India celebrates Dussehra today and the celebrations will continue with the weekend following up. Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra is an important and auspicious festival in India. It signifies victory over evil as per the beliefs in Hindu mythology. There are 2 popular stories that symbolize Dussehra.
One details the battle between Goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura who wanted to capture heaven. After a prolonged fight, the demon was defeated by Devi Durga. Durga Puja is thus celebrated in certain parts of India to worship the Goddess. She comes to earth with her children and stays for 5 days. On Vijaya Dashami, she returns back to Mount Kailash. It is the heavenly abode of Lord Shiva, her husband.
The second story talks about the victory of Lord Rama over the demon king Ravana who took his wife Sita in exile. An effigy of Ravana is burnt to celebrate Dussehra. Irrespective of the myths, the day is celebrated with great zeal and fervor. People greet and welcome each other with sweets and snacks. Good wishes are showered within family and friends. Many households prepare the Dussehra sweets and snacks at home. In this article, I felt like sharing some of the popular Dussehra sweets that you can try at home this weekend.
Seviyan or Vermicelli Kheer
One of the easiest Dussehra sweets. You can prepare Seviyan kheer very fast and without any major hassles. It is good for weight conscious foodies as it has fewer calories, yet adequate proportions of calcium and protein. The recipe is simple. You need to roast the vermicelli in a pan till it's brown in color. Heat milk in a separate vessel with sugar. Once it thickens a bit add the roasted vermicelli and raisins into it and boil well. You can also add cardamom and saffron. Serve the kheer when it's medium warm.
Rasgulla is one of my favorites and one of the popular Dussehra sweets all over India. You can easily prepare it at home, though it needs a bit of concentrated effort and time for completion. The sweet is prepared from chenna (farmers' cheese) and semolina. As a first step, you need to prepare the Farmer's cheese. It is prepared in the same process that of cottage cheese only that it is not pressed for a long time to form cubes. Made from a cow or buffalo milk, the chenna has a unique quality; perfect for preparing the Rasgulla. Round balls are prepared with cheese and boiled in in sugar syrup. You can serve both hot and cold.
Sandesh can also be counted as one of my favorites. It is one of the delectable Dussehra sweets that can be conveniently prepared at home. Cottage cheese can be used to prepare Sandesh. Or else you can ferment the milk, and drain out the water to prepare the cheese or chenna as it is colloquially known. The cheese is crumpled and kneaded well. Then it is cooked with powdered sugar or jaggery. Once it cools down a bit, you can shape them into molds as per your choice. Garnish the sweet with choco chips or almond crunches and serve.
Laddoo is also one of the popular Dussehra sweets. There are many varieties of sweet, the key among them being boondi laddoo, besan laddoo, and motichur laddoo. The flours used to make laddoo are mainly gram flour, semolina (Rava), whole wheat flour, various millet flours, lentil flours, rice flour, and ingredients like coconut, flattened rice, dry fruits, seeds, and nuts. The flour is used to make tiny balls and fried in ghee or refined oil. The tiny flour balls are dipped immediately into sugar syrup; which you need to prepare before. Once the sugar syrup is absorbed, the balls are then mixed slightly with hot water to bring in a sticky effect. The mixture is then used to shape the laddoo in round form.
Rabri is again one of the popular and delicious recipes for Dussehra sweets. It is mainly prepared with condensed milk. The milk is boiled till it is dense and creamy in texture. It should be boiled in a low flame else the milk will burn. Kesar can be used for garnishing the sweet dish. Nuts and dry fruits are also added as per preference and taste.
Gulab Jamun is one of the tastiest recipes for Dussehra sweets. Stuffed with flour and kheer and shallow fried in oil, its mouth-watering taste is just priceless. Sugar syrup must be prepared at the beginning. The fried gulab jamuns are dropped into it for the sweetened flavor. The sweet should be served hot and you can garnish it with crushed nuts or almonds.
Gajar ka Halwa
Carrot in colloquial language is known as Gajar. As the name implies, the sweet dish is made with carrots and is one of the most renowned recipes for Dussehra sweets. The carrots are grated finely and then boiled in milk with a dash of ghee or butter. Sweetening is a must with sugar. You can add dry fruits like cashew, almonds, nuts for that added taste. Gajar ka halwa is served hot. Nowadays people even add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to it to enjoy a mix of the hot and cold combo.
Jalebi is one of the artistic Dussehra sweets to try. The dough is made of flour, which is either poured inside a cloth or a container with a small opening at the mouth. You need to create a coil shape as you pour the dough into the oil to shape up the jalebis. It's a delight to watch the formations as they move around into the hot oil. Once they are fried, they are dipped into sugar syrups for that extra sweetness.
Do try out the recipes at home and enjoy with your loved ones.
A travel enthusiast craving to explore the exotic destinations in the world, deciphering the mysteries and the thrill concealed in them.