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3 ways to celebrate the Covid-wali Diwali

Diwali is here. The awesome season of festivities and celebrations for which each one of us waits for. But this Diwali will be different. We all know the reasons and can’t do much about it. 

But will the Diwali spirit be defeated by the scare of Covid? The spirit will not die but safety is paramount. 

 

The human spirit is spectacular and fights back. We have this fighting soul inside us since eternity and we have defeated many such events and come out successful. The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday issued detailed guidelines for celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although the COVID-19 curve in India appears to be bending downwards, the ground situation is still delicate in several states.The ministry has also advised people residing in such areas to observe festivals inside their homes and not move out. Read the entire SOP here

We need to ensure all precautions are taken care of, we maintain social distance, wear masks, wash hands etc. With safety being most important, here are the top 3 ways to celebrate Diwali and other celebrations

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  1. Stay indoors with family, order hygienic food and sweets 

The best way to celebrate this festival is to stay indoors with your loved ones. Cherish this time and enjoy the company. Food is a very important part of the festivities. But is it safe to order food from outside? 

 

As per the World Health Organisation, here are some answers to the common questions. The link for the entire list of questions is here

Can I get COVID-19 from eating fresh foods, like fruits and vegetables?

There is currently no evidence that people can catch COVID-19 from food, including fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet and their consumption should be encouraged.

 

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 live on the surface of food packaging?

Coronaviruses need a live animal or human host to multiply and survive and cannot multiply on the surface of food packages. It is not necessary to disinfect food packaging materials, but hands should be properly washed after handling food packages and before eating

 

WHO has also issued guidelines for food businesses also. Most of the food delivery companies are following hygiene regulations and practices to ensure safety of customers

2. Book a villa and take entire family there 

Another significant trend is to take the entire family in a remote drive away location and have celebrations there. There are multiple hotels who are offering large discounts for larger bookings. The practices followed by the hotels such as Taj, Oberoi etc are strong and ensure safety of guests 

 

Another trend is to hire a villa and park the entire family there. The family orders food from outside and carries sweets along. Sweets are a must for Diwali and some selections like Almond Barfi, Laddoos, are fabulous choices which remain fresh and can be carried along 

 

Chiccee’s unique food grade packaging and selection of sweets are a great helpful manner in which sweets can be carried along. There is a wide range of hygienically prepared and high quality sweets available and booking is already open for Diwali. 

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Diwali virtual

3. Celebrate Virtual Diwali 

The annual Diwali celebrations in Northampton will be going virtual for its 20th year in November because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Northampton Diwali celebrations are a worldwide noteworthy event which is followed. 

The Festival of Lights will not be taking over the Market Square with a puppet-led parade, performances and lights switch-on ceremony for the first time since 1989. 

 

Here is how the 2019 celebrations looked like 

Technology comes to the rescue here and hence the virtual festival becomes a possibility.

Lastly, we wish the highest health with the festivities adding more zing and frollic to each of our lives.

6 most popular wedding sweets trends of the season

Weddings season is here and with that begins all the madness of shopping, making lists ,selecting , zeroing in ,distribution of cards and sweets .Indian weddings and sweets goes hands in hands.We Indians have a sweet tooth and everyone look forward for the box of mithai which comes along with the invitation card. These sweets are a token of love and respect for the people we invite. Here’s a look at some of the most popular wedding sweets trends of the season:

1) Quintessential Traditional sweets packaged in a modern style Authentic Indian traditional sweets are the most appreciated  and come under the “Always-in” sweets category. India is a land of diversity. We have a rich heritage of food and sweets. To name a few sweets which never goes old fashioned are – motichoor laddoo,besan laddoo,Jodhpuri laddoo,Barfi,kaju katli,Peda,Bengali rasgulla etc – when these authentic tasting delicacies are packaged in new age style loaded packaging, the impact is magical.

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fusion mithai

2) Fusion sweets-For people who look for something out of the box,go for fusion sweets.A combination Of Authentic Indian And Western sweets.Today the confectioners in India are experimenting and recreating  many  Indian desserts .Indo western sweets are very much in demand.Gulab Jamun Cheesecake,Motichoor Rabri Parfrait,Besan chocolate fudge,Thandai mousse cake,Apple crumble jalebi,Chocolate gujiya,Blueberry laddos,kiwi barfi ,Carrot halwa cake are some of the popular Fusion sweets.

3) Exotic Flavoured Dry fruits-New trend round the corner is to give healthy dry fruits in a more creative way. Exotic flavoured dry fruits look classy ,taste yummy  and have a longer shelf life . There is a huge variety of flavours -Roasted ,salted ,sugar coated, sweet honey , caramel coated ,cafe mocha,chocolate coated,paan flavoured ,spicy paprika or smoky barbecue. Adding extra seasoning to nuts  delivers the diverse taste to nuts and is an absolute delight to gift as a wedding favour.These are packed nicely in glass jars or vibrant colored pouches or potlis and are in huge demand for wedding gifting .

Walnuts

 

4) Bite Size sweets- Another trend of the wedding season is to go for small bite size sweets .Quick to grab sweets,eaten in one go,smaller in portion but bigger in flavour. So small is new revolution-mini size laddoo,mini brownie bites,mini barfi -small bites gives a sense of freedom and enjoyment of eating sweets,without the guilt of having too many extra calories at one go.

chiccee packaging

5) Packaging plays a crucial role–  The most upcoming trends in wedding gifts packaging are using Goodie Baskets,Potlis,colourful Khurja designer crockery,Jute bags decorated with flowers or other themes ,beautiful silver thalis,Gilt wedding boxes.A personalised satin ribbon with your name printed on it brings a unique way of presenting the gift and gives a personal touch.These days people also go for classy  bird cages. There are a variety of sizes and colours available in it and one can pack goodies of your choice inside (dry fruits, exotic sweets,chocolates, or a candle inside).Also small old antique trunks painted in colorful patterns  are used to create an interesting packaging option. These vintage boxes/trunks can be used later to keep their essentials . These packaging options truly make the guests happy and impressed and you can even customise them as you like. Fill your dream here and it can be fulfilled at no extra cost

6) Edible crockery-Edible Cutlery products are a latest food trend in weddings ,be it for gifting or wedding buffets.It is such a cool concept – Eat with it and then eat it too.These cutleries are environment-friendly, biodegradable and  plastic-free. All the products are made from millets, grains, pulses and spices . These cutlery are healthy-rich in fibre and protein.Even if discarded, they decompose easily within five to six days .

 

Because Sweets form such an integral part of our personalities in India, we are Chiccee are totally crazy and passionate about getting the authentic recipes, using the best ingredients and using food-grade, biodegradable packaging for all our products.

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Magic of Karah Prasad

As  a child ,I always looked forward to visiting the Gurudwara with my Sikh friends. Honestly, as a kid, the charm was less spiritual but more for that divine taste of Karah prasad, which each one would get after meeting Babaji

Like most prasads in every shrine, the karah prasad (which is basically a wheat based halwa) is heavenly. 

One can feel the taste of love and devotion in each bite of that prasad. After ardaas,when one  comes out of darbaar(main hall), the Sewadar serves everybody  a dollop of  hot aromatic karha prasad in our cupped hands. This Karah prasad is sooooo hot and  yumm, that as a child, we used to  go again and queue up to get another serving of it.

Gurudwara golden temple
Karah prasad being served with love

The Gurudwara Karah prasad is really special and slightly different from what we make as halwa at home.

Have you ever wondered what makes it like that?

Let’s dive in to know why it’s so delicious and difficult to satiate with just one serving

Its love all the way

Firstly it’s a prasad, so it is made with utmost love and is surely a food blessed by the Guru. The prasad is served from the same bowl to everyone and is shared out among all in equal proportions . It is a symbol of equality -showing that everyone is same and equal in God’s house. Prasad served with equality, devotion and blessings is truly special.

The ingredients matter

Secondly, the texture Of Kada Prasad is different from what we make at home-reason being it is made of wheat (Atta)instead of suji. Also the wheat flour that they use is more grainy and coarse. An especially milled wheat flour that is unrefined (not processed) is used to make halwa in Gurudwaras. There are multiple benefits of unrefined wheat flour

Also, a generous amount of good quality ghee is used in making Karah prasad  Using the right proportion of Ghee is very important for  the melt-in-mouth  halwa texture. It would turn out dry if an adequate amount of ghee is not used. Many households in India prepare ghee at home which is pure and unadulterated

aata, flour made from whole wheat

The method with patience pays off

Thirdly, Karah prasad is made by slow roasting. It is the key step in making a perfect  golden brown color halwa. Slow roasting  and a continuous stirring in a thick bottom huge pan ensures even browning. Also,the more it is slowly roasted, the better the flavor and color of the halwa. Apart from this slow roasting as a technique is claimed to have several health benefits. This process requires a lot of patience.It is rightly said that cooking is an art – patience is the star ingredient in cooking and also in life.

