Goddess Durga ornamented with kumkum, bangles, flowers, and jewelled attires morning prayers accompanied by synchronised bells and the aroma of pure butter delicacies, it's time to step into Navratri festivities.
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 worshipped 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 gratitude 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 some mouth-watering, creative dishes.
- Sabudana Khichdi: Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates which gives you the much needed energy boost while fasting. A light dish made with sabudana, peanuts and mild spices.
- 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.
- Singhare ke Atta ka Samosa: Feast while fasting! Your favourite tea time snack made with fasting ingredients like water chestnut flour, sendha namak and a filling of spiced chironji.
- Aloo ki Kadhi: Tuck into the soothing flavours of this light and lovely curry made with the ever-so-versatile potatoes.
- Low Fat Makhana Kheer: Desserts inspire a cheer, here's for you low fat kheer recipe made with makhana and nuts. Indulge without worrying about the weighing scale!
- Cucumber Pakode: Cool cucumbers fried crisp! These pakoras are one of the most loved fasting recipes. We bet you cannot stop at one bite!
- Banana Walnut Lassi: Charge up with this nourishing drink. Lassi made with the goodness of yogurt, bananas, honey and walnuts.
- Vratwale Chawal Ka Dhokla: A fresh recipe that gives you a break from the usual fried pakoras and puris. Steamed dhoklas made with samwat ke chawal. A healthy way to fast.
- Kebab-e-Kela: Fasting need not be boring anymore! Spiced banana kebabs that perfectly melt in your mouth and please your soul.
- Chironji Ki Dal: Slurp on something different during your fasting days. Here's a quick serving of dal made with chironji or chironji seeds.