I know what you mean about food being a common connect. Our home is a crossroads of many festivals in true Mumbai style. We celebrate every festival; Sanrant is melange of Gujarati and Maharashtrian, Diwali incorporates everything and Id calls for Biryani and Seviayan at the very least. The influences of he food cooked at these times is dependant on who takes the onus in the kitchen. My fabulous house keeper and maids bring in a variety of maharashtrian influences from Konan coastal ones to those from the interiors of the state. I throw in everything else...
We had a great holi this year. Holi the festival of color has different foods associated with it around the country. The Marwari community make Kanji Vadas, to combat the irregular festive eating of the day. These kanji vada are d umplings of black gram soaked in fermeted mustard spiked water. Thandai is also popular on this day. In Maharashtra, puran poli, a sweet, stuffed chappati made of channa dal and refined flour (maida) are served warm with clarified butter or a bowl of milk.
Holi does not have any real traditions foodwise amongst us Gujaratis but Shekhar being from the North, has a lot of memories of Holi goodies. In North India Gujias (semi circular pastry cases stuffed with sweetened solidified milk enriched with dry fruit are washed down with Kanji a lightly fermented beverage made with dark purple winter carrots. If I can get my hands on the purple carrots thanks to some kind soul coming from Delhi I mak Kanji but if not, Gujiyas are a must!
And they are made in a family Gujiya making session and as you can see above with everyone pitcing in! This year Natasha added a lot of Cute Quotient to the proceedings. We captured memories of her attempts at making Gujiyas, being bathed in flour and then pigging out on them as well. She also looked adorable in techncolour!
Umm I am afraid the camera was forgotten once the Gujiyas began to be fried so i do not have a picture of the final product. But here is the recipe to compensate!
1 kg maida
1/2 kg mawa
100 gm almonds
100 gm pistachios
5 gm cardamom powder
200 gm castor sugar
1/2 gm saffron
100 gm ghee
For the sugar syrup
1 kg sugar
500 ml water
Add the chopped almonds, pistachios, cardamom powder, castor sugar and saffron to the mawa and mix well. Roast it lightly in a pan, on low flame. This is the filling for the gujiya. Make a soft dough out of 1 kg maida and 100 gm ghee adding warm water. Divide the dough into balls and roll each ball into a small chappati, about 4 inches in diameter. Place tbsp. of the mixture in this chappati, moisten the edges with a little water and fold one side onto the other. Fry to a golden . You canthn make sugar syrup out of the sugar and water and pour over the gujiyas. Allow excess syrup to drain and transfer to airtight boxes.
Serve garnished with saffron strands and pistachios.