Diwali is associated with three things in India: Clay lamps and strings of light illuminating every household, praying to Lakshmi – the goddess of wealth and prosperity, and finally, devouring Indian sweets.
Diwali celebrates the triumph of good versus evil, Lord Rama over demon Ravana, and our favorite, sweet over salty. Sweets are closely associated to festivals because families prepare them as offerings to God. Once blessed, they are then distributed to family and friends to celebrate.
Diwali marks the start of a new Hindu year. Celebrated for five days, it starts off with cleaning and praying to Yamaraja – the Lord of Death, and ends with brothers visiting sisters.
Indian sweets are intensely flavored. They’re either soaked in clarified butter, dipped in sugar syrup, or packed with nuts.
In northern India they reduce cow’s milk into Mawa or Khoya – similar to cottage cheese, it’s an ingredient to many sweets like Burfi and Halwa.
Bengal is famous for their sweets, and nothing says sweet like Rasgulla. Rasgulla is cottage cheese balls that are cooked in a sugar syrup.