Namaste and welcome
I’m starting today’s newsletter with a greeting from India. It’s one year today since I arrived in Delhi for a colourful four week adventure which culminated in the marriage of my daughter to a young man from Assam.
Today is also the eve of Diwali, a Festival of Lights and one of the main religious celebrations listed on the Indian calendar. Diwali is a celebration of new beginnings, and of good triumphing over evil, however it is much more than that, importantly, it is an opportunity for people to come together for joyful celebrations with family and friends. The celebrations are often peppered with twinkling lights, fireworks, dancing, music, the exchange of gifts, sweets and sharing delicious food. Much like our Christmas, Diwali is celebrated over 4-5 days and Indians will put everything on hold to enjoy one big party.
A welcome to India gift presented to my husband and I when
we were greeted by our host at Indira Gandhi airport, Delhi.
As a nod to the Diwali festivities, today I visited a favourite neighbourhood bakery called Flour Shop to purchase a flaky Chai spiced slice with boozy rum cream, and a buttery Danish topped with ‘Shrikhand’, a creamy cardamom yoghurt and freshly sliced mango. Both of these decadent delights were enjoyed during a summer afternoon hailstorm, and for a moment I felt like I had been swept up in a torrent of Indian monsoon rain. If only I could get my hands on a cooked deep fried Jalebi coated in sugar syrup, my afternoons indulgence would be complete. If you’d like to go on a visual journey of some more of these bakers indulgent treats, you might like to follow along on Instagram @flourshopau
Tomorrow I will celebrate Diwali and a birthday with my family at Masala Theory, a hip cafe in Surry Hills. This cosy restaurant showcases India’s whimsical side with colourful wall murals depicting scenes from India, stacked metal lunch containers, an illuminated bicycle, and signs written with Indian sayings. Traditional Indian food is given a modern twist in the way it is served with a touch of creativity. It is both a cultural and visual sensory feast and a dancing delight for the tastebuds. The infamous ‘curry bombs’ are not to be missed and can be seen along with many other beautifully presented dishes on Instagram @masalatheory
During the week I listened to an episode of a great business podcast called My Daily Business Coach hosted by the lovely warm and friendly Fiona Killackey. In this episode Fiona chats with Vatsala Murthy from Indian Goods Company about what Indian design means to her, some of the ‘costs’ associated with running an ethical business, and the importance of sharing stories about contemporary Indian culture and art through her products. You can listen to this episode (46) of the podcast here.
Last, but not least I would like to share a simple recipe for sweet fudgy Coconut Laddoos you might like to prepare as a gift or treat for yourself or a friend to celebrate Diwali. The recipe is a culinary creation by Reethika Singh, an award winning food photo journalist and recipe developer living in Bangalore. Reethika can be found on her Instagram account @cupcakeree where her feed is a sensual delight of beautifully styled photographs of food she creates in her home kitchen.
The recipe for Coconut Laddoos, containing only four ingredients, can be found here.
Until next time, may your days be both serendipitous and enjoyable.