Diwali 2011 (26/10/2011)was spent in Bangalore. Simple celebrations marked the day, I made a flower Rangoli using marigold flowers (both orange and yellow), adorned it with a set of four decorative diyas/lamps. We had pretty noiseless fun with just two box of sparklers. I made a traditional sweet called Okkarai for the festival. This one is my favorite and my mother-in-law prepares it without fail during Diwali.
Thanks to Saffron Trail for sharing the recipe of Okkarai on blogosphere - http://saffrontrail.blogspot.com/2010/11/recipe-for-diwali-okkarai.html
I followed the recipe specified in the link mentioned above barring a few modifications specified below which I made after appropriate discussion with my mother-in-law.
1) Instead of using 1 cup channa dal, I used equal measures of channa dal and moong dal (yellow) - 1/2 cup channa dal + 1/2 cup moong dal were used.
2) I did not make a syrup out of jaggery, the vella paagu as mentioned in the recipe on saffron trail. Instead, I add grated/powdered jaggery (measurement same as specified in the blog) directly to the wok in step 6. I mashed the crumbled dal and powdered jaggery in the wok on low flame and ensured they mixed well. Then I moved directly to step 9 - addition of roasted coconut, fried raisins and cashews and completed the recipe.
3) I used little less than 1/2 cup (mentioned of Saffron Trail) of grated coconut for the recipe.
The Okkarai smelt and tasted divine and had a nice, flaky texture. As mentioned in the blog, this recipe requires only 2-3 table spoons oil and 1 spoon ghee in total. I must admit it is quite minimal and with wholesome goodness of steamed dal, jaggery to add to taste, this traditional recipe is a safe bet and has become a huge hit in my list of favorites.
With one cup dal or measurements as stated in Saffron Trail, much more than adequate quantity for two is prepared. The sweet can be stored for 2-3 days with appropriate refrigeration in an air tight container.
Thanks to Saffron Trail!
I did surprise my mother-in-law when I said I was going to prepare Okkarai for Diwali :)
Okkarai made at home