On a sweet note

On a sweet note

On a sweet note

For artist Radhika Raina Mukhija, ‘Raksha Bandhan’ is as special as any other festival. She loves waking up knowing that there will be plenty of gifts and food at home to celebrate the day. Once the ‘puja’ and the ‘rakhi’ tying ceremony is over, it’s straight to the sweet and savoury dishes that she runs to.

Being a married woman now, she has to be in two places at the same time — one at her husband’s home and hers. She says, “It’s a bit of a rush to be at both the places, but it’s a celebration where I get to be with both my families.” She says there would be plenty of Indian sweets like ‘gulab jamun’, ‘kaju katli’ lined up.

However, it’s the lunch or dinner that sets apart the culinary journey here.

Depending on the timing of the ‘puja’, there’s a grand feast following. She explains, “It will mainly be a vegetarian feast with dishes using whole pulses like ‘maah ki dal’ and ‘sabut moong ki dal’. There would also be ‘paneer’, ‘gobi aloo’ and some other ‘sabzi’ to go with the food. But the most important one is the dessert which is usually ‘kheer’. There’s also a dish called ‘atte ke mathri’ which is ‘atta’ and semolina mixed and deep fried that is made in a sweet and savoury form. The savoury version goes very well with some pickle.”

Like Radhika, Lokendra Parihar, an IT professional, also looks forward to the food preparations for the day. He says, “It’s usually the food that the brother likes which is prepared for the day. There will be ‘daal baati’, ‘palak paneer’, ‘badiya’ and ‘vegetarian pulao’ as part of the menu. But the specialities are the sweets that are prepared at home or bought from the store.” As his sister does not live in the city, Lokendra is looking forward to receiving the ‘rakhi’ and  other accompaniments by mail this time.

Subhasmita Panigrahi, a software engineer, satisfies her sweet tooth with ‘kala jamun’ and other delicacies on the day. She says, “It’s actually difficult to plan something for the day as I don’t have the day off from work. But I remember waiting so eagerly to have ‘mothichur ladoo’, ‘barfi’ and ‘kala jamun’ that my mother would prepare at home. I hope to make some time today and prepare something to celebrate the day. But then again, I don’t really wait for an occasion to satisfy my food cravings.” 

As for those who don’t have the time to prepare anything at home, and probably even want to try something different other than sweets, chocolate is the way to go. ‘Rage Chocolatier’ has a couple of chocolate varieties that one can purchase from.

Rashmi Vaswani, the founder, says, “As most Indian sweets are easily perishable and high in calories, many are opting for chocolates for a slightly more healthier choice. We have a ‘nut crunch bar’ and a few other flavours that one can indulge in. Some of them come in a box platter format to add that Indian touch to it.”

Even though this festival is dedicated to the brothers, they also have options for chocolates that the sister can indulge in. “It’s designed in a postbox format that has different types of chocolate as well. One can either pick it up from the store or purchase it online,” she adds.


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