Crafty baby, Parenting

DIY Diwali Craft – Paper MarigoldsĀ 

Every year we make Diwali decorations at home. This gives me an opportunity to get darling daughter excited for the festival and spend some more time with her. A decorated house is a bonus that we all enjoy šŸ™‚

Marigold Flowers: 

When I think of Diwali marigold flowers are one of the first things to come in mind – bright yellow, orange and my favorite maroon ones. I do see marigold flowers in farmers market sometimes but their availability on Diwali is highly doubtful so I usually make paper marigolds to use for decoration. Last year I made these. They came out pretty well and looked real. This time I wanted to make marigolds another way just for the sake of trying a new technique. 

Method: Take a paper napkin (already folded in square) and fold it in smaller square. Put 2 staples in the centre in the shape of a plus + sign. Now cut the corners to get a nice round circle. Just do a freestyle cutting rather than drawing a circle and cutting. Make small incisions about 2-3 mm apart on the outside periphery of the circle. Now take each sheet of the tissue and crumble lightly in the center. Continued to do one by one until you finish all. Your lovely fluffy marigold is ready. 

I have used combinations of napkins to make more colorful flowers. You can do that by layering them before folding.

These are very simple and quick to make. I did until step 4 myself and asked my 4.5 year old daughter to crumple them as per step 5. These marigold are flat at the base so can be stuck on a ribbon or used as a rangoli on the floor or table. I have tried with different color combinations. Make whichever color you like best. Stores are flooded with red, orange and yellow colored paper napkins to celebrate fall so you’ll not have any trouble finding the supplies. 

Happy crafting!!



Zucchini/Pumpkin Flower Fritters

I hadn’t heard of people eating pumpkin or zucchini flowers until last year. We were planning for a date night for my husband’s birthday and while researching the restaurant I saw pictures of these flower fritters. I was blown away and couldn’t wait to try them. At the dinner I asked the waiter to bring it without looking at the menu and was so disappointed when I was told its a seasonal item and wasn’t available at the time.

This week at our local farmer’s market my eyes lit up when I saw a vendor selling bunches of these beauties. Without wasting another moment I grabbed 2 bunches and secured them in my bag. The whole way home I day dreamed of those fritters I checked out last year and looked up for recipes online. There are a couple of different ones available but I tried one with chickpea flour batter which seemed easy and closest to what I had in mind.

It took all of 10 minutes to clean and get the crispy delicacy on the table.

What you need:

Zucchini/Pumpkin Flowers*

Chickpea Flour

Salt, Pepper to taste

Oil for frying

What you need to do:

Clean the flowers gently in cold running water. Be careful of the small insects hiding inside the petals. Dry the flowers on paper towels. 

Make a loose batter of chickpea flour in water and add salt, pepper to taste. Heat oil in a shallow pan, the oil layer should be about 1/2 inch deep. 

Dip the whole flowers in the batter, gently shake off the excess batter and put in on hot oil. Keep the heat on high throughout and flip gently after a couple of minutes. The flowers will puff up a little and turn golden brown. 

When both sides are nicely golden take them out on a paper towel and serve hot with tomato chutney. You can sprinkle a little chat masala and lemon juice for extra zing. 

Things to note:

  • *If you are using flowers from your own plant, be careful of picking only the male flowers. Female flowers form Zucchini and you will miss out on the fruit if you use female flowers for the fritters.      
  • Cook only a couple at a time, as overcrowding will cool the oil resulting in oily soggy fritters. 
  • Avoid making a thick batter as it will not bring out the flavor and texture of the flowers nicely.
  • If you don’t want to use whole flowers, you can chop them after cleaning, mix in the batter and make flat patties to fry. They taste like Zucchini. 

Like I mentioned earlier this is a seasonal item and is available for a very small window. Because of the short shelf-life you’ll not find them in super markets. Try your local farmers market in August/September and if you are lucky you may be able to find them. 

Happy cooking!