Diwali is a special occasion in the Hindu community, bringing lights, fireworks and many families together. Kriya says this is really important to her because her family is able to spend time together.
Kriya says her earliest memories of the celebrations is her mother, aunts and grandmothers cooking up a storm and the wonderful smells from the kitchen.
Inspired by them, she says she also loves to cook.
“They were my easiest inspirations but no one can cook as good as their grandmother,” she jokes, adding that her love for baking might exceed her love for cooking.
Just as in childhood, lending a hand in the kitchen, this Diwali her mother and grandmother are going to be as helpful too.
When The Citizen spoke to Kriya, she was already shopping for ingredients.
“A week in advance, we already start cooking, thinking about the starters, mains and desserts. On the day, when everyone comes over, we do a late lunch with some favourites such as mutton curry and a few fireworks make it a bit more festive too.”
Her favourite dishes include sweet treats such as biscuits and her brother’s favourite – mutton curry.
Kriya’s mutton curry:
1kg lamb on the bone (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 large onions (finely sliced)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 tomato (chopped into small cubes or grated)
1 sachet tomato paste
¼ cup cooking oil
3 – 4 medium-sized potatoes
1 tsp ginger and garlic paste
salt to taste
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons chilli powder (or more)
2 teaspoons curry powder (add more if you prefer a stronger/pungent curry)
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 green chillies (slit)
1 sprig curry leaves
¼ bunch chopped coriander (to garnish)
1. Braise onion in oil until golden brown.
2. Add ginger and garlic paste and stir. Then add washed and drained meat.
3. Add chilli powder, curry powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Toss until meat is well coated.
4. Add salt and allow to ‘fry’ on a low heat for at least 10 minutes, tossing at intervals.
5. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and allow to cook until tomatoes are softened. Then add potatoes and a bit of water (1/2 cup or more) and allow to cook on medium to low heat until potatoes cooked.