Vasanthi believes more women should try to make traditional items during Deepavali.
DEEPAVALI is a wonderful time to treat your loved ones and friends with delicious tidbits.
In fact, in no time of the year do women devote their energy and time to preparing sweets and savouries.
“We don’t usually see many families these days having a wide spread of traditional sweetmeats because it takes a lot of time and effort in preparing them," she says.
According to her, one must toast and dry the ingredients weeks ahead of the celebration to get it right. What's more, there are also many step-by-step procedures to follow.
"Sadly, many of us are pressed for time and don't have that kind of patience anymore,” she sighs.
For Vasanthi, making authentic sweetmeats during Deepavali is a must as she wants her children to be familiar with the customs and traditional varieties. "We must make an attempt to revive traditional goodies because if we don’t it will be lost along the way,” says Vasanthi.
She now runs her own cake-making business called Cake Creations, situated in Lorong Padang Belia in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. She not only takes orders but also holds classes and workshops at her premises.
Her forte, however, is preparing vegetarian cakes and cookies that she says are always in demand especially during the festive seasons.TASTY: Chitti Urundai is time-consuming to make but it is worth the effort.
Though she always had her heart set on baking and designing vegetarian cakes as a young girl, her decision to switch careers and start her own business came about only after she had children.
“It was a big career decision but I’m glad I did it because it’s something I always wanted to do. I also have more time to spend with my children now,” she said.
Giving up a lucrative salary in the bank wasn’t easy, but she needed to follow her passion and intuition. Vasanthi is currently enrolled at the Malaysian Institute of Baking where she is doing an advanced diploma in baking science and technology.
During Deepavali, Vasanthi’s family looks forward to preparing Kallu Urundai (rock balls – named after its texture) which is gradually becoming a rare sight in most households.
Also unusual to find nowadays is the spicy Chippi - a light, savoury snack, though the sweet version is common and more popular.
She says the Chitti Urundeh (small green pea balls) is also slowly disappearing from the scene as many youngsters are not familiar with the taste. However, the family’s all-time favourite are the Sugee Ghee Balls made from semolina and ghee.
“Nei Urundai (Ghee Balls) are a common variety, but making it with semolina provides a very delicious and rich taste. There are many traditional recipes but these are just the few that we make at home,” said Vasanthi who has been busy compiling all these traditional family recipes from her relatives.
“It’s nothing like the old days when our grandmothers, aunties and good friends gathered together to prepare these sweetmeats. Nowadays, most of the delicacies are all bought in a hurry,” she smiles.