Almost all religions in the world lay emphasis on fasting. Be it Roza, Lent, Paryushan or the many fasting occasions we have in Hinduism. It has also been scientifically proven that fasting indeed has many health benefits. It provides the much-needed break to our digestive system, which is otherwise working day in and day out, and helps our body detox.
Navratri is among the major festivals that involve fasting. It’s during Navratri that many people even fast for 9 full days. While fasting ideally should be done by eating almost nothing or at the most water, fruits, and milk, over the time, we humans have applied our creative minds and devised and invented certain recipes, which are probably easier to digest than our regular food, are healthier, and are therefore permitted on our fasting days. These recipes have not only added to the gastronomical riches of our culture but have also made fasting a bit doable for many who just can’t control those hunger pangs and still was to fast with all their heart.
In this blog, we bring to you seven scrumptious Navratri special recipes for this festive season. When put together on a plate, these delicacies make for a heavenly Navratri Special Thali or Falahari Thali, which is specially meant for fasting. So, have a look, try and enjoy!
Navratri Ki Thali
While preparing the Navratri Vrat Thali, one needs to keep in mind a few fasting meal restrictions that come along. All your meals should be prepared without onion and garlic. Table salt is to be replaced with the healthier options of sendha namak or rock salt. You cannot consume grains like wheat and rice during these fasts, but there are alternatives like kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour), singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour) or rajgira ka atta (amaranth flour). Instead of rice, you can have samak ke chawal (barnyard millet). So let’s get started!
1. Thandai and Banana Walnut Lassi
With the scorching October heat setting in, the best way to begin your Navratri special khana is with a refreshing homemade thandai. It’s made with melon seeds, rose water and rose petals. Yet another lip-smacking drink you can indulge in is banana walnut lassi. This special lassi is to be made with yoghurt, bananas, honey and of course walnuts.
2. Kuttu Aate ki Puri and Kuttu Dosa
Kuttu ka Aata or buckwheat flour, that doesn’t come from grain, is one of the main and favourite vrat ingredients for preparing the Navratri special khana. The Kuttu Aate ki Puri is best enjoyed with Aloo Bhaaji and can also be savoured with a bowl of curd. Kuttu is a health food that is known to lift one’s energy levels. You can also try something as different and tempting as Kuttu Dosa. This crisp dosa, again made up of buckwheat flour is best indulged in with a potato filling and accompanied with mint and coconut chutney.
3. Shakarkandi Chaat
This delectable preparation can very well serve as a perfect starter in your Navratri ki Thali. We all have indulged in fruit plates and fruit chaat during fasts before, but how about giving our chaat a twist this time?! Made with boiled and peeled sweet potatoes and topped with lemon, rock salt and chaat masala, shakarkandi chaat is one of the most popular Navratri food items and tastes equally chatpata as the regular one we find on the streets.
4. Vrat ke Chawal ka Pulao
With regular rice not permitted for consumption during fasting, it can be easily replaced with an equally delicious substitute. Many devotees use Vrat ke Chawal or Samak ke Chawal (barnyard millet) for their fasting preparations. And you can make it much interesting and tasty by making it into a pulao, which is among the most popular Navratri special dishes. This gluten-free and vegan pulao recipe is perfect for fasts and is made using potatoes, peanuts, green chillies, cumin seeds, sendha namak or rock salt, ghee, lemon juice, coriander leaves and water. This one-pot meal is highly nutritious, healthy, and filling.
5. Aloo ki Kadhi
A rice preparation or pulao just cannot be complete without the accompaniment of a gravy delicacy. Here it comes in the Navratri food menu too – Aloo ki Kadhi. It’s a dish we love to savour all year round, but it becomes even the more special during Navratri, when it’s prepared with its integral ingredient – Potato along with mild spices and rock salt, to match with the customs of the fasting season. Since legumes and lentils are to be refrained from while fasting for Navratri, it’s a perfect option to replace your Dal and still have you licking your fingers. You can even pair this delicious aloo recipe with Kuttu ki Puri.
6. Singhare Aate ka Halwa
How can a Navratri Thali menu be complete without the mention of desserts?! So, here comes Singhare Aate ka Halwa, that is made of water chestnut flour, sugar and ghee and is topped with heaps of dry fruits and nuts. Singhara Aata or water chestnut flour is a common substitute for the flour of the regular grains and wheat while preparing the Navratri fasting meals.
7. Kacche Kele ki Barfi
When we can’t get enough of just one dessert, here comes another Navratri special sweet – Kacche Kele ki Barfi, to add some more sweetness to the festivity. It’s made with raw bananas, sugar and milk and is both wholesome and delicious. Moreover, talking of raw bananas, as we know, they are also popularly used for savoury preparations like Kacche Kele ki Tikki, which is best enjoyed along with a freshly made peanut chutney. Rawa bananas, potatoes and bottle gourds make for a great fasting ingredient.
With so many options of Navratri special recipes, we are pretty sure, your fasting is sure to turn into feasting! This year, with social distancing and the new normal in place, how about giving a twist to our Navratri celebration and revering Goddess Durga at our home, whilst sharing some of these delectable delights with our family members?! And of course, while we enjoy our Navratri special thali along with our family, let’s pray to Maa Durga that she once and for all takes away all that the world has gone through over the past many months and makes everyone start planning their festival tours for next year to travel, explore and celebrate life around the world, just as before! Here’s wishing you and your family a Very Happy and Healthy Navratri!
Celebrate Divine Foods! Celebrate Life!