Navratri, one of India's favorite festivals, is celebrated throughout the country with a lot of gusto. Navratri means nine nights and is one of the main festivals in states like Gujarat and Maharashtra. The festival is dedicated to the worship of Hindu goddess 'Shakti'. The nine forms of "Shakthi" is worshipped for nine days of the festival. The festival marks the transformation of goddess Durga in the form of Shakti and is celebrated in the eastern part of India as Durga Puja.
Navratri is celebrated as per the lunar calendar and falls in the months of September and October every year. The festival is preceded by Ganesh Chaturthi and is followed by the festival of lights, Deepawali.
Navaratri is a vibrant festival and is celebrated with prayers in the morning followed by song and dance in the evening. The houses are well lit and the "pandals" are dressed up beautifully for people to dance and enjoy themselves while they pray to the almighty.
Like all other festivals of India, Navratri is also renowned for the delicacies served during this period. Many famous vegetarian dishes and sweets are cooked and savored during the nine days of celebration.
Some of the most famous items cooked in the different households during the nine days of Navratri are Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Tikki and a lot of other delicacies. During the period of Navratri women observe a fast and tend to not consume a lot of food items included in a normal meal. This makes the food prepared during Navratri all the more special. It is a combination of food prepared especially for the fast and regular food that is prepared for the rest of the people.
Let us look at some of the recipes for making some delicious items during the upcoming Navaratri:
- Sabudana Vada: This is a patties prepared from a mixture of potato and seeds of the Tapioca plant (Sabudana). This is a famous recipe for all the people who observe a fast during the Navratri season. This is a tasty dish which is served either for breakfast or as snacks in the evening. It can be eaten with sauces or chutneys made of mint leaves and coriander.
Soak the Sabudana in water all night and then mix the soaked Sabudana with boiled and mashed potatoes. Add spices according to our choice so that you can make the dish mild or pungent according to your needs. The mixture is then shaped into the form of patties or balls and is deep fried in hot oil. The vadas are then served hot with chutney or sauce.
- Sabudana Khichdi: This is another Sabudana based item that is a crowd favorite and is more frequent in homes during Navratri. It is not as oily as the Sabudana vada and can be enjoyed without having to worry about the excess calories. We do not care about the calories during festivals any way but it is a healthier option for one and all.
The Sabudana is soaked for about 2 hours to loosen it up and is mixed with boiled potatoes, coriander, crushed groundnut and salt and sugar. The mixture is then kept aside for some time. The oil is heated in a vessel for about 10 minutes and mustard seeds are added to it. We also add cumin seeds, chilies according to the taste needed and curry leaves. The mixture that has been set aside is then emptied in the vessel and the mixture is allowed to cook while stirring it for some time. The resulting dish is a tasty Khichdi that is apt for anyone who is observing a fast during the occasion of Navratri.
No Indian Festival can be celebrated devoid of sweet delicacies. Popular traditional sweets include Kaddu Barfi, Kheer, Gujarati Kadhi and Jeera Aalu, Badam Halwa, Sondesh, Sweet Poha, Rasgulla, Gulab Jamun, Basundhi.
Special Neyvedhyam - Sundal:
"Sundal"is the popular Neyvedhyam during Navaratri in the south. In the evening, different Sundal being made each day . It is packed with nutrients and is a fulfilling meal. So, it serves dinner for the women who observe fast during the festival of dolls.
The festive atmosphere is complimented by the food served and delight together on this wonderful occasion