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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

Happy holidays from Arvinda’s

Wishing you 'turmeric wishes' for a bright, happy, healthy and loveful holiday season!

Wishing you ‘turmeric wishes’ for a bright, happy, healthy and loveful holiday season!

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Chai Spice Medjool Date mitai using Arvinda's Chai Masala

Chai Spice Medjool Date mitai using Arvinda’s Chai Masala

Over the weekend we celebrated Diwali, India’s festival of lights. The celebrations are vibrant, joyous and lit with illuminated tiny lamps called diyas. It is a custom to cook many varieties of snacks and sweets and share them with loved ones.

Although this is the only time of year we eat specific Indian sweets (this is definitely a time of year for treats!) I wanted to make something different as well as “healthy”, if you can call a sweet treat that! Maybe the word I’m looking for is healthier than the typical syrupy and overly sugary Indian mithai (sweets) we often indulge in.

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nutmegcopyThis February, create a warming Valentine’s menu for a loved one using Indian spices known for their mood-enhancing properties.

Here are five common spices used in Indian cooking that do just that!

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Roasted Indian Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Sadly this year I didn’t get the chance to carve my Hallowe’en pumpkin. Just before hurricane Sandy hit a couple of days before Hallowe’en, we were in New York for the weekend. All the the flights out of the state were cancelled and Hallowe’en week didn’t end up happening. With the disaster coming around the holiday, surely Hallowe’en got cancelled in NY and New Jersey this year.

One month later, my Hallowe’en pumpkin was still sitting in my kitchen (uneaten!). Today’s Thanksgiving holiday for our friends in the South reminded me it was a good day to start cooking with that pumpkin.

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Diwali, India’s Festival of Lights is not complete without an indulgence of delicious foods!

Nan Katai (Khatai) is Indian shortbread. This recipe uses Arvinda’s Chai Masala for an aromatic accent.

Recently, I had a conversation with Nadine Sharon Anglin for Canadian Living about Diwali foods.

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At Diwali, tiny lamps are lit in homes and on the streets.

As we speak, celebrations in India are on now for Diwali, the festival of lights with people exchanging sweets, rejoicing and indulging.

Diwali’s significance is manifold, including the celebration of good over evil and the worship of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu deity of wealth and prosperity. In north and central India, Diwali festivities signify Lord Rama, King of Ayodhya’s return after 14 years of exile after his victory over evil king Ravana. It was a row of tiny lit lamps that showed Lord Rama his way home to the kingdom of Ayodhya.

Although Diwali has a different significance to the many cultures in India, its message is universal and simple.

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Strawberry Rose Masala Chai - for two!


For many years we’ve taught a festive Valentine’s Indian cooking class menu laced with beautiful, aromatic Indian spices. I always end the cooking class with a sweetheart of treat — Strawberry Rose Masala Chai. It’s velvety smooth, spicy and sweet and a beautiful ending to an Indian meal.

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