Wedding Ceremonies

Many Ismailis whose origin is from South Asia perform these traditional ceremonies. These ceremonies welcome the bride to her new family.  Traditionally these are performed at the entrance of the brides’s new home signifying the threshold the couple will cross to start their lives together.


A yellow mark (chandlo) is placed on the couple’s forehead to initiate them into matrimony under a sign of good fortune.  The couple is then showered with rice and/or rose petals, which symbolizes prosperity and love.


The groom’s mother wraps a betal nut in a corner of her baandhni (shawl) and makes seven circles around the couple.  This ritual summons the spirit of goodness to protect the couple from misfortune and to preserve the bonds of amity between them.  This is repeated four times, each time the betal nut is discarded in a different direction: North, East, South, West.  This signifies warding off of bad luck and dispersing of evil spirits to the four corners of the earth.


By placing her knuckles on either side of the couples foreheads, the groom’s mother symbolically removes  all of their sufferring and worldly misfortune (dukh).  Then, by cracking her knuckles on her forehead, she symbolically breaks all evil forcces.


The groom’s mother purifies the couple with water that is contained in a “gaadhi”(vessel).  The water is poured from the “gadhi” onto the feet of the newlyweds to signify their state of blessedness.


Two sets of clay plates “Saapatia” are placed in front of the bride and the groom, each containing Moong (bounty of nature), Silver, (material wealth), Sugar(sweetness and hormony), and Turmeric(good health).  The couple must break the “saapatia” by stepping on them in order to release the gifts they contain.  Traditionally, the first to break the “sapatia” is believed to rule the household.


The groom’s mother wraps a protective shawl or “baandhni” over the couple and leads them symbolically to the family home where they formally cross the threshold into their new life.


The groom’s father presents a “khobo”(tray full of silver coins) to the bride as a symbolic offering of the groom’s family wealth.  The bride cups her hand and takess as many coins as she can.  In doing so, she is showered with the family’s blessings and wealth,


A younger member of the bride’s family will try to detain the groom’s departurre by holding on to the grooms tie or sleeve while a younger member of the groom’s family will do the same by holding on to the bride’s sari border(chero).  They will demand a ransom before the bride and groom can take their respective place in the family.

Vagarala Chana

Serves 4


  • 1               cup dried Chana
  • 1/4            cup oil
  • 1/2            tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2            tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2            tsp cumin seeds
  •                  Few curry leaves
  • 2               medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1               tsp green masala
  • 1               tsp cumin and corriander powder
  • 1/4            tsp turmeric powder
  • 1               tsp salt
  • 1               tbsp tomato paste
  • 2               cups Water
  • 1               lemon or lime
  • 2               tbsp chopped cilantro


Soak Chana in cold water for 5 hours or overnight.  In the morning rinse Chana in cold water and boil it.  Drain, rinse it in cold water and leave it aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.

When the seeds start to pop, add the chopped tomatoes, green masala, cumin and corriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and tomato paste.

Turn the heat to low and cook stirring a few times for 5 minutes.  The  oil should start to separate.  Add 2 cups water and lime/lemon juice and the boiled chana.  Bring this to boil then lower the heat to medium low (mark 4) and cook for 15 minutes.  The liquid will have thickened.

Sprinkle with chopped cilantro before serving.



  • 8            oz butter
  • 2             tbsp viriyari
  • 3/4          cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4          cup golden sultanas
  • 1             lb cracked wheat
  • 1/2          lb jaggery
  • 4             cups water
  • 1             can(375ml) coconut milk
  • 1/4          tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/2          tsp cardamom powder 
  • Few        strands saffron
  • Few        drops orange food colour or saffron water
  • 1             lb sugar
  • 2             oz almonds
  • 2             oz pistachio


  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter, add viriyari, desiccated coconut, golden sultanas and cracked wheat.  Fry this for about 10 minutes stirring often(the cracked wheat will change color to golden)
  2. Mix the food colouring or saffron water with coconut Milk and add this to the wheat and mix well.
  3. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, melt the jaggery in the water.  Add this to the cracked wheat mix.  Turn the heat to medium low( mark 4) and cook Lapsi till almost all the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar and mix well.  
  5. Put the saucepan in a preheated 300 degree oven for 1  hour.  The Lapsi will have absorbed all the liquid and doubled in volume.
  6. Decorate with almonds and pistachio before serving.

Serve it with papadum and/or Kebab or Samosa

Wedding in Edmonton

Omar and Sabrina’s Wedding

  • Badam Pak
  • Hapsi Halwa
  • Badam Pak 1
  • Pera
  • Double Decker Barfi
  • Topra Pak
  • Uradia
  • Kajoo Barfi
  • Coconut Barf
  • On Wednesday the 20 we had a family dinner and Mehindi night.  A lady had come to apply Mehindi, there was music and everybody was enjoying themselves. 

For dinner we had

  • Mithais
  • Lapsi.  
  • Samosa
  • Lamb biriyani

On Thursday we had the Mandavo.

The food was catered by Asian Village

  • Vegetable Pakora
  • Fish Pakora
  • Salad
  • Naan
  • Aloo Gobi
  • Butter Chicken
  • Turka Daal
  • Rice 
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Mithai

Friday was a free day.  Everybody did their own thing.  Some people helped pack the ladoos and some helped in the evening to set up.  Most of us hit the Mall!


The wedding was at 12.00 follow by lunch in the Jamatkhana Social Hall.

There was Sherbat and Mango Sherbat

  • Caesar salad andGreek salad
  • Tzatziki
  • Hummous
  • Spanakopita
  • Chicken Souvlaki
  • Rice, potatoes and pita bread


                                                                       Mithai Tower

Baklava and Cake


Reception was in the evening at Double Tree, Hilton

All the traditional Wedding Ceremonies were done in the evening followed by dinner.

                                                                       Wedding Cake

Salads and  Appetizer

  • Caesar salad
  • Arugula and Spinach Salad
  • Vegetable Samosa
  • Chicken Satay


  • Lemon & Garlic Roast Chicken with pan Jus
  • Alberta Beef Tenderloin Medallions with green peppercorn sauce
  • Potato & Cheddar cheese Perogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream


  • Roast Potatoes
  • Vegetariano Fried rice
  • Seasonal Vegetables

Buffet Dessert Bar

  • Wedding Cake
  • Fresh Fruit Platter
  • Baked cheese cake Squares
  • Assorted squares
  • Coffee and Tea

On each place setting there was ladoo and ganthia cones.

Party favour was a chocolate.


There was a farewell lunch at the bride’s house and they served:-

  • Lapsi
  • Vegetable and chicken Samosa
  • Curried corn
  • Chicken Biriyani
  • Mithai
  • Fruit cake
  • Mango ice cream
  • Fresh fruit

Double Decker Barfi

Chocolate and Plain

You have to do this Barfi 2 times, so double the ingredients.


Plain Barfi


  • 8               oz unsalted butter
  • 1               can(375 ml) evaporated milk
  • 6               oz sugar
  • 1               lb powder milk(Pacific brand)
  • 1/4            tsp cardomon powder
  • 1/4            tsp nutmeg powder
  •                  few strands saffron

Chocolate Barfi


  • 1               tbsp cocoa powder


  1. In a large saucepan melt the butter.  Add the milk and the sugar and bring to a boil.  Boil it for 5 minutes.
  2. Lower the heat to medium and add the powder milk, cardomon and nutmeg and mix well.  Boil it for 5 minutes.  The mixture should be thick.
  3. Pour this in a greased 10 in square cake tin.

Chocolate Barfi

  1. Omit the saffron
  2. When the milk starts to boil add cocoa powder and mix well, add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the mixture is thick, 5 minutes.
  3. Add this on top of the plain Barfi and let it set overnight.
  4. Cut into squares or diamonds.

Store Barfi in an airtight container, in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

You can freeze it too.


You can use 1 cup finely chopped pistachio and a few drops of green color to make a plain and pistachio Barfi.

You can olso  make it in one flavour.



Lasan na Ladoo

     Lasan na Ladoo

Makes 10 Ladoos


  • 4            day old rotla, 8 inches in diameter
  • 1/2         cup butter
  • 1            cup chopped spring garlic


  1. Break rotla in small pieces.  If you have a food processor,, coarsley break the rotlas till they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.  If you do not have the food processor rub it between the palms of you hands and break it.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt the butter add the garlic and saute it for 5 minutes.  Add this to the broken rotla.
  3. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  4. When the mixture has cooled and and easy to handle, take about half a cup and roll it into a ball.  Let it rest for a couple of hours before you serve.

Ladoos can be stored in an airthight container, in the refrigetor for a week.

It can be frozen. 

Spring Garlic is the stalk of the young garlic.  You can grow your own or buy it.  I get mine from Osaka which is a Chinese grocery store.  You will only get this in summer.  You can buy frozen chopped garlic from an Indian grocery store.