Diwali or Dipawali is one of the biggest and most important holidays in the Indian calendar year. The festival gets its name from the array (vali) of clay lamps (deepa) that are lit and placed outside homes. This symbolizes the victory of good over evil and light before darkness. With the passage of time, Diwali has gained national significance and is celebrated across the country with equal vigor. The Festival of Lights is equally enjoyed by non-Hindu communities, over a span of two days.
However, things are different this time around. With the Covid-19 pandemic still at large, there is no doubt that a traditional celebration will lead to a huge surge in cases. Practicing social distancing is important not just for our own well-being, but also for our responsibility towards society. Simply by doing our own part and staying home, we can help to drive away from the unpleasant virus. So this year, we must improvise and adapt to make the most of the festive season at home, with our loved ones. Despite larger gatherings, being out of the equation, it’s not all bad. One can still look forward to the bright new clothes, platefuls of mouth-watering delicacies, and of course, the vibrant, dazzling atmosphere. One can order delicious, safely prepared meals from the Karma Kettle Tearoom and enjoy the time at home with loved ones.
While we’re on the subject, let us pledge to celebrate Diwali, in a greener, environmentally responsible manner. This means saying no to crackers and taking a stand against the hostile work environment that children are put in, in cracker factories, to meet the huge demand. Moreover, doing our part to prevent air pollution. Instead, let us use the money to help those in need and light up their faces with bright smiles, and celebrate Diwali the right way.
Coming back to the festive attractions, one of the season’s specials is Bhog that is served in pandals and at home in Kaali Puja. Bhog is the most traditional form of Bengali food. It is served for free to all those attending the puja. It is an auspicious part of the festival as it serves the community and at the same time is an offering to the Goddess. Typically, bhog is a vegetarian dish with the key component being ‘bhoger khichuri’. Some vegetables that are present in the bhog are- brinjal, cauliflower, potatoes, and other types of mixed vegetables. Finally, to top off this delectable traditional meal, sweet dishes like the payesh or mishtidoi is served and enjoyed.
As long as we’re on the subject of specials, what better way to wash down the bhog than with rich, delicious tea that awakens the spirit of festivities within you. The irresistible caramel aroma and the creamy finish of the Nolen Gur chai is a must-try this Puja. The sweetness of jaggery and dates will leave you wanting more.
Some other Karma Kettle recommendations for the season are-
Paan Chai - Paan Chai gives off a strong aroma of betel leaves, spices, and fennel. This unusual combination of premium CTC leaves along with assorted Indian spices will delight your senses. This healthy infusion is the drink to have after filling up on festive delicacies, as it helps with digestion.
Masala Tea - Our Masala Tea is a delicious harmony of spices, milk, and tea which has a very distinct aroma and taste. Moreover, the numerous health benefits of the masala tea due to the ginger, cinnamon, and clove make it a good choice keeping in mind the threats of the Covid-19 pandemic.