Nov 5, 2007

Tikhat Shankarpale with memories of Dussera

(JFI has a special festive series going on this month to celebrate the spirit of Diwali. Inspired by Vee this month and originated from Indira, this month's JFI promises to bring lots of Diwali sweets mixed with some savory goodies. This is my contribution to JFI:Diwali in which I share my memories of a special Marathi custom and the recipe for your Diwali celebration.)

Tikhat or savory shankarpali has been my favorite Diwali snack. So much so, that I keep looking for reasons to make them. During Dussera this year, I celebrated online bhondla with a couple of friends. This group is quite instrumental and active in celebrating all Marathi festivals, and being scattered all over US, these females celebrate the festivals via online messengers. So far we have successfully celebrated e-mangalagaur, e-Ganpati, and e-bhondla.

Maharashtrians celebrate Bhondla on any day during Dussera. Newly married or unmarried girls dress up and sing special bhondla songs around an elephant drawing. The drawing is mostly made on a 'pat' or flat wooden platform. The songs are fun to sing and impossible to forget. I love humming them once in a while. I have attended numerous bhondlas in my childhood. It is one festival I used to await in the year. My building is blessed with a big playground or 'angan', so there was no problem in celebrating this sweet tradition. I remember getting ready for the bhondla wearing a pretty frock and garlands all over my hair. I remember singing the songs with my building friends and aunties. However, the most awaited and best part of the bhondla is clearly the 'khirapat' or prasad. All participating members are supposed to cook a special dish and store it in a covered dish. After the song singing, the members sit around the wooden platform and guess each other's dishes. Every member is supposed to provide clues such as whether it is a sweet/savory dish, chat item, baked item, and so on. The goodies are then distributed to everyone.

Our online bhondla celebration was a total hit; we began the celebration by singing an arti for the goddess. Next, each member sang a bhondla song. I had made tikhat shankarpale as the prasad, and within no time my friends guessed what I had made. I am not asking you to guess the recipe though:) During Diwali, we make two types of shankarpale for the faral: the sweet and the savory ones. These savory shankarpale are a great tea time snack.

Tikhat Shankarpali
(Makes a small batch of shankarpale)

  1. 1/2 cup all purpose flour/maida
  2. 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds/ova
  3. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  4. 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  5. Salt to taste
  6. 1 tsp hot oil/mohan

  1. Knead all the above ingredients in a firm dough.
  2. Cover and let sit for 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Roll the dough like a chapati and cut into squares/rhombus.

  5. Fry each piece in oil and drain on paper towel.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
Though Bhondla has become a not-so-popular tradition and people are soon forgetting it, there are a lot of people making efforts to save it from becoming extinct. Marathi mandals across Pune and Thane have organized mass bhondlas involving 100 or more people. I am definitely going to take efforts to see to it that this tradition stays alive. I had an excellent time celebrating this online bhondla, the only problem was I could not share my savory snacks with my dear friends.

A very Happy and Prosperous Diwali to all my readers! May the new year bring happiness, light, knowledge, and wisdom to you. Have a happy and safe Diwali!


Madhu said...

Happy Deepavali to you too. my mom makes exactaly like your recipe.

Nags said...

we call these diamond cuts. both sweet and savory :)

shilpa(AR) said...

Hey..I am also posting these today :D, wrote half while coming to office ;). I love these...You got such a nice shape...

Tee said...

Great post, Swapna! its so true, these traditional festivities are gradually being forgotten...its very good that your friends and you are trying to keep these intact :)
My hubby loves tikhat shankarpale and i will be making some too.

Happy Diwali!

Sia said...

wow... thats such a cool e-group u have:) diwali wishes to u and ur family swapna:)

Asha said...

We used to make these too, yum!:)
Happy Diwali Swapna.

musical said...

This was such a lovely reading, Swaps! Tikhat shakarpale are so yummy! and i am craving some with chai! Hey, and a very Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones.

Manasi said...

looks so good!! I have sweet shankarpali sent by Mom but would like to make something on my own too.. i guess this proportion u mention suits my needs very well!!!
Happy Diwali to U and P!!!

Sig said...

wow, I have had these, but had no idea what it was called :) Happy Diwali to you and yours Swapna!

Vee said...

I like your enthu for keeping traditions alive, so much that you particpate in e-celebrations. That's great!

Love shankarpali and am happy to learn about Bhondla. Thank you for participating! Hope you had a great Diwali!

Shweta said...

Those look yummm Swapna! You've just been tagged for a meme :) Do check out my latest post. And do it only if you have time and you want to, no pressure :)

Swapna said...

Thanks girls for the wonderful comments.
Shweta: I will definitely take up the meme. Thanks for the tag.

Sandeepa said...

Your high tech way of celebratring sound so innovative and fun
We amke similar savories during durga Puja too