The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label Diwali. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Diwali. Show all posts

November 12, 2023

Deepavali Greetings to all!


On this Deepavali (Diwali), we hope that you are surrounded by the warmth and love of your family and friends. 

May you feel the joy and happiness in your heart. May you have a blessed and blissful holiday. 

October 24, 2022

Out of the Darkness and into the Light


Wishing all celebrating...

Have a Happy, Safe and Blessed Diwali from my family to yours!

October 31, 2019

Diwali - All You Need is a Spark!

When tensions are high and there is political unrest...we all need hope. We all need to be positive and have faith that things will get better. It is also the time to come together, not let our differences get the better of us. 

Although, my husband and I have different backgrounds, we still make the time to learn about each other's cultures and celebrate together. Every year, my family celebrates Lunar New Year with his family and they celebrate Diwali with mine. We don't let our backgrounds hold us back and don't let them divide us either.  

Diwali known as the Festival of Lights symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Although the day started out gloomy and wet, by sunset all was well.  

We enjoyed the Diwali lunch with yummy food including dishes, such as Indian fried rice served with cucumber raita, cauliflower and potato curry, egg curry with mushroom and bell peppers, mixed vegetable curry, Singapore mei fun, and of course garlic naan. There was a dish for everyone! 

After lunch, we relaxed and played cards. I taught everyone how to play Egyptian Rat Screw, everyone can play this game. After cards, we indulged in some yummy sweets: jalebi, milk cake, badam halwa, and fresh fruit. 

Of course, it wouldn't be Diwali without fireworks! It was truly the Festival of Lights Sunday night! 


We all gathered outside the house to light the night with sparklers and fireworks.

I really enjoyed spending time with my family and friends. Everyone joined in the fun; for a moment it felt like we were in India again. 

How did you celebrate Diwali this year? Please share it with us in the comments below. 

October 22, 2014

Wishing All Diwali Greetings

There's always something warm and bright, 
about this time of the year.
When everything has a special glow, 
and hearts are full of cheer. 

This special greeting comes your way, to wish you all of life's best on Diwali and in the coming year, too!

I am grateful that I was able to spend this Diwali with close family and friends...specifically my grandmother. We threw a small party and enjoyed well. Of course, it isn't a party without food and dessert. We served aloo and mixed vegetable tikki, three bean salad with Doritos scoops, and Ragada patties. These appetizers wouldn't be complete without their dipping sauces such as sweet and tangy tamarind chutney and refreshing mint chutney.

It was surely a colorful spread with all these snacks. As the night progressed, w could see that everyone were engaged in striking and meeting new people.  Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. We served: Jeera rice, egg curry (for non-vegetarians), creamy cauliflower and paneer curry, Jalfrezi Okra with green bell peppers and tomatoes, Schezwan Singapore noodles with stir fry vegetables, and whole wheat roti. It's so hard to stay light during these party times. You want to try everything.

Whenever we host these kind parties or get togethers, we always play a game to make the evening more fun. Last Saturday, we played Dumb Charades - you have to act out the movie or show that the opposing team gives you for your team. You are not allowed to talk or use props. It always reminds me of Whose Line Is It Anyway TV show. Have you ever heard of this show or watched it?

After all the fun and games, we brought out the sweets or desserts for everyone. During this festival, it's a tradition for family and friends to share sweets with their friends and loved ones. That night, we indulged in decadent Gulab Jamun, Cashew Burfi, and assorted burfis and laddu from Sukhadia's (a local sweet shop). FOODCOMA anyone? I surely was in one that night and the next day.

It was good to catch up with old friends, new friends and family, All in all, it was an entertaining and great night.  The past few Diwali celebrations were halted or short because of the crazy weather we've experienced.

***Quick Tips: 
- The easy egg curry recipe was borrowed from It was really easy and everyone loved it. 

November 2, 2013

Celebrating Diwali - Out of the Darkness and Into the Light

Diwali is like Thanksgiving and Christmas for us. This year, we were thankful for the clear skies and no hurricanes in sight after previous years' horrendous weather surrounding this holiday. And what holiday is complete without good company and good food. We started off the festivities on Friday with sarvapindi for dinner and jalebi from Sukhadia's (savories and sweets shop).

On Saturday, we went to temple and enjoyed the Diwali festivities there. Word to the wise, if you are planning to visit the temple on holidays, start early so you don't get stuck in the crowds. Since it was Diwali, the temple arranged lunch for the patrons so we enjoyed the food there as well. It was a nice feeling to be among all the worshipers.

After lunch, we gathered in the family room and while playing our favorite card game Rummy, we watched classic Hindi movie songs on the Tube. The classics were the best, don't you think? I'm talking about songs with Kishore Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, and Dev Anand. Anyways, check out my winning hand after 4 failed rounds against my family. Go me!

13 Card Rummy game with 8 as the Joker 

As the day became night, we lit diyas (oil lamps made of clay) and placed them around the house as well as on the outside to Light the Night and keep darkness away.

For dinner, we started off with haanvi as our appetizer and then moved on to main course which was Rajma served with Basmati rice that was seasoned with cumin seeds, toasted cashews and raisins. I never used to like nuts in rice but this preparation was very tasty.

Rajma (Indian chili) 
click on name to see recipe
We also ate the rice with Beetroot raita (yogurt dip):

Beetroot Raita
(click on name to see recipe)

Just like every holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas, a holiday isn't a holiday without the sweets or desserts. For Diwali, we bought an assortment of burfis and pedas as well as jalebi. One of my sister's friends brought Cannoli Cake from Cake Boss Cafe from New York City so dessert was definitely decadent and rich to say the least.  We topped off dessert with bubbly Bartenura Moscato. The evening was delightful and SWEET!

Hope future Diwali celebrations are this relaxing and fun!

November 22, 2012

A Bright & Joyful Holiday Celebration!

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our Diwali festival plans were postponed until Thanksgiving. What better to celebrate the Festival of Lights than with lots of food and family. The holiday themed dinner is a blend both 'American' and Indian ingredients and this year my mom handed the task of planning the dinner menu to me. Woohoo!!

The dinner menu includes Asparagus Twists, Masala Bread Pakora, Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Orange and Mango Spritzer, Bombay Style Mixed Vegetable Biryani served with Tomato & Onion Raita, Creamy Cauliflower & Paneer Curry, Pumpkin Spiced Bread and Mixed Berry Cobbler.


October 15, 2012

Navratri: 9 Ways to Boost Your Health!

October and November are very joyous months for Indians all over. Why you may wonder? Two of the most important Hindu holidays take place during this time - Dusshera and Diwali. There are many interesting stories associated with the celebration of Dusshera, and they vary from region to region in India. As with many Indian festivals, this festival is associated with GOOD conquering EVIL, and it is depicted with the story of three main goddesses (Gauri, Lakshmi, and Saraswati). They unite to form a powerful 'Shakti' or force called Durga who kills Mahishasura, a powerful demon. Another popular story is that Lord Rama kills Ravana, the ten headed demon. The festival is celebrated by taking part in religious activities and fasting for nine days called Navratri, which begins on October 15th this year. People culminate with joyous festivities on the tenth day, which is known as 'Vijayadashami' and it is a very auspicious day. Any task (such as kids' education, new businesses or ventures) that is initiated on this day is believed to be successful.
'Navratri' and 'Vijayadashami' are always associated with STRENGTH, POWER, FORCE, and SUCCESS. Thus, we wanted to utilize the occasion to provide some useful tips and recipes of 9 super food ingredients that are power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants that benefit our health.

1) Brown Rice
2) Pumpkin
3) Tofu
4) Lentils
5) Yogurt
6) Sweet Potato
7) Sesame/Flax seeds
8) Leafy greens
9) Almonds/Walnuts

Let the healthy cooking and eating begin!!!

