Vegetarian Concoctions

October 23, 2006

Happy Deepavali – Good wishes and a request!

Filed under: Diwali, Ginger, Roots, herbs and spices — Hema @ 2:43 pm

To all Tams out there – “Deebavali Vazhthukkal – Ganga snanam aacha?”, to the Hindi speaking junta – “Diwali ki shubhkamanayen” and to the Gujus – “Saal Mubaarak”. Since, these are the only three language I can communicate in, its “A very Happy Diwali” to the rest of you. Now, would you do me a favour? Could you leave me a comment wishing me back in your mother tongue and also specify the language you speak (It doesn’t necessarily have to be an Indian language)?  This will serve as a reference for me and many of you who would like to leave comments to our fellow-bloggers for the next year.

So! it is that time of the year again – Lights, fireworks, bakshanams(treats), new garments and loads of FUN!!! For those of you who have read my last post may remember that I had managed to get a solemn promise from my MIL that I would be the one handling the stove and she would be the one dispensing recipes. Well, I guess it was too much to ask:) She made Mysore pak, and Thattai while I was at work and they are just amazing. Let me get straight to the point and take you to my table right away.Here is what I have for you…



Sweets – Mysore Pak(MIL), Gulab jamun, Gajar halva, Badam Halva(FIL)

Savoury – Mixture, Thenguzhal, Ribbon pakoda, Thattai(MIL)

And my entry to JFI for Diwali treats – Deepavali marundu (marundu is Tamil for medicine).



The bakshanams for diwali can vary every year, but traditionally, one item that is always made at home is the marundu. A small ball of this sweet and spicy concoction is important to prevent/cure the indigestions caused by the different treats you gobble up at a steady rate through-out the day.  (p.s this lets you get out and enjoy the fireworks and not visit the restroom more often than necessary; – sorry- just had to put this in). Anyway, jokes aside, here is the recipe for Deepavali marundu. I have the names of ingredients in Tamil and will soon find out the names with which they are more commonly called and also post a picture of all the herbs/barks/spices.

Sukku (dry ginger) – 2 medium pieces

Athimadhuram – 1 bit

Kandathippili – 7-8 bits

Arisithippili – 1 tbsp

Chittarathai – 1 bit

Molagu (Black pepper)- 3 tsp

Omam (Ajwain) – 1 tbsp

Sombu (saunf/flennel seeds) – 1 tsp

Jadikkai – 1 tiny bit

Jadi patri – 1 tiny bit

Elaichi (cardamom) – 4

Cloves – 4

Cinnamon – 2 small pieces

Jaggery – amount as mentioned in the method

Honey – 2 tsp

Ghee – 3-4 tbsp

Put the dry ingredients in a cloth/paper towel and beat with a hammer. Then dry-grind the ingredients. It is important to beat it up first since some of them are too hard to be dealt with the grinder as is. Sieve the ground mixture and again dry grind anything that did not pass through the sieve. Repeat the process 2-3 times. Mix the sieved powder with a little bit of water to get a lump. Now, grate and measure up an equal amount of jaggery. In a pan, put a tbsp of ghee and the jaggery and heat till the jaggery dissolves fully and bubbles up in the sides. Add another tbsp of ghee and add the marundu ingredients. keep stiring till it leaves the sides. Add another tbsp of ghee if it sticks to the bottom during the stiring process. Before taking it off the stove add the honey. The marundu will harden up after cooling as any other sweet. So make sure you take it out what it is still soft and workable.

I know what most of you are thinking right now. Is it absolutely necessary to use all the above ingredients? Well no. I have a very simple recipe for making it with what you would have handy all the time.

Grated fresh ginger – 1/2 cup

Ajwain – 3 tbsp

Black pepper – 1 tbsp

Mix the ajwain and pepper, powder and dry roast for 5 minutes. Add 2 tbsp ghee to a pan and roast ginger. Mix the powdered indredients to the ginger and grind. Do not sieve. Rest of the process is as above. Add jaggery in equal amout to the ground mixture. You could use any other spice (except dry ginger) that is called for in the original recipe if you have it in hand. Simple?

Rest of the recipes will follow……….




  1. Holy Moly!!!!

    Darn right , you need that medicine after eating all of those goodies!!!

    Happy Diwali and thank you for participating!!!

    Comment by Vee — October 23, 2006 @ 2:54 pm

  2. WOW!! You came out with the full force!!YUM!!

    Comment by Asha — October 23, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  3. Hardhika Deepavali Shubhakankshalu ! (Heartfelt/Whole-hearted Deepavali Wishes)in Telugu. The whole festive spread looks AWESOME Hema. My, I really wish I were there. And you know what, the one thing I really missed was the marundhu, all the other sweets and savouries I knew I could re-create..but not this one. I will probably get the ready-made mix u get at stores from my next India trip. Will try your quick-fix until then 🙂 Thank you.

    And the ‘b’ in Deepavali, did get me smiling end-to-end. My frnds mom(tam) would say “Hema, Badma Briya vandhuruka paaru ” !!(Incidently, my frnds name is Hema too !) ..hahaha

    Comment by Priya — October 23, 2006 @ 10:49 pm

  4. Deepavali panduga subhakankshalu! That’s greetings for the Deepavali festival, in Telugu. _ Sra

    Comment by sra — October 24, 2006 @ 5:15 am

  5. Subh Deepavali (happy deepavali) or .. Diwalichya Hardik shubhecha (warm wishes for diwali)- (in Marathi)

    Comment by Manasi — October 25, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  6. Wish I could get food in Kharagpur. :(. But I make sure I atleast drool on reading this blog.


    Good work 🙂

    Comment by Curiousmoron — October 25, 2006 @ 11:41 pm

  7. Saal mubarak Hema (Gujurati… it means, happy new year) 🙂

    Comment by Rooma — October 26, 2006 @ 9:56 pm

  8. I am late,still Deepavali subhasasakal Hema ! ( Mallu !!)

    Comment by Archana — October 28, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

  9. When I lived in Singapore I was introduced to a few celebrations and Deepavali was one of them. It is a national holiday and every year I waited for this festival of lights. I have a few Indian friends who got me interested in this amazing festival. Little India, as it is known in Singapore, comes alive for this festival. I did a post (Oct.23) on it so my friends and family back home will learn a bit about it. A lovely festival, indeed! Cheers, Heather

    Comment by Heather Chase — November 3, 2006 @ 8:38 pm

  10. happy diwali to my sweet laxmi

    Comment by mallibabu — November 9, 2007 @ 12:02 am

  11. Happy Diwali!
    My native language is English and am learning about other cultures.

    May good overcome evil for you and your family in the new year!

    Comment by Sherri — October 17, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  12. Hi, hema! Wonderful and comprehensive post with complete recipes which look so do-able. Thanks. And, your little girl must have looked like an angel in that lovely pink silk dress!
    I made the easy verdsion of the marundu but found two-three tblspns of ajwain to be too much-mmay be just one tablespoon or one and onehalf will do for me.
    Thanks, again, Hema.

    Comment by Molly Lakshman — November 30, 2010 @ 10:02 am

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