Diwali is this Friday(!) and celebrations are already beginning. This past weekend, I went to the Diwali Dhamaka show at Hopkins and then to my aunt and uncle’s house for an early Diwali lunch.
Minal Fui had made quite a spread. My favorite parts of the meal included the mango lassi and the puran puri, two items I usually don’t enjoy because they are generally too sweet.
My dadi had brought this puran puri from India. Puran puri is roti (Indian flatbread) stuffed with a sweet paste made either of tuwar daal (Gujarati) or channa daal (Maharastrian), cardamom, nutmeg, and saffron.
Gujarati puran puri’s roti tightly seals in a substantial layer of sweet pasty filling. Traditionally, you are supposed to pour swirls of golden ghee on top of your puri before eating it. Thick sweet paste, slippery ghee; this is usually too overwhelming for me to enjoy. However, Maharastrian puran puri’s roti is delicately flaky, and pastry-like and just barely covers a less-pasty, more crumbly channa daal filling. With these puris, the ghee is a necessary enhancement, similar to melting butter on top of cinnamon toast- it just tastes that much better.
*”Diwali, Diwali, ane vali hai” means Diwali is coming! My friend Sapna and I danced to this song when we were about 5 or 6 years old. The video is hilarious because we are each performing our own version of the dance on stage. The video also shows that Sapna’s dancing talent and my lack of talent was evident from the age of 6.