Goddess Durga decorated with kumkum, bangles, flowers, and jeweled attires; morning prayers accompanied by synchronized bells and the aroma of pure butter delicacies, it’s time to step into Durga Navratri 2015 festivities.
Durga Navratri is one of the holiest Hindu festivals where people across the country worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga for nine days. Goddess Durga is believed to have nine different incarnations and each female deity signifies a distinct power. The word Navratri refers to the nine auspicious nights during which Goddess Durga is worshiped and most people observe fasts. It is celebrated twice a year, the beginning of spring and at the beginning of autumn, which is considered as a sacred time to worship Goddess Durga.
Usually a large part of north, west and central India observes a fast on all nine days. Some people may choose to fast only on the first and the last day of the festive period. Fasting is a way to pay your thankfulness to the Goddess. Traditionally in Hinduism, the consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food is considered inauspicious and unholy but there is also sound science behind it. During these fasts people avoid eating meat, grains, alcohol, onion, garlic etc. From an Ayurvedic perspective, these foods attract and absorb negative energies and should be avoided during a seasonal change as our bodies tend to have low immunity around that time.
Navratri festivities give you a chance to get back to the roots and deviate from the day-to-day affair. Ingredients like kuttu atta, singhara atta, fresh vegetables, milk, yogurt and makhanas are preferred as they are light on the stomach and can be digested easily. Instead of regular salt, rock salt or sendha namak is used as it is pure and unprocessed. Those who do not wish to fast may follow a vegetarian satvik diet where ingredients like garlic and onions that produce heat in the body are avoided to allow your body to detox.
Embrace the joy of the festival with the best of our fasting recipes. From old favourites to newer ones, indulge in a lot more than just the usual fare.
Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates which gives you the much needed energy boost while fasting.
when you Make The Sabudana khichdi, you have to adjust the soaking time as per the type of tapioca pearls. for some pearls 2 to 3 hours is fine. for some you don’t even need to soak them in water. Just cover the pearls with water for some time and you are done. So do soak the sabudana pearls accordingly.
Step by step version of sabudana khichdi:
Sabudana/ sago – 1 cup
Potato – 1
Green chilli – 3
Lemon – 1/2
Peanuts – 3 tblsp
Ghee – 1 tblsp
Ghee – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Mustard (optional) – 3/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Wash sago well and soak it overnight (or atleast 3 hrs) with water just enough to immerse the sago. The next day morning, all water should have got absorbed by the sago and it will be soft and fluffy.
Boil potatoes and cube it and keep aside.In a non stick pan, add ghee and temper with mustard if desired and then jeera, followed by curry leaves. Add the cubed potatoes, little salt and fry for a minute.
Add the sago, required salt and stir well. Add ghee if needed and keep in medium flame for 4- 5 minutes, until transparent and soft. Make sure you stir to avoid sticking to the bottom. Add crushed peanuts (roasted).
Give it a stir and lastly squeeze the lemon and toss well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- The sago should get soaked well, then only it gets cooked easily too. So make sure you soak atleast 8 hours.
- Do not soak in more water. Just wash and add water to immerse the sago. Otherwise if you add more water, then becomes gooey.
- After you add sago and keep frying, as the sago gets cooked, it turns transparent. Make sure all the sago gets cooked.
- As it gets cooked, tends to be sticky but dont worry, it wont be too sticky.
- Mustard is purely optional. So you can avoid it.
- If you over cook the sago and keep frying, after turning transparent, it again starts to turn white.
Kuttu Ka Dosa
This Navratri move over the usual kuttu puris and rustle up something different. A crisp dosa recipe made of kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) with a potato filling.
Navratri recipes have to be carefully adapted so that they follow the rules of this sacred fast. Kuttu ka dosa is one such recipe that is perfect for Durga Navratri. During these nine days, you are not permitted to have rice, dal or normal salt. Kuttu ka dosa does not make use of any of these forbidden ingredients. It is thus a perfect Navratri vrat recipe.
Apart from being delicious, it can also be prepared very quickly. So you can try making kuttu ka dosa this year if you are fasting during these nine days.
Kuttu or buckwheet flour- 5tbsp
Arbi or colocasia (boiled and mashed)- 2tbsp
Ajwain or carom seeds- 1 pinch
Green chillies- 4 (chopped) Ghee- 2tbsp
Potatoes- 2 (boiled)
Ginger- ½ inch (chopped)
Turmeric- 1 pinch
Red chilli powder- 1/2tsp
Coriander leaves- 2 stalks (chopped)
Sanda namak or rock salt- as per taste
Procedure For Filling
Mash the boiled and peeled potatoes into a uniform mass. Add rock salt and turmeric to it. Mix them using your fingers.
To the pan, add 1tbsp of ghee. Season with half chopped green chillies
Add the ginger and saute for 1 minute. Then, add the mashed potatoes.
Stir and cook on low flame for 3 to 4 minutes until the potatoes turn golden brown.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and take it off the flame.
Procedure For Dosa
Mix the mashed arbi with the kuttu ka atta. Add sanda namak, red chilli powder, green chillies and ajwain to it.
Add 1 cup of water and mix well until the batter gets the right consistency.
Take a flat pan and pour a ladle full of the batter on it.
Sprinkle ghee on the sides so that the dosa gets fried crisply.
Place the filling at the middle of the dosa and fold it over.
You must serve this kuttu ka dosa with coconut chutney when it is piping hot.
Singhare ke Atte ka Samosa
1 cup (120 gm) singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour)
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup (60 gm) ghee
2 1/2 cup water
1 tsp sendha namak (white rock salt)
Ghee for deep-frying
For the Filling:
1 cup (125 gm) chironji, soaked in water for about 2 hours
3/4 tsp chilli powder
1 Tbsp zeera (cumin seeds)
2 tsp dhania (coriander powder)
2 tsp sendha namak (white rock salt )
1/2 tsp elaichi (cardamom) powder
2 Tbsp (30 gm) ghee
For the Samosa Filling:
Remove the husk of the chironji and grind coarsely.
Heat the 2 tbsp ghee, in a pan and add the zeera. When it splutters, add chironji and rest of the filling ingredients.
Saute over low heat till mixture is well fried. Leave to cool.
For the Samosa Dough:
Place the water, ghee and 1 tsp salt in a pan and bring to a boil.
As soon as it comes to a boil, put in the atta and arrowroot and mix well, over low heat, till it collects together in the center.
Take the dough off the heat and leave to cool.
Roll dough (using dry flour or arrowroot if it sticks) into 1/8″ thick rounds, 3″ diameter, and cut into halves.
Take one half, wet the edges. Fold the straight edge at the center and join overlapping the other edge to form into a cone.
Press the overlapping portion, and fill the cone with the filling, and press the edges together to seal the `Samosa’. Repeat, with the rest of the pieces.
Heat the oil and over high heat, add as many samosas as come in without touching.
Lower the heat to medium and fry to a golden brown on either side.
Low Fat Makhana Kheer
1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
750 ml cows milk
1 cup makhanas / lotus seed (slightly fried in oil)
150 gms organic jaggery powder Or as sweetness required
¼th t/s green cardamom powder
1 tbsp milk powder
¼th t/s dry ginger powder (soonth)
¼th t/s star anise powder
½ cup chopped almond
½ up chopped pistachios
a pinch of salt
Take a small pan add little ghee. Saute makhana until they are just firm and crisp. Remove them and keep aside.
In the same pan saute chopped almonds, pistachios and raisins.
Boil milk in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Place on low heat.
Once milk starts boiling add milk powder and simmer until milk is thick and reduced.
Keep stirring in between.
Now add jaggery powder. Combine all nicely.
Add all spiced powder like dry ginger powder, green cardamom powder and star anise powder.
Now add roasted makhanas, almonds, pistachios and raisins.
Cook for another 3 to 4 mins. Lastly add a pinch of salt. Check the taste and see if more sweetness required. I prefer less sweet so add sugar as per your preference.
Serve phool makhana kheer hot Or chilled.
Khire ke Pakode
1 cup singhare ka atta
2 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp green chillies-finely chopped
2 large khiras-sliced thin
Oil for deep frying
Mix all ingredients except the khiras and oil and add enough water to make a thick pouring consistency.
Heat oil, till a drop of mixture put in, comes up at once.
Dip the khira slices into the batter and drop into the hot oil.
Turn once and remove from oil.
Drain on an absorbent paper, keep aside till ready to serve.
To serve, fry in hot oil until golden and crisp.
Banana Walnut Lassi
Yoghurt- 1 cup
Pine nuts- 3
Brazil nuts- 1
Flax seeds- 1 spoon
Sesame seeds- 1/2 spoon
Honey- 2 spoons
Sugar- 1/4 spoon
Banana- 1 medium
Add yogurt, sesame seeds, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, honey and banana blend them into thick liquid by adding some water.
Add flax seeds, sugar and blend it well into fine liquid.
Serve liquid in glasses and add ice cubes if needed.
Garnish liquid with crushed walnuts before serving.
Serve chilled drink hot summer.
Enjoy the taste of banana with dry nuts.
Vratwale Chawal Ka Dhokla
Samwat/Parsai ke chawal, dry roasted lightly and cooled 3/4 cup (90 gm)
Khatta Dahi (Sour yogurt) 1 cup (200 gm)
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Green chilli paste to taste
Sendha namak (white rock salt) 1 tsp
Sabut lal Mirch (Dry red peppers) 2 whole
Kadhi Patta (Curry Leaves) 6-7
Zeera (Cumin Seeds) 1/2 tsp
Ghee 1 tbsp (15 gm)
Hara dhania (Coriander leaves), chopped 1 tbsp
Grated fresh coconut (optional) 2 tbsp
Round tin, greased, 20 cm/8″ 1
Mix rice and dahi into a smooth, fairly thick batter and add the ginger and chilli paste and salt.
Grease a tin and pour the batter into the tin.
Leave to ferment for 6-7 hours (depending on the weather) in a warm place. Should become a bit spongy.
Get the steamer ready
Place the tin into the steamer and let cook for 20 minutes. Test doneness with a skewer and if it comes out clean, remove from heat and let it cool.
Heat the ghee and add the lal mirch, kadhi patta and zeera, and sauté a little. Pour over the dhokla. Cut into serving pieces and serve garnished with the dhania and coconut. Can be served with a coconut or green chutney.
Singhare Ki Poori
2 cups Singhare Ka Atta or Waterchestnut Flour
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed (about 1 cup)
sendha namak / rock salt to taste
1/2 cup dhaniya/Cilantro leaves, chopped (skip if u dont eat during fasting)
2 green chilies, minced or finely crushed in a mortar-pestle
1 tsp cumin powder or coarsely crushed cumin
2 tsp oil
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl before adding water . Add water slowly as this flour is different from regular flour and needs less water.
Knead all the above ingredients into a dough and keep aside for 10 minutes.the dough should be smooth and pliable and non sticky.otherwise you won’t be able to roll the pooris.
Make small ball out of this and roll / pat them into puris.
if you feel rolling puri is difficult than grease a plastic sheet/ziplock with oil,next keep doug ball on it and keep another greased plastic sheet on top and now roll gently using rolling pin
Deep fry the puris in oil / ghee till golden.
Serve with upwas batata bhaji or dahi wale aloo or any Alu/Potato Curry especially made for fasting or with peanut fasting chutney or vrat dahi chutney or just with plain yoghurt and pickles.
Singhare Ka Paratha
1 cup Singhare ka Atta
1 Large Potato Boiled, Peeled And Mashed
1 Green Chili
Chopped Coriander Leaves 1 tbsp
Oil To Cook
Mix all ingredients in Singhare ka atta, add water to make dough just like Chapati dought. Divide it into 4 parts. Heat a tawa. Using your hand try to flatten that dough ball into paratha ball into paratha shape or you can roll it using rolling pin and add to tawa. Turn each side and cook over medium flame, till brown spots appear on both sides. Now add little oil and turn both sides. Remove and serve hot with curd and chutney.
Singhare Ke Atta Ka Halwa
1 cup singhare ka atta
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp jaggery
1 cup water
1/2 cup milk
roasted dry fruits
Heat a pan. Add Singhare ka atta stir it continously. When it starts turning golden brown, add ghee to it and mix ghee and flour. Take it out of pan and keep aside. In same pan heat 1 cup water and add jaggery to it. Mix it till it forms syrup. Add the singhara flour prepared earlier. Add milk and dry fruits, cook till flour is cooked well and water has evaporated. Let it cool down, you can spread it over a plate in the required thickness and cut it into small pieces. Serve it tipped with dry fruits.