Tuesday, October 28, 2008


O Ram! The light of lights, the self-luminous inner light of the Self is ever shining steadily in the chamber of your heart. Sit quietly. Close your eyes. Withdraw the senses. Fix the mind on this supreme light and enjoy the real Deepavali, by attaining illumination of the soul.

Yes, Diwali the festival of lights...the homecoming of Lord Rama..and the beginning of the new year for the Hindus. So I was all busy,like many of my clan, in cleaning up the household.Every nook and corner cleaned and lit.Its a no-moon night, yet the lights of the world make this the brightest night of the year.

Here in Hong Kong, away from home and family (though they all call and send letters and cards which give a warm touch in this age of emails), it still does seem a little forlorn..no crackers( I was the daring one at home bursting the most dangerous looking 'bombs'...alas!) ,no diyas inside the house (fire alram !!)....however, alongwith the other Indians here, I shared the good cheer with my Chinese and Cantonese(HongKong Residents) friends too.

I gave them sweets that I especially made for the occassion. Jasmine Green tea and Coffee Marble cake and my favourite- Narkel Nadu. This is a humble benagli delicacy.Does not require too much of expensive ingredients.Its sweet coconut laddu with jaggery. The former dessert was an authentic and complete innovation...infact a tad bit of forced creativity...lol. Will talk about it at length in my next post. :-)

I love playing hostess and serving up delights to my friends and family. Quite a few times I have had bizarre requests of people who want to be my house guest/house arrest(whichever way as long as they are being fed) for atleast a month...lol.Infact when I was in Florida (USA), I was cooking for people at my place during Diwali and then again at their place when we went for Halloween and Thanksgiving...lol. It would be amusing if I mentioned that I had even offered food to my now husband, when I had first met him in the States! Thats another story though. '-)I attribute this from seeing my grandma (nani) and ma(mom) playing gracious hostessess, in my growing up years in Kolkata.

Both the sweets were so very well appreciated that I was overwhelmed. The Narkel Nadu was from my "place of birth" and the green tea and coffee delicacy was inspired from my "current place of stay". They looked so much in harmony, sitting on the plate, when I presented them to my guests, accompanied with some beguni and palak pakode.

Narkel Nadu
1 tbsp ghee/clarified butter
150 gms desiccated coconut (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups crushed jaggery
2 tbsp white (plain) sugar
1 tbsp coconut milk

In a deep pan(wok), heat the ghee. Now put the coconut and fry a little on low flame.

Tip:Be careful not to burn the coconut. Keep moving the coconut with a wooden spoon.

When the coconut leaves a little moisture and its nutty aroma(about after 30-40 seconds), add
the broken jaggery pieces and the sugar. Set the flame to medium.
The heat will melt the jaggery and the sugar. This is the labour intensive part. Quickly keep mixing the coconut and the jaggery together, till it becomes one sticky brown chocolate colour mixture.
(The mixing action can be tough as the mixture will be sticky.)
Now, add the coconut milk and mix further.
Remove from heat. Cool for about a minute. And start making ping pong sized balls with the mixture, while it is still a little warm. The mixture won't stick to your palms, but it will feel a little warm.

Store in a sealed jar. It has a long shelf life (as no water is involved in cooking it).

N.B. If you do not find jaggery, you can sunstitute it with brown sugar/palm sugar. It tastes
equally good. Almost toffee like. Enjoy!

P.S. This ones for you Sudeshna ("Here I Cook") ! For Event of the month on her blog-"Satisfy your Sweet Tooth". Trsut me I did...lol.

Also Sudeshna has been kind enough to encourage me with The Butterfly Award. Thanks Sudeshna! My very first award. :-)


  1. Hi Navita, it was wonderful to read your comment on my blog, thank u so much for taking so much time and penning it out.
    my blog is just around half an year old, so not much experience I am though. I can tell u one thing u have a lovely blog, so continue working on this and keep on updating posts, write comments on other blogs, stumble ur posts and also be active in the blogosphere. That will be of help to bring in more hits to your blog.
    Hope this works for you and all the best for the coming times, stay in touch and I'll add u to my blog roll, hope that helps too.

  2. Kono problem nei, dekho jei word ta tumi link lagate chao, select that word and there will be an option for adding hardlink to that word in blogspot. Baas ota click kore, link ta copy paste karo natun je dialog box ta khullo, and press ok. link ta lege jabe oe word e.
    amar blog e giye click on the event logo and save it in your local system, then just upload it to the post u have sent for the event.
    i hope this works, r kono problem thakle amai mail koro bengalicuisine@gmail.com , i will b glad to help.
    And thanks a lot for sending the entry

  3. hey nice to meet you girl! will be waiting for your entry for the EH event.

    BTW lovely recipe...I have never tried these..will give it a try and nice to know more abt u :)

  4. Hey Sudeshna,
    Thank u so much...ota try korbo...taking baby steps you see :-).I need all the encouragement.

    Hi Sangeeth,
    Infact I was on your blog when I received this comment. Will be sending mmy entry for Diabetic Recipes soon! Thanks.

  5. Hi dear,
    There is a small gift on this Diwali for your effort. So check this link out http://bengalicuisine.wordpress.com/awards/

  6. Yippiieeeee my very first award. Thank you Sudeshna!

  7. Hi Navita,
    The pic looks all fine only if it was at the end of the post where u have mentioned about the event.

  8. Tomar link ta amar post e dilam as "further read". Hope you don't mind


Thank You for taking out the time to put your thoughts into words. It is appreciated. Hope I am able to keep you involved, intrigued and happy with this blog. Your views are welcome.