bit of turmeric and salt. A tempering of mustard seeds (rai), split black gram (udad dal), curry leaves and chilli flakes adds the right finishing touched with a generous garnish of grated coconut. Another interesting feature of the nine-night long festival alongside the garba (dance) is the colors associated with each day. The colors change depending on the lunar and planetary cycles every year. this year the sequence was orange, white, red, yellow, blue, green, grey, violet and peacock green. Back in my Mumbai days, I remember the entire railway platforms turn into sea of a single color. The local newspaper would religiously prints the sequence every year, making the entire city quite festive. What better reason to shop for colors missing from your wardrobe, especially when heavy discounts are available everywhere!

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