It's Karthigai Deepam today! Wishing you all health, inner peace and prosperity on this day, and for the years ahead.
Some time back, my best friend, Uma, was over at our house for lunch. As I was day dreaming, she tapped me back into reality and said, look, the sun is shining so brightly into the house, that it looks as though the lamp is lit. It felt God sent, and I had to take a photograph. Sure, I'm not very well equipped (camera phone), and photos cannot to justice to how beautiful the sight was, but it was all I could do. Isn't it pretty? It was as though Devi herself was lighting the lamp in our house. What a wonderful feeling!
I would like to firstly share with you a few lines from our Devi Mahathmiyam, that I particularly love. It brings a smile to my face everytime I listen to it, because it puts our Devi's fire and power so beautifully:
"Avvaarey devargal idamirundu nee veli kilambi, oli aanaay,
Ellam oliyum, ondraay saerndhu, Devi ne per oli aanay!
Per oliyaana Devi nee, pizhambu malai pol jwalithai,
Moo ulagangalayum, kaanthiyaal vyaabithai."
Our Lord is the amalgamation of all powers and flames in this universe, and in all fires, our Devi is prevalent. From the pure souls of our saints, Devi comes in the form of a bright light and glistens upon us all. All the rays in the universe are an embodiment of her, and she shows herself in her purest form when these rays are combined! Devi, our lustrous Devi, you shine so radiantly and emanate your purity upon us and the entire universe!
There's another song from the movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, that makes me think of my Devi in one particular line:
"Tu khush hai toh lageh ke jahaan mein chaayi hai khushi,
Suraj nikle baadalon se aur baatein zindagi!"
What a beautiful way to express the distribution of light and happiness. The song, of course, relates to the girl he's singing to, but I personally relate it to the way in which God sheds light upon us everyday... :)
If any of you would like a copy of the Devi Mahathmiyam (mp3 file and word document), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On such an auspicious day, we all light lamps in our home, to symbolise the presence of our Devi and invite her into our home, to bless us and give us the inner strength. Traditionally, Pori Urundai and Sweet Appam are made on this day for our Devi. But I fear not, my mum, my world's greatest cook, is at home and she has all of this ready :)
I wanted to try a dish too.. For a long time, I've been searching for a really good eggless macaroon recipe, as I don't eat egg. I came across many recipes, and tried a few out with some tweaks. The only problem I always had was that my macaroons would never rise up and stay up. They'd always sink down and I would end up with a sort of thin, but VERY sweet, pastry type of thing.
BUT, this is not necessarily a bad thing! It still tastes fantastic, and it means that I can put stuff into the sunken centre!
So this is what we ended up with...
It's a great dish to serve as a light dessert too. The crispy shell outside, complementing the soft and gooey inside - it's a little cup of heaven. It tastes great with a dash of chocolate, but alternatively, you can always top it with a bit of jam or cream, or have as is!
So here goes... an original invention for the lazy ones out there who want to make something sweet for a festival, without putting much effort into it.
Eggless Sunken Macaroons
- 1 tin of Skim/Light Condensed Milk (400 gms)
- 1 cup of self raising flour (or 1 cup of plain flour with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder)
- 1 cup of shredded coconut (I used dessicated coconut, which is dry coconut scrappings)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar. This is optional, because it makes the dish on the highly sweeter side. If you prefer mild sweetness, leave this out.
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
- 1/2 teaspoon of nutella per macaroon.
Yield: About 25 small macaroons.
Preheat your oven to 170 Degrees Celsius.
Take a bowl, and add all the above ingredients to it (except Nutella) and mix very well.
If your mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of flour to it. If it's too runny, add a bit of milk to it.
Add 1 spoon of the mixture to your muffin tray or paper cups.
Bake for approximately 10 minutes. In this time, your macaroons will rise up, and then sink back down. I have absolutely no idea how to make them stay up; they eventually come back to base.
See how puffy and gorgeous they look below! I only wish there were a way to retain that puff... ideas, anyone?
Once they start to brown around the edges, remove them out of the oven and immediately pour half a spoon of nutella into each macaroon.
Serve warm. Once they cool down completely, it will be quite difficult to get out the muffin cups. So when serving, heat for no more than 10 seconds and serve warm. It goes great with a cup of coffee!