October 26, 2011

Poha Laddus - Sweet Balls of Joy

I know you want one or two; or maybe the whole plate!
We've heard a lot from our readers that they like multipurpose ingredients. We agree with that too. No one wants to buy uni-purpose ingredients that aren't affordable. With that in mind, we looked into our spice rack and cupboard to see what sweets to make for Diwali that everyone can make. After chatting up my infamous aunt, we decided on making Poha Laddu. She said it was really easy to make and required minimum ingredients; that works for us.
Just a recap, Poha is another name given for flattened rice. There are two kinds of poha: thick and thin. It is important to choose the right one when cooking with it as results vary. It can be used to make dishes like Garden Poha or mixture (Indian snack). Let's begin making our sweet as we have lots to show you. This recipe makes twenty to twenty-two lime-sized balls. 

- 1½ cup of thick Poha
¾ cup of Sugar or Brown sugar
¾ cup of Dry Coconut Powder
- 10 Raisins
- 20 Nuts (Any combination of Cashews, Almonds or Pistachios), cut into pieces
- 3 to 4 tbsp of Butter
- 6 to 8 pods of Cardamom, seeded & powdered
- 4 tbsp of Evaporated Milk (or as needed to hold the mixture)

Melt butter in a pan and add all the nuts and raisins. Toast them lightly, remove from butter and set aside. Then add poha into the butter and fry on a reduced flame until it is well roasted. Transfer it to a plate and let it cool. Powder the poha, sugar and coconut separately in a blender. Transfer all the powders into a mixing bowl including cardamom powder and mix well. Add evaporated milk and take portions of the mixture and roll into a ball. Finally take nuts and raisins and press them gently into the ball. Arrange them on a tray and let them dry before serving. 

***Quick Tips: 
- For a longer shelf life, use melted butter instead of evaporated milk
You can use fresh coconut, if grated coconut is not available. 

October 25, 2011

Celebrate For A Cause...

We believe in giving back to the community and helping the less fortunate. That is why we make time to volunteer and participate in charitable events as much as possible. Sometimes with our busy schedules, it's tough to engage in such activities and so we try other ways to fulfill that duty. In that same respect, it's great to see corporations getting involved as well. They do it by giving deals or promoting an charitable event. For example, every time someone buys their product, a percentage gets donated to charity or by hosting charitable walks and giving away products.
We would like to recognize Tandoor Chef in their efforts in giving back to the community. Tandoor Chef, the leading manufacturer of restaurant quality, all natural frozen Indian cuisine, is hosting a virtual charity drive benefiting the Deepkiran Foundation, which helps provide education to children in remote villages in India. Through the end of October, they will donate $1.00 to the foundation for every new Fan at This special donation comes in addition to their regular contributions to the Deepkiran Foundation. They are creating this social media and cause campaign to make a positive impact on the futures of young children through schooling.
The Deepkiran Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports children’s education in the remote villages of Gujarat, India. Education is often not a priority of village elders and the foundation works to give the children various skills, including reading and writing. Both Tandoor Chef and Deep Foods are owned by the same family, who created the Deepkiran Foundation in 2005. This new charity drive is part of Tandoor Chef’s celebration of Diwali, the Hindu New Year. Charity and gift giving are central focuses of the Diwali celebration. “Tandoor Chef is honored to regularly donate to the Deepkiran Foundation, but we want to do even more through this special drive,” said Mike Ryan, VP Sales and Marketing, Tandoor Chef. “Deep Foods is proud to support this important foundation and we hope Facebook users everywhere will be proud to rally behind it.”

October 23, 2011

~ Diwali Specialities ~

 Family and friends, festive dishes, drinks, music, rangoli, and fireworks!!

