Sweet & savoury Navratri meals

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Every year as Navratri rolls around, numerous devotees take on fasts to mark the auspicious nine days. Some fast for the entire duration while others choose specific days.

In terms of diet, regular grains like wheat and rice are typically discouraged during this time, with buckwheat flour (Kuttu ka atta) and amaranth flour (Singhare ka atta) being popular alternatives.

Some devotees also opt to only eat fruits and/or vegetables for the nine day period.

Other festive dietary restrictions, like avoiding non-vegetarian food, eggs, and aerated drinks, also apply.

Now that Navratri has begun, here’s your chance to try out these special fasting recipes, keeping festive rules in mind, to serve to guests or cook for the family to relish.

Melon and mint soup

  • Sugar Melon
  • Mint
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt

Wash and peel melons and remove the seeds and pulp. Cut dices and put in a blender and add mint leaves and blend to a puree.

Strain through a coarse strainer and add lemon juice and adjust the seasoning by adding salt.

Refrigerate and serve chilled in shot glass.

Source: Canva

Singhade ke aate ki kadhi & Rajgira ki Poori

Ingredients for the kadhi:

  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon singhare ka atta
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Rock salt (sendha namak) to taste
  • One pinch sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro or coriander leaves chopped finely

For Tempering:

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 dried red chilies
  • 6-7 curry leaves

Take yogurt, singhare ka atta, rock salt, red chili powder and sugar in a bowl. Whisk it really 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. And let it simmer for 5-8 minutes or until 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.

Ingredients for the poori:

  • 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.

READ MORE: Shubh Navratri! Celebrate Goddess Durga with these special bhog recipes

jeera cookies
Source: Canva

Navratra Jeera Cookies

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Kuttu Atta
  • Salt (Sendha)
  • Cumin seeds

Preheat oven to 180 degree centigrade.

Mix cream butter and sugar together till light and fluffy.

Sieve the kuttu flour and mix salt.

Lightly roast cumin seeds and add salt to the flour and mix.

Fold flour mix into creamed butter gradually. Let it stand between 1-4 degree C for 60 minutes.

Roll cookie mix and cut into desired shape.

Bake at 180 degree centigrade for 15-20 mins.

Kiwi ki barfi

For Kiwi Sauce:

  • Ripened Kiwis peeled, crushed/finely chopped
  • Sugar

For Barfi:

  • Chenna
  • Full cream milk
  • Milk Powder
  • Cardamom Powder
  • Slivered almonds, pistachios & saffron strand (to garnish)
  • Sugar

In a heavy bottom pan, combine kiwi and sugar. Cook till it reaches the thick sauce consistency. Take it off the stove and keep it aside.

In another pan, combine full cream milk, milk powder, saffron and chenna and cook till it starts thickening, stir intermittently to avoid burning.

Add cooked kiwi, cardamom powder and sugar. Cook till thickens and leaves the pan to form soft dough. Take it off the heat.

Spread it on a greased thali, tray or cake tin. Allow it to cool completely till set. Refrigerate. Cut in desired shape and garnish.

kiwi barfi
Source: Canva

READ MORE: Making Indian snacks using an air fryer

Lauki ka halwa

  • Lauki (Bottle gourd)
  • Desi Ghee
  • Khoya danedar (Reduced milk)
  • Green Cardamoms (powder)
  • Almond chopped
  • Cashew nut chopped

Rinse, peel and grate the lauki and remove the center portion. Heat ghee in a heavy pan on medium flame.

Add the grated lauki in ghee and mix well. Cook lauki on medium flame.

Continue stirring until the moisture evaporates. Add sugar and saute till lauki halwa turns thick.

Add khoya and keep stirring to avoid burning .Check consistency of the halwa as per your taste and switch off the flame. Add nuts and cardamom powder, mix well and serve hot or cold.

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