Two weeks ago was the celebration of Deepavali or Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, which marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year according to the Lunar calendar. This holiday is celebrated by Hindus to mark the victory of good over evil.
I never heard of Deepavali until I met Wayne, the co-president of the Malaysian and Singaporean Student Association (MASSA). He is also the undergraduate student in my research group which I am currently supervising. I had the chance of experiencing this holiday as well as the food that was prepared. The best way to learn how to cook the food, is to experience the cooking at someone's place. I went to two homes of the association's executives.
My first stop was at Wayne's place with another MASSA executive member Cher Tieng which they showed me papadums, a thin crispy Indian tortilla. Papads (raw papadums) are generally made of Udal Dal, a type of bean which are grind to make bean flour. Once papads come into contact with hot oil, they expand rapidly and are set within 20 seconds. Here is a video on my astonishment of cooking papadums:
My second stop was at Siva's place, also the co-president of MASSA. He made spicy mutton curry. There are several versions of this dish, depending on the spices used and the person who cooks it. This spicy mutton curry is hearty, saucy and full of flavours: a dish where sweet, spicy, salty, tangy, and citrus ingredients are well harmonized. You can find the spicy mutton recipe on Food.com.
|Spices and aromatics for the spicy curry mutton.|
|Banana leaves on serving plate.|
|Papadums and Raita. The raita consists of yogurt, cucumber and onions.|
|Spicy curry mutton for 60 people.|
|A palate cleanser made of soy milk and chin chow (grass jellies).|