Since Diwali falls midweek, we will have a small celebration during the week and a grand one over the weekend. We chose an intricate rangoli design to be drawn on the festival day and prepared some dishes such as Stuffed Jalapeno Curry, Powdery Poha Laddus, and Kalakand

September 24, 2011

*~*Rangoli Contest*~* - CLOSED

Put on your thinking caps and get those creative juices flowing for this special opportunity!

Rangoli is truly a work of art. It is drawn on all Hindu festivals and weddings all over the world, as it is thought to bring good luck. The designs are usually of flowers, simple geometric shapes, religious symbols, intricate patterns or a combination of all of the above. My grandmother once told me that my mom used to win prizes for her unique designs in all the rangoli competitions. Hopefully, one day I can impress her with mine. The material used to create these patterns is dry or wet granulated rice flour (white) and by mixing colors such as vermilion, turmeric, and other natural ingredients. These days, chemical colors are combined to produce more variety of choices. As colored powders are not readily available, we use colored chalk to create these beautiful works of art.
Diwali is the most popular festival and with it just a month away, we are looking into more elaborate designs. In the past, we have drawn simple designs due to the lack of time. The more intricate and unique the design, the more time and colors required to make it more appealing. Below are a few of the designs we have come across and would like to share with you:

This year, we decided to open up the floor and request our readers to share their rangoli designs with us.  Please send your ideas to Jahnavi at: All entries must be in by October  22, 2011. We will select one from the submissions, showcase it on the day of the festival and on our Facebook Fan Page for everyone's viewing pleasure. Feel free to use the same email address to send us questions about the CONTEST.

November 6, 2010

!*!Diwali Dhoom Dham Se!*!

Wishing You & Your Family

A Very Happy Diwali 

On Friday we celebrated one of India's most important holidays called Diwali. For those of you who are not well versed in Indian festivals, I thought I would share some insight into our culture. The festival earned the tag line, "festival of lights" from its name. Diwali is a contraction of the word Deepavali which translates into row of lamps; specifically oil lamps made with clay called Diyas. These lamps are then placed outside every one's homes to light the night. They signify the triumph of good over evil.  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think. Every holiday has its own traditions that make it meaningful and fun. Another tradition is that everyone wears new clothes and shares sweets with all their friends and family.  So, of course I put on my best Indian clothes and prepared for the day's events.

This year we decided to have a potluck dinner and invited a few people over to celebrate the holiday. The day started with decorating the front porch with rangoli.
We do this on all holidays, as you might have remembered reading on my post about Ganesh Chaturthi. Rangoli is the traditional decorative folk art of India. There are competitions that are held to see who can come up with the most intricate and unique designs. If you don't take my word for it, just check out this website:

As night approached, we lit diyas as well. We would usually place them outside but it was a particularly windy day so we arranged them inside to be enjoyed by all.

Colorful Diyas
Another tradition is eating Pheni (fried vermicelli) with sugar and hot milk. It is the first thing everyone eats on Diwali as a way of breaking fast.  I love it because it's so simple and once you mix the ingredients together, it tastes like payasm (kheer)

Pheni with sugar
As for all parties, my mom and I pre-plan the dinner menu so we can shop for the ingredients and prepare for the big day. This year we made most of the dishes except for a couple so we had time to do other things. Phew!

We made the green mango and spinach dal, tangy tomato curry, daddojanam (yogurt rice) and green beans. My aunt made the vegetable biryani and the mixed veg raita. We also had a variety of sweets to choose from at the party (including the ones some guests brought). Along with the boxed sweets, we also served gulab jamun that we made from scratch.

The Diwali Dinner turned out great and everyone raved about the food. The best part about holiday parties are the leftovers.  

***Quick Tips:
- Pheni is available at most Indian grocers during the Diwali festival time. 
- An easy and non  alcoholic beverage for holiday parties is Cranberry Spritzer. All you need to do is combine (1) part cranberry juice and (1) part Sprite. It has a refreshing taste.