Thursday, November 15, 2007

Light of the Dharma

At work, we celebrated Diwali, a corruption of Deepawali, which is the "light of the dharma," or literally, "array of clay lamps." The celebration is also known as the Festival of Lights. This is an Indian celebration of the victory of good over evil. It was to have been celebrated on November 9th, but it was hectic here and moved to this week. The actual day is determined by the Hindu calendar, as opposed to a predetermined calendar date in the year, which falls some time in October or November.

The celebration was very bright and festive. The scent of candles, cardamom and cumin filled the halls. There was a large spread of food that many of our Indian co-workers made! The hallway was abuzz with excitement. Definitely a joyous time. Several varieties of samosa and spicy "trail mixes," for a lack of a better way for ignorant-me to describe it, were served, as well as lassi, pakoda with cilantro chutney, various finger cookies, rasmalai, and semia. All dishes were made from scratch!

Lassi was excellent. It is a lightly sweetened yogurt drink infused with cardamom. It tasted liked Yakult. I enjoyed nibbling on the remnants of cardamom that collected at the bottom of my cup.

Pakoda was my favorite. It is a spicy deep fried cluster of peas mixed with flour, other vegetables, and cumin. It was a little buttery in flavor, and went well with the spicier cilantro chutney. I can't stand cilantro, but this was wonderful!

The trail mix consisted of tiny pieces of vermicelli, nuts, and other grains that were probably roasted. They were crunchy with a faint buttery cumin flavor and a spicy zip. Once it's been munched, you miss the flavor, and have to go back for more. It's dangerously addictive and I'm glad the food is not in my hallway anymore, since I moved offices.

Each year, I look forward to the dessert made with ricotta cheese, rasmalai. Oh how I love the milky dessert with clumps of ricotta. As one would imagine, it's sweet and creamy. The ground pistachios beautifully contrast the color of the white dessert and gives it a slightly nutty flavor. It always amazes me that cheese can be used as a dessert so deliciously!

I brought spaghetti napolitan for lunch. What a waste, since I'm so full!! Maybe after I poop, I'll be hungry enough to eat again! I'm sure all the creamy desserts will send me to the pot very soon! Go go lactose intolerance!

- Cassaendra

2 deep thoughts:

Suzy-Que 17 November, 2007 10:37  

"Maybe after I poop"

.... make roooooom!!!! :)

SicklyBug & Cassaendra 18 November, 2007 01:53  

I ended up not 'making room.' I was full until the next morning.


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