Festivals of India: Navratri





Navratri is a Hindu festival of worship and dance. The word Navratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit; Nava - Nine and Ratri - nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti (metaphor for goddess Durga ) i.e. female divinity are worshipped.

The festival is celebrated for nine nights once every year, specially in Gujarat, where traditionally, either the lamp (the Garba Deep), or an image of Maa Amba is placed in the middle of the concentric rings as an object of veneration, thereby delineating the dance. People dance around the deity clapping rhythmically. At every step they gracefully bend sideways, the arms coming together in sweeping gestures, up and down, left and right, each movement ending in clap.

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Arbi Fried

Preparation Time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Arbi – ½ kg

  • Carom Seeds ( ajwain) - ¼ tsp

  • Chili Powder - to taste

  • Green Chilies - 2-3

  • Mango Powder – a pinch

  • Coriander Powder – ¼ tsp

  • Ginger – 2 tbsp

  • Rock Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Boil the arbi.Arbi Fried

  • Cool, take off and slice each into two.

  • Heat up the oil and fry the arbi till slightly browned.

  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok.

  • Meanwhile make a paste of ginger and green chilies.

  • Mix in the paste to the heated oil and stir fry for a few minutes.

  • Mix in the fried arbi and stir fry on a slow fire.

  • Simultaneously mix in salt, coriander powder, mango powder, carom seeds and mix well.

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Banana Chips

Preparation Time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Salt - to taste

  • Oil - for deep frying

  • Salt - to taste

  • Oil - for deep frying

Method :

  • Peel off and put bananas in plenty of salted iced water.Banana Chips

  • Slice bananas with a chip slicer into water, mix in turmeric.

  • Keep for 10 minutes, and strain.

  • Spread out on a kitchen cloth to take off moisture.

  • Heat up oil in a wok till smoky.

  • Fry banana slices in one-layer batches for a minute or two or until crisp.

  • Lift chips out with slotted spoon and remove on paper towels

  • Sprinkle with salt before serving.

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Kottu Ke Pakore

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Buckwheat flour (kotu ka atta) – 1 cup

  • Potatoes (boiled whole till half-cooked) – 3 medium sized

  • Black Pepper Powder – ½ tsp

  • Coriander leaves - ¼ cup finely chopped

  • Baking Powder – ¾ tsp

  • Ghee or Vegetable oil - for frying

  • Salt – ½ tsp

Method :

  • Combine the flour, salt, pepper and coriander in bowl and mix well.

  • Add water and beat into a smooth batter. Beat the batter until it is of cream consistency.

  • Cover and keep aside for about 20 minutes.

  • When the potatoes are cool enough, peel and slice each one into diagonal slices.

  • Heat enough ghee or oil for deep-frying in a kadhai over moderate heat.

  • Put few slices of potato into the batter and cover them completely.

  • One at a time, lower each slice of batter-coated potato into the hot oil.

  • Fry as many slices as will float on the surface of the oil without touching.

  • Fry on both sides until reddish gray and crisp.

  • Serve hot as the fitters soften as they cool.

  • Note:

  • Keep an eye on the consistency of batter, it quickly thickens near heat. You may need to add water from time to time.

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Farari Chiwda

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Unfried Potato Straws – 1 cup

  • Powdered Sugar – ½ tsp

  • Raisins – ½ tbsp

  • Chopped Green Chili - 1

  • Groundnuts – 1 tbsp

  • Broken Cashews – 1 tbsp

  • Oil - for deep-frying

Method :

  • In a frying pan, heat oil. Farari Chiwda

  • Fry potato straws till crisp. Fry few straws at a time.

  • Drain the straws with a perforated spoon.

  • Transfer them to an absorbent paper.

  • Deep-fry cashews and groundnuts till crispy.

  • Drain and add to potato straws.

  • Sauté raisins and chili. Drain and add to straws.

  • Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

  • Add salt and sugar. Toss to blend.

  • Cool and store in an airtight container.

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Kache Kele Ke Kofte

Preparation Time : 45 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • For Kofta:

  • Raw Bananas - 6

  • Ginger and Green Chili, chopped – 2 tsp

  • Cumin Seeds – ¼ tsp

  • Asafoetida – a pinch

  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp

  • Salt - to taste

  • Chopped Coriander – 1 tsp for garnishing

 

    For Gravy:

  • Beaten Curd – ¼ kg

  • Clove – 3-4

  • Bay Leaves - 4

  • Cumin Seeds – ¼ tsp

  • Asafoetida – a pinch

  • Ginger and Green Chili, chopped – 1 tsp

  • Oil – 5 tsp

  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

  • Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp

  • Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp

  • Water – ¼ cup

Method :

  • Boil and peel raw bananas and mash them.Kele Ke Kofte

  • Add rest of the ingredients and make balls and deep fry.

  • Heat oil for the gravy, add cloves, bay leaf, cumin, asafoetida, ginger and green chili, beaten curd, turmeric, garam masala powder, red chili powder and water to adjust the consistency.

  • Adjust the seasoning.

  • Add the koftas, simmer for a few minutes before serving.

  • Garnish with chopped coriander.

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Kaddu Ki Sabji (Pumpkin Curry)

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Red/Yellow Pumpkin, peeled and cubed – ¾ kg

  • Red Chilies, broken in pieces - 3

  • Cumin Seeds/ Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

 

  • Oil – 3 tbsp

  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

  • Sugar – 1 tbsp

  • Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Heat oil, add mustard and cumin seeds, red chilies and turmeric powder.

  • Add the pumpkin pieces and stir-fry.

  • Add ½ cup water, sugar and salt.

  • Cook till done.

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Khuskhus Aloo

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Potatoes, peeled, cubed - 6

  • Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus) Roasted – 2tbsp

  • Green Chilies – 3

  • Coriander Leaves – a bunch

  • Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp

  • Salt - to taste

  • Dry Red Chilies - 3

  • Oil – 3 tbsp

  • Water – ½ cup

Method :

  • Grind the roasted poppy seeds along with the green chilies and a few tbsp of water to a  make a very fine paste.

  • Keep aside.

  • Heat half of the oil in a pan on high flame for 2 minute or till very hot.

  • Shallow fry the potatoes in batches on medium heat until they are lightly browned.

  • Heat up the remaining oil in the same pan.

  • Mix in the whole dry red chilies and turmeric powder.

  • Fry briefly.

  • Now mix in the poppy seed paste and fry again on low flame for 5 minutes till the oil starts separating.

  • Mix in the fried potatoes and mix well.

  • Mix in water and salt.

  • Stir, cover and cook on low flame for 15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

  • Decorate with cut fresh coriander.

  • Serve hot.

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Navratri Raita

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Boiled and Chopped Water chestnuts - 5

  • Boiled and Chopped Potato -1

  • Whole Roasted Peanuts – 1 tbsp

  • Boiled and Chopped Sweet Potato - 1

  • Finely Chopped Coriander - 1 tbsp

  • Small Green Chili – 1

 

  • Cumin Seed Powder – ½ tsp

  • Cumin Seeds Whole – ½ tsp

  • Chopped Cucumber - 1

  • Thick Curds – 1 cup

  • Sugar - to taste

  • Salt - to taste

  • Oil – 1 tsp

Method :

  • Beat the yogurt in a deep bowl.

  • Add sugar, chopped chili, cumin powder and salt. Mix well.

  • Add all vegetables and peanuts. Mix well.

  • Chill the mixture.

  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a crucible.

  • Add cumin seeds and let them crackle.

  • Pour over the raita immediately.

  • Garnish the raita with chopped coriander leaves.

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Panchamritham

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 2

Ingredients :

  • Finely Chopped Banana - 1

  • Fresh Milk – 1 cup

  • Fresh Curds – 1 tbsp

  • Ghee – 1 tsp

  • Sugar – 3 tsp

  • Basil (Tulsi) leaves - 5

Method :

  • PanchamrithamCombine together curