Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Diwali and 50th post

First of all, a very happy Diwali to you and your loved ones! May this Diwali shower light, happiness, and prosperity in all our lives. Today is Naraka Chaturdashi. This day celebrates Lord Krishna's victory over the demon, Narakasura.  Today, for us Konkanas, it is a day when the ladies and the children of the family have oil bath in the evening, after sunset. The ladies of the house perform pooja of the well, which is the water source, with flowers, aarti, and agarbathi (incense sticks). These days since it is hard to find wells, pooja is performed of the main water tap in the bathroom. Later, kids make noise by banging on steel plates with steel spoons. This is a tradition and it is believed that the noise keeps away bad spirits. Then small earthen lamps are lit and arranged near the doors, windows, and practically every corner of the house. After the pooja, ladies and children apply coconut oil over their bodies and have hot water bath. The traditional bathroom with the big pots of brass which are used to heat the water, acts as sauna. The steam inside the bathroom which is produced from the hot water and the wood used to heat the water, helps to detoxify the skin and makes it soft and radiant.  The coconut oil also makes the skin supple and leaves it soft and glowing. This is the only day of the year when women are allowed to have head baths in the evening, which is otherwise considered a bad omen.  I really miss the traditional bathroom and the geyser-heated water is no comparison to the hot water heated in the brass pots. After the hot bath, ladies and children dress in new clothes and then have a nice dinner with rice, fried fish and onion thambali.  This dinner is again a tradition which has been followed over the years. Primarily, fish such as King fish and  pompret are the main choices for this day. Men of the family have their hot baths the next morning.

Recipe for onion thambali:

Ingredients: Coconut grated 1 cup
                  Red chillies 2-3
                  Tamarind a small piece
                  Onion - 1 finely chopped
                  Green chillies 2-3 finely chopped
                  Salt to taste

Finely grind the coconut, red chillies and the tamarind with a little water. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and the salt. This makes a great combination with rice and fried fish. The consistency is gravy-like and this dish is not boiled.

This is my 50th post. In the last three months, blogging has become a very integral part of my life. Thanks to all my readers who have read my posts and encouraged me and motivated me. I hope to keep blogging and to hear your wonderful comments regarding my posts. Thanks one and all and once again, a very happy Diwali!

7 comments:

kavita kunj said...

hey hi im kavita from mumbai too...nice blog u got here..and nice post too..informative and nice diya too..well i m a konkani too..my bhanni makes yummm dhuddhe panna phodi and shevai...and also oat meal cookies and phad thai noodles...very tasty...u remind me of her...

Stranger said...

Happy Diwali to you and family. Was not well yesterday so forgive my belated wishes.

Nice post and picture. You are right, blogging is addictive...

Mangala said...

@Kavita, r u sure its not me??
@Stranger, Thanks and wish u the same. Hope u feeling better now.

raji said...

Hi mangala nice narration.meanwhile i wasn't knowing that konkanis have an oil bath in the evening;we usually do the 'oil bath'at morning of 'naraka chaturdashi'.and the benefits with steam bath and coconut oil were very much true.you reminded me of my post delivery times.:)

Mangala said...

@Raji, thanks. As I said in my blog, it is the only day when women are allowed to have a head bath in the evening, which is otherwise considered a bad omen :)

A said...

I hope you had Good Diwali. It is surprising I published my 50th post with Happy Diwali...and you too :)))

Mangala said...

@A: yes I did even though I was down with a cold n fever, but still managed to gorge on sweetmeats. Hope u had a good one!

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