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.
(Makes a small batch of shankarpale)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour/maida
- 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds/ova
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp hot oil/mohan
- Knead all the above ingredients in a firm dough.
- Cover and let sit for 1/2 hour.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Roll the dough like a chapati and cut into squares/rhombus.
- Fry each piece in oil and drain on paper towel.
- Store in an airtight container.
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!