Gurudwara served karah prasad or halwa

Balance and proportion creates magic

Lastly it has the same amount of whole-wheat flour, clarified butter and sugar -the proportion is 1:1:1:3 ratio of wheat flour, ghee, sugar and water respectively. It is believed the proportion is kept same to emphasize the equality of men and women.

It is amazing how rich the Indian culture is, such that even a prasad has so many messages to give. It signifies equality of gender, no discrimination, patience and virtue. Such prasad not only heals the body but purifies the mind and soul as well 

May we continue feeding on the blessings and Karah prasad of Babaji, forever.

The awesome guilt-free dessert

Meetha hai par Protein se bhara

Laxmi ji ka favorite hai and Dada ka pyara

Is ke upar iSRO ki research going on

Children’s day pe hota ye full on

We all love it to the moon

Let’s see who guesses this soon !

Rasgulla or Roshogulla or Rasagulla is a soft, melt in mouth delicacy. The word ‘ras’ means juice and ‘gulla’ means sphere/ball. There are many interesting facts about this soft, syrupy sweet cheese balls. Let’s spill the beans:-

A sweet with a good nutritional value

Rasgulla is one of  the best desserts to have as it is not deep fried and is made with fresh and wholesome ingredients. Rasgullas are prepared from chenna/ cottage cheese when milk is curdled. Rasgullas are loaded with proteins (essential amino acids) , calcium and phosphorus which are necessary for  maintaining bone health and overall health. (Why amino acids are important for our body?) Chhena has a good amount of phosphorus which helps in digestion and maintaining a healthy gut. (Recipe to make Chhena at home) So when consumed as a snack in moderation,rasgulla is a healthy and guilt-free dessert.

Rasgulla
Jagannath ji feeding Laxmi ji with Rasgulla to please her

Stories from Odisha

The people from Odisha believe that it’s their culinary invention which way back 700 years. There are many interesting stories behind it.  According to a very famous mythological story, once Lord Jagannath along with his brother and sister went on a nine-day Rath Yatra .Goddess Lakshmi (wife of Lord Jagannath ) got upset with her husband for not taking her along . She locked the entrance of the temple to not let her husband from entering it. To woo his upset wife, Lord Jagannath offered her rasgullas. Ever since then this ritual is performed and rasgulla is offered as a Prasad to the Goddess on the last day of Rath Yatra. The ritual is called Niladri Bije(last day of Rath yatra in Puri) Lord Jagganath’s return to Shree Mandir. Picture credit to Devdutt Patnaik

Stories from West Bengal

A Kolkata-based confectioner Nobin Chandra Das invented spongy white  rubbery Bengali rasgulla in the year 1868. He is known as the “Columbus of Rasgulla “.He never patented his recipe and trained many people preparing this recipe. His white Spongy Rasagola soon  became popular worldwide as a Bengali delicacy.There are many other anecdotes which tells that rasgulla existed in West Bengal .Read more here 

Inventor of Rasgulla, Columbus of Rasgulla
Odisha's brown Rasagola and Bengal's Roshogulla

Tug of war between West bengal and Odissha

For years,  there was a battle between West Bengal and Odisha for the GI tag ( to claim to the  origin of the Rasgulla – What is GI tag?). In 2017 West Bengal was granted GI tag for ‘Banglar Rosogulla’ for its white spongy rosogulla whereas in 2019 Odisha also got the GI tag for ‘Odisha Rasagola’ or the Odisha variant of rasagulla (brown and extremely soft).  A Geographical Indication (GI) tag identifies a product as originating from a particular region

Invention of vaccum canned Rasgulla

In 1930,KC Das son of Nobin Chandra Das,  created the vaccum canned rasgulla .The rasgullas were canned and exported to different countries  and thus gained popularity across the globe too.A lot of research is going on to prepare dehydrated canned rasgulla to be used as space food by ISRO.

