From my kitchen to yours

From my kitchen to yours

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


When I was a kid, Diwali for me meant being in my grandmas home in Vasai, my mum is the fourth of eight sisters, so you can just imagine what a full house that was.
Diwali meant that we would get sparklers from every uncle who came over to my grandmas post collecting their Diwali bonus and always had the biggest box of sweets I had seen.
My grandma cooked a simple meal, of fish curry and dry mutton and there would be much merriment.
We kids would then light our sparklers , fountains, and then get out our boxes of chakkris, and this weird black tablet little thing that when we lit would grow into a snake, so we got into putting these all over the entrance steps of our house , and then of course the final "Laddhi" of noisy crackers..
That frightened the crap out of all of us..

I never did like them , I still don't do .
We kids then just hung out on our really long verandah , that had a swing , that creaked away into the night as we swung on it.
It was just wonderful, and this memory of us lying on that big swing, swinging away, as we peeked at a black sky , studded with stars , and listen to the rustle of the wind through the palm leaves, is something that has just stayed with me.

Then we would all move into the house and mattresses were laid from one end to the other and we would all sleep there in line, while my grandma moved to her room and would continue talking to all her children till late into the night, while my grandpa would say, "Dokri..bas aata, zhop aata "
There was never any noise, no crackers bursting.
Just the sound of Laughter amongst all my aunts, and stories of what happened during the struggle for independence ..

Gosh , just reliving this,  brings tears to my eyes.
My grandma Rose Mary had the heartiest laugh, she smoked bidies, once in a while, my grandparents were farmers..
And going to their place for holidays was my biggest joy.
Running through fields, having a bath at the well, plucking fruit every afternoon (where we would eventually be bitten by red ants) and then the golas...
To me this was Diwali..
Our way of celebrating it ..
There was nothing fancy ..
But everything real and lots of love and laughter..

I love this festival and as a kid growing up in a very Catholic community, I used to wait every year for Diwali sweets from my friends, it was just so special.
My friends Laxmi, Renita and Kiran, was my first introduction to rangoli ,lighting of Diyas , Puja and vegetarian food.
They were the ones who introduced me to the Dandiya and to Ganpati Visarjan.

This is what I love about my India the most, that we are all so diverse and there is so much we can all learn from one another.

But I actually started celebrating Diwali in full gusto with my friend Mini.
She does the whole hog.
It's just so nice.
And then one year , she said what kind of Diwali is this no one gambles here, and she laid down these mattresses on her terrace , so I was introduced to "teen Patti" and other various card games that I don't quiet remember.
So Mini would light Diyas all over the house, make her full Mathur "Khana" and then drape herself in a beautiful sari, (you know for me she is the sari icon of India ) and then she would saunter around, seeing that everyone is well fed, well drunk and gamble, till some would be dropping off to sleep (me ha ha ha )
This year she is in the mountains , so it's a very quiet Diwali without her.

With Jaya, we would do the full Puja and sing "Om Jai Jagdish" , with her kids ringing bells, and us all singing with much gusto, and then her mum would put Tikkas for all of us and then treat us to an amazing Vegetarian fare, and all the kids just had a blast.

To me this is Diwali
Family, friends,giving thanks and lighting up Diyas..

What I dislike about Diwali,are the loud crackers , and my poor dog Taz sitting curled up petrified in a corner, and the horrible smog the next morning..

Do I gamble..
Nope I don't..
I'm not a gambler , but a risk taker I am ..ha ha ha

Today I took all my diyas and after lighting up my home,and I drove over to my new home, with Zene, Taz and my house help..
Both the boys of the house are out working and camping..
So Zene and me went and light Diyas all around our new home..
It now feels like home, even though it's still filled with cement, paint and not yet complete..

So before I say bye, I just want to share with all of you this lovely Chicken recipe that my vegetarian friend Jaya gave me..ha ha ha ..yup..

It's something that is so yummy and full of flavour, it's not spicy so great for kids too..

And if you want to spice it up , just slit a green chili and have it with every bite, it's totally yummy.

So "Happy Diwali" my dear readers, thank you for all the warmth and the love ..
Stay blessed and shine ..
And have a sparkler of a Diwali..
And try and celebrate by lighting up each other's lives with love , patience, understanding and hugs...
Happppppppeeeeeeee Diwaaaaaaaaaliiiiiiii ,with much love from me to you , only from "Maria's Kitchen "


  1. Mam d chicken Luks yum... I just wanted to ask u whether u used 1/2 kg or 1 kg chicken... PlZ do reply...

    1. Please do check the recipe on youtube, its all written there...

  2. Your stories are as enriching as the food you so lovingly make...And earthy like the diyas you mention :)