Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Deepavali - Brickfields

Time flies and next week will be the start of the Deepavali celebrations. Places are packed with people doing last minute shopping especially at the Masjid India and Brickfields areas. Recently, I visited the Brickfields area and found a totally different atmosphere from Klang. Most of the Brickfields stalls are temporarily set up specially for Deepavali just between the KL Sentral train station and the KL Monorail station. The area gets quite a bit of walk through traffic and everyone takes that route if they are changing from the Light Rail Transit ("LRT") to the monorail. At these stalls, you don't see much food items and I counted two sweet stalls, one muruku stall, one cookie stall and an area where they were serving Indian food. A little birdie told me that the briyani they serve there is superb.

This was pretty popular with the ladies, applying mehndi on your hands for RM5. You can see the lady painting an intricate pattern with henna on this Chinese lady's hand. Traditionally used on brides during Malay and Indian weddings, applying mehndi has become popular as a decoration nowadays. Henna is mixed into a paste with sugar, coffee, tea or lemon juice to release the dye. Usually the design lasts for two weeks fading from the dark brown to a light orange before dissapearing.



The area has two kinds of stalls, open aired ones and air-conditioned stalls within a bigger tent. There is also a stage where Indian dancing and singing performances are staged at night. I wandered into the air-conditioned area and found lots and lots of different
bangles including these multi-coloured ones that were so pretty. Usually you buy them in pairs and the different colours will match the hues of your sari. They are essential in Indian jewelry and the popular ones are gold bangles as they make a nice jingling sound when you walk around in them.



The stalls were also selling various decorative items like this intricate looking
bindi for the celebrations. Literally meaning "dot" in Hindu, it is traditionally felt that the bindi protects a woman and her husband. Nowadays it has become more decorative and grown beyond just a dot to intricate designs similar to this one.



This was the lone stall selling nuts and savouries for the celebrations. He had rows and rows of these bags filled with various items for sale including the hard green peas.



Most of the items at these stalls are brought by their India stall owners and the varities are different from the Little India in Klang. My favourites were these beautifully designed cloth in wonderful hues that one can use to make anything you like. Nowadays not only do women buy them to make saris, you can also use them to make Malay baju kurungs and even modern outfits. I was tempted to buy this particular one as I love the colour.



They also had ready made clothes for the celebrations which were beautifully decorated with beading. This was also another favourite of mine, a turquoise salwar kameer with a bright pink and beaded collar.



On to the food, not much but I did snap some pictures of the stalls and this was interesting, Thai Bahulu which was made in a machine similar to those kaya balls. Bahulu is more of a Malay snack which is akin to a plain sponge cake with a crispy top. This Thai version had different fillings in them like strawberry and blueberry. Highly unusual but I am a traditionalist as I prefer the old fashioned bahulu instead. There was also a stall selling pitaya (dragon fruit) juice in cans that looked interesting too.



There were various sweets being sold in stacks around this stall. This is the same one that
Robyn visited and had blogged about earlier.



These are extremely popular, a type of barfi made from milk and layered with silver foil for the festive season. I usually buy the plain ones as I love their milky taste. Even my cat likes to sneak a bit of it.



I did not ask what kind of sweet is this but it looked like it has a coconut base and was something unusual.



These are known as punjabi doughnuts with a coating of sugar. Looks quite similar to the malay version called kuih keria.



I also found a cookie stall which sold vegetarian cookies for the festive season. I wonder what is used in them as they look exactly like ordinary cookies.



Besides clothes and food, they also had lots of decorative items and I kept seeing strings and strings of little elephants. The best ones were these, that were painted with bright colours and designs that I so wanted to get!

7 comments:

glutton rabbit said...

Boo, Wow! More Deepavali pictures? Really impressive shots. The elephants look very very cute!

Rajan said...

"I wonder what is used in them as they look exactly like ordinary cookies."

Egg substitute and margarine, perhaps?

Why not you try more floury types of sweets like chippi and arhi murrukku (totachi to Ceylonese, or kuih bunga/ros/etc.)?

boo_licious said...

Rabbit - I so want those elephants!

Rajan - thanks for the "makan" suggestions for Deepavali. Didn't see any achi muruku at these stalls. Suspect they will be down the KFC side where there are more stalls.

Paz said...

I'd love to get one of the henna paintings, and some nice material, and some earring, and some elephants, and some food.... oh, I'm getting carried away!

Paz

boo_licious said...

paz - it is very easy to get carried away at these bazaars so I usually take the pixs and walk away very quickly or else my pockets will be empty.

Mrs. Cedric Diggory said...

I LOOOOVE Kaju Katli! It's the best! All my classmates in my high school went ga-ga over them!

You know, the Americans I attend school with call Kaju Katli, "Kite-Sweet" in lack of the ability to say the real word.

So as I grew up here in America, I started calling it that too!







GAH!!!! So, anyway, I think I'm addicted to them, it's absolutely delicious isn't it?

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