Rakshabandhan is a unique festival in India that is dedicated to celebrating the unbreakable bond between brothers and sisters.
The term "Raksha Bandhan" has been derived from Sanskrit, where "Raksha" means protection and "Bandhan" indicates a bond. Hence, Rakshabandhan denotes a relationship where one looks out for the other.
Amidst various other stories associated with this festival, an interesting anecdote from the Mahabharata is connected with the history of Rakshabandhan. According to legend, when Lord Krishna injured his hand on the battlefield, Draupadi, the princess of Panchal, tore a piece of cloth and used it to stop the bleeding.
Later, when the Pandavas lost her in a game of dice and, on the orders of the eldest Kaurava, Duryodhana, his younger brother, Dushana, attempted to disrobe her in the royal court, it was none other than Krishna who, in front of everyone, protected her dignity by providing her with enough cloth to cover herself.
Since then, tying rakhis (decorative bracelets) on each other's wrists has become a tradition to celebrate Rakshabandhan. This year the festival of Raksha Bandhan falls on August 30th.
It is a great time to spend with loved ones and create wonderful memories. To make your loved ones' day even better, you can prepare special Raksha Bandhan dishes for them. Here's a list of easy-to-cook dishes to select from:
Chocolate Kaju Katli- For generations, this dish has been everyone’s favourite, enough to make the entire family happy in one go. This recipe combines the nostalgia of Kaju Katli with the flavours of chocolate.
To make this dish start by dry roasting 1 cup of powdered cashews. Then, melt half a cup of dark chocolate till it becomes smooth. Mix the cashews with the melted chocolate.
Then, add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of milk, and 1 tablespoon of ghee to the mixture. Keep stirring it until it takes a thick form. If you want you can also add cardamom powder for extra flavour. Next, spread this mixture evenly on a greased plate, flatten it to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut it into diamond-shaped pieces.
Although traditionally it is garnished with an edible silver foil you can choose to forgo it if you want. Once it cools down, store it in an airtight container.
Rose Falooda- Make this memorable day unforgettable by preparing this special Raksha Bandhan dish for your family.
To prepare a rose falooda, begin by soaking 2 tablespoons of basil(sabja) seeds in water until they swell. Boil 2 cups of milk with 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add a pinch of cardamom powder to it.
When it cools down, refrigerate. Then, cook 1/2 cup of vermicelli till it becomes tender. Get the serving glasses, and add soaked basil seeds, cooked vermicelli, and a scoop of rose ice cream in layers.
Pour in the sweetened, chilled milk on top of the layers. Once it seeps in, garnish with a rose petal, some chopped nuts, and rose syrup.
Italian Dhokla- Surprise your loved ones by giving a unique twist to the traditional dhokla and make their day with this special Raksha Bandhan dish.
For making Italian fusion dhokla, start by taking rice flour, gram flour, yoghurt, and enough water in a mixing bowl. Mix it to make a thick batter. Give it the Italian flair by adding finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and basil leaves.
Season it with Italian herbs such as oregano and garlic powder. Steam the batter until it turns into solid form. Once it cools down, then slice into squares.
For the final touch, pour a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top of it. This Indo-Italian fusion will make your Raksha Bandhan memorable.
Shawarma- This special Raksha Bandhan dish transforms the vegetables with a burst of vibrant flavours and spices, turning them into a tasty dish that will be loved by all.
To make shawarma, begin by marinating thinly sliced vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and onions in a mixture of yoghurt, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, and lemon juice.
Let the mixture marinate for at least an hour. Next, according to your choice, grill or sauté the marinated veggies until they become tender and slightly charred.
Warm up the flatbreads, and spread some tahini sauce on them. If that is not available you can always opt for mint chutney. Add the grilled veggies. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro as well as thinly sliced onions and roll it up.
Veggie Burger- Burgers have always been the go-to snack that can make your 'little' loved ones happy. Here is a healthy alternative that will let them enjoy this snack without any guilt.
Begin by boiling and mashing potatoes. In a separate pan, stir-fry finely chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies with as little oil as possible. Add this mixture to the mashed potatoes, then put in some spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt.
Shape the mixture into patties and either bake them until fully cooked. One can also air-fry them to make them even more healthy. Toast the burger buns and spread mint chutney on them.
After that, place a patty on one half of the bun and add sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions. Splash some more chutney and sprinkle with chaat masala. Finally, place the other half of the bun on top.
Sheer Korma- Sheer Korma is a delightful Indian dessert that has captured the hearts of many.
The preparation of this sweet dish begins with a gentle roasting of vermicelli in ghee until it looks golden. To this, add milk, sugar, and a pinch of saffron, for a rich, creamy texture.
Simmer until the vermicelli is cooked, allowing the vermicelli to soak in the flavours. In a separate pan, lightly fry some nuts like almonds and pistachios. Add these along with some raisins to the milk mixture.
Put in a few drops of rosewater for fragrance. Garnish with some cardamom and serve the Sheer Korma warm.
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