The weekend of 14th/15th November 2020 saw approximately 17.8% of Hindus living in the borough of Brent celebrate the Festival of Lights, Diwali
Brent is the second most culturally diverse borough in the UK (Source) with a proud history of celebrating different cultures throughout the year. Here I would like to share the story of why Diwali is celebrated together with a recipe.
THE STORY OF DIWALI
Ramayana is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It narrates the life of Prince Rama from the kingdom of Kosala.
Rama’s stepmother, KaiKevi, has a son Bharata who she wanted to be king instead of Rama who was the eldest and favourite son of King Dasharatha. She convinces the King to banish Prince Rama to the forest for 14 years. Rama is the epitome of virtue and agrees to go by himself, however, both his wife, Sita, and brother, Lakshmana, insist on accompanying him. The fearsome demon King of Lanka, Ravana, kidnaps Sita. Sita leaves a trail of her jewellery for Rama to follow. Together with the help of the King Hanuman, a war ensues to rescue Sita. Rama finds and kills Ravana with a magic arrow.
Rama together with his wife and brother begins his long journey back to the capital city, Ayodhya, where a path to the city and homes are lit by oil clay lamps, divaas and is also greeted by fireworks to become the rightful king.
Ever since, people have lit clay lamps at Diwali to remember that light triumphs over dark and good triumphs over evil.
The following is an old family recipe that we always make during Diwali.
The recipe makes approximately 50 samosas. Even though I always make my own pastry, I always recommend beginners to use either samosa pad sheets or spring roll sheets or filo pastry.
1 tablespoon of Vegetable oil 2 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
1 onion diced small
4 large potatoes diced small 1 cup of frozen peas
1 teaspoon of salt or to taste
2 chopped green finger chillies Fresh coriander
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon of garam masala
1⁄2 teaspoon of garam masala
Making the Filling
• Heat the oil.
• Add cumin seeds and fry for 30 seconds.
• Add the onions and cook on a low-medium heat until translucent.
• Add the potatoes and cook for 12 minutes before adding the peas.
• Cook for a further 8-10 minutes or longer if needed. The potatoes and peas should be soft.
• Mix in the ground coriander, grama masala and fresh coriander and take off the stove to cool.
Compiling the Samosas
• The pastry should be rolled out in a circle.
• Cut in half.
• Fold the cut edge and form into a cone shape.
• Seal the flap with water and add filing up to three quarters of the height.
• Brush with water and seal the bottom edge by pressing firmly.
• Ensure all the pastry is covered with a cloth
• Heat either vegetable or sunflower oil to 190 ̊c in a wok.
• Fry 2-3 samosas at a time depending on your wok size for approximately 2-3 minutes.
• Using a skimmer, remove the somas and set on a plate to serve immediately