Rasgulla Day : A Dedicated day for Rasgulla

It shares the space with the Children’s day and the birthday anniversary of Chacha Nehru

After getting GI by  both the states for their versions of rasgullas-these states celebrate Rasagola day.I n Odishha people celebrate  Rasagola Dibasa’ at the end of Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra and  in West Bengal , November 14  is dedicated to observe ‘Rosogolla Day’ 

 

Whether it’s Rasagulla or Roshogulla both are absolute delight to your taste buds and you won’t regret eating both.To get the authentic taste of Rasgulla or  the extended family members of the sweet syrupy dumpling (Rasmalai,chamcham,Kheer khadam/kheer mohan,Madan mohan or gulukand rasgulla) order fast at www.chiccee.com

Story of Modakpriya Ganapati

Lord Ganesha is also called as “Modakpriya” for his immense love for the sweet – Modak. There are many interesting stories behind Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet modak. This story comes from mythology unlike the story of Gulab Jamun which is from Mughal era

modak

According to a  mythological story ,once the Devas  visited Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati  .They gave them a modak as a gift. It was a  special modak  with magical powers ,as whosoever consumes that modak would become knowledgeable in all scriptures, science, art and writing.Both of their sons -Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartik wanted it .So Goddess Parvati  gave them a challenge to prove the true meaning of sincerity and devotion and the one who wins  will get the Modak.

They both agreed – Lord Kartik immediately mounted his Vahana, or vehicle, and started visiting all the spiritual places ,whereas Lord Ganesha took three rounds of his parents, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati showing it to be the ultimate devotion. Goddess Parvati  was impressed by Lord Ganesha’s devotion towards his parents .She then gave the Modak to Lord Ganesha.

This story  is believed to be the reason for Lord Ganesha’s love for Modak.To seek His blessings,  people offer different types of modak  as prasadam to Vinayaka during Ganesh Chaturthi .Ganesh Chaturthi celebration starts with prayers,hymns and welcoming Ganpati with  loud cheers of “Ganpati bappa morya”.  The pious period will start from 22nd Aug

The traditional ,authentic and most popular  modak is Ukadiche Modak made by people of Maharashtra.It is a dumpling ,made from rice flour or wheat flour with a sweet jaggery and coconut filling.There are fried versions too in which the dumplings are deep fried .

There are a lot of different variants of modak are seen in market now- barfi modak,  mava modak, kesar modak,sooji modak, moong dal modak,chana dal modak chocolate modak,paan modak,mango modak and cranberry modak .

Nowadays,modak bouquets are also available too which can be perfect for gifting, when you visit relatives or friends for Ganesh aarti.   

Chiccee prepares Modaks with the authentic recipe with rice flour, fresh coconut and jaggery. The pieces are made with mild sugar level and the flavours are pleasing to the tongue that one can’t stop at only one. You can try these for FREE if you like – on account of Ganeshotsav – Click here for registering

 

Ganesh chaturthi  is around the corner and it’s the time to impress Lord Ganesha  with  delicious varieties of modak .Order fast for authentic modak and get good discounts too.

ganesh-chaturthi

Story of Gulab Jamun

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Gulab jamun is one of the most popular sweet dishes of India that is enjoyed best on special occasions and festivals.

 

Do you know that these sinful, small fried balls were first prepared by Shah Jahan’s royal chef, who took inspiration from Persian/Turkish traditions.

 

This delicacy is very much similar to an Arabic dessert named Luqmat-Al-Qadi. They modified the recipe using khoya mixed with flour and knead into a dough. Then it is formed into small balls and deep fried. This dessert got popularity during the Mughal era and was later called Gulab Jamun, and was renamed using Persian words gul (flower), ab (water), and jamun (Indian fruit with similar shape & size).

Super healthy snack- Dhokla

Do you know that famous Gujrati snack “Dhokla” has immense health benefits. It is a fermented and steamed snack -made with gram flour (besan).

 

The fermentation of the flour causes the growth of good micro-organisms, which in turn break down complex protein, carbohydrates and fats in it to more easily assimilated molecules.

 

Fermented foods also increase the bioavailability of nutrients like folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, biotin and Vitamin K.

 

Thus fermentation increases the nutritive value and enable a healthy gut flora. Since it’s a steamed snack, Dhokla has significantly less calorie content than other snacks.

 

So what are you waiting for? Include this healthy, guilt free snack in your party menus or eat whenever you feel like

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Chiccee Food stories

Moong dal burfi is a great “on the go snack”.

A very healthy alternative to junk food.Moong dal being rich in protein,magnesium and calcium-this snack can strengthen and nourish the bone tissues.

Also it is very good snack for fussy children who don’t like to eat dals-good way to include protein in diet.

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