Navratri marks the divine occasion of invoking the blessings of the nine forms of Goddess Durga through nine days characterized by the intense religious fervor and observance of rituals prescribed by the scriptures.
The recipes that are prepared over the course of nine days to pacify Devi and win her favor are discussed in brief below.
- 1st Day: Sri Kanakadurga is offered boiled Bengal grams (vadapappu), fried rice (Chalividi) and sweet rice (Payasam).
- 2nd Day: Devi is worshiped as Balatripura Sundari Devi and chickpeas neivedhyam and sweet boondi are offered as neivedhyam.
- 3rd Day: Gayathri Davi is venerated with pulihora neivedhyam and Ravva Kesari.
- 4th Day: Annapurna Devi is worshipped with Pongal neivedhyam
- 5th Day: Lalitha Tripura Sundari Devi is pacified with Pulohorai and Green grams recipe Pesara boorelu
- 6th Day: The goodwill of Saraswati Devi is gained by offering coconut, jaggery (vellam), Atukulu and Bengal gram
- 7th Day: Mahalakshmi Devi is revered through milk boiled rice, jaggery and sugar
- 8th Day: Sri Durga Devi is venerated with lemon juice and Garelu
- 9th Day: Mahishasura Mardhini Devi’s refulgence is paid tribute with Chakra Pongal.
- The culmination point of Navratri is Vijaya Dashami in which Sri Rajarajeshwari Devi is offered garelu and Pulihora.
In South India, Sundals are prepared exclusively during Navratri to offer Neyveidhyam to goddesses. The most common Sundal recipes for offering to Goddess are:
- Gramdal Sundal: It can be prepared relatively quickly without having to soak the dhal prior to preparation.
- Chickpeas Sundal: This salubrious recipe is commonly prepared by all ladies observing Navratri and is savory enough.
- Peas Mango Sundal: This popular Sundal hailing from Chennai beaches finds a special place in Navratri preparations.
- Peanut Sundal: This luscious recipe prepared from peanuts is a good alternative to junk foods and is prepared with reverence to Goddess during the Navratri.
- Green Gram Sundal: This lip smacking variety of Sundal Neivedhyam is prepared from the green gram dal.
- Moong Dhal (Payatham Paruppu) Sundal: A small amount of moong dal is sprinkled over the vegetable curries prepared out of cabbage, carrot etc. The recipe can be prepared relatively easily and time consumed is low as the grams are not required to be soaked in water before preparation.
- Green Gram Sweet Sundal: The green gram dhal sundal discussed above is prepared with a smidge of salt and spices; however this version of the healthy Sundal is sweetened to offer a cool experience to the palate.
- Black eyed beans (Karamani) Sundal: This Sundal variety uplifts the health in a grand way. The Sundal can be prepared with ease. The gram dhal is cooked in a pressure cooker and required spices are sprinkled from the top.
- Mixed Dhal Sweet Sundal: This sweet variety of Sundal is prepared from mixed dhals.
A few other dishes are also prepared during Navratri to appease the goddess.
- Appam: Vella appam is a sweet dish
- Vadai: The crunchy and delectable snack adds a new dimension to the celebrations
- Sweet Puttu: This lip smacking sweet recipe has to be prepared through a cumbersome and time consuming process which will taste your patience. The recipe has been passed down through traditions and is made from rice flour.
- Aval Puttu: This sweet recipe is customarily prepared during Janmashtami and can be prepared relatively easily during the Navratri
- Rava Appam: Prepared with the help of Rawa, this dish is prepared with relative ease and tastes awesome. Jaggery or sugar can be used alternatively to enhance the taste
The festival of Navratri becomes more flavorful with the scrumptious recipes mentioned above. The gourmet Neivedhyam offered to the Goddesses is also any bon vivant’s delight.