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The nine days of Navratri are more than just about immense devotion and delicious food. Instead, it is a celebration of good being triumphant over evil. It is also a remembrance of the power of women. Each day holds a special meaning, with each form of the goddess Durga being worshipped.
It is suggested to switch to a sattvic diet and only some limited ingredients can be used to make the vrat ka khana (fasting food). These Navratri special foods may include sabudana (tapioca pearls), Rajgira (Amarnath), sendha namak (rock salt), kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour), singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour) and certain vegetables.
However, that does not mean you are not allowed to experiment. There is a lot that you can do with these limited ingredients to make your Navratri food. Here are some recipes for you to try.
Singhade ke aate ki kadhi: Recipe by Chef Rajeev Kumar, Executive Sous Chef, The Westin Goa
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon Singhare ka atta
½ teaspoon red chili powder
Rock salt (sendha namak) to taste
a pinch Sugar
1 cup Water
1 tablespoon Cilantro or coriander leaves chopped finely
1 tablespoon Oil or ghee
½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 Dried red chili
6-7 Curry leaves
Take yogurt, singhare ka atta, rock salt, red chili powder and sugar in a bowl. Whisk it well until yogurt is smooth.
Now add water and whisk again to mix.
Take this mixture into a saucepan and turn the heat on medium. Keep stirring very frequently until it comes to a simmer to avoid curdling. Let it simmer for 5-8 minutes or until it thickens.
At the end of the simmering process, heat the oil/ghee in a small pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.
Then add dried red chili and curry leaves, fry for 30-40 seconds.
Immediately add this tempering to the simmering kadhi and mix well.
Lastly, garnish with chopped cilantro.
Rajgira ki Poori: Recipe by Chef Rajeev Kumar
Rajgira flour 1 cup
Potatoes boiled and peeled 2-3 medium
Ginger-green chilli paste 3 teaspoons
Fresh coriander leaves chopped 1 tablespoon
Rock salt (sendha namak) to taste
Ghee 2 tablespoons + to deep fry
Grate potatoes into a bowl. Add ginger-green chilli paste, coriander leaves and rock salt and mix well. Add rajgira flour, little by little, mix and knead into a stiff dough. Add ghee and knead again. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Divide the dough into small equal portions and roll into balls. Place each ball on a greased plastic sheet and gently pat into a puri.
Deep-fry puris in hot oil, one by one, till puffed up and golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
Sakkariya Ke Kebab: Recipe by Master Chef Mohsin Habeeb, The Park Hyderabad
Sweet potato 500 grams
Buckwheat flour 40 grams
Pink salt per taste
Kashmiri chilli 3 grams (optional)
Ajwain (Carom) seeds 3 grams
Anardana (Pomegranate seeds) 3 grams
Green chilli chopped 1
Saunf (Fennel) 3 grams
Jeera (Cumin) 3 grams
Dhaniya (Coriander seeds) 3 grams
Kalonji (Onion seeds) 3 grams
Pinch of sugar
Butter for brushing the kebab
Boil sweet potato for 15-20 min or till it is 80% done.
Cool the boiled sweet potato, peel off the skin, and coat it with the above mentioned coarse blend of spices. Cover it with a silver foil and smoke it in a stove.
Now remove, let it cool, mash it and add the remaining ingredients, a pinch of sugar and the buckwheat flour.
Mix it well till a dough-like consistency is achieved.
Make cylindrical rolls and grill it in charcoal.
Grill it till a golden texture is achieved.
Serve and enjoy hot with green chutney.
Sabudana Khichdi by Hardev Singh Saini, Master Chef, Spice Art, Crowne Plaza Greater Noida
Sago 200 grams
Pure Ghee 50 grams
Cumin 5 grams
Ginger 5 grams
Green Chilli 5 grams
Fresh Coriander 5 grams
Spring Curry Leaves 5 grams
Raw Peanut with Skin 50 grams
Rock Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Mustard Seeds 5 grams
Fresh Coriander Leaves
Soak sabudana overnight.
In a pan, heat ghee and add cumin seeds and mustard seeds, let them crackle then add the ginger, green chilli, curry leaves and sauté it for two minutes.
Now add the peanut and sauté for a minute and then add the soaked sago some sugar and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the lid and sprinkle some water and again cover and cook for two minutes.
Remove the lid and add coriander leaves and mix everything properly.
Switch off the flame and garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and lemon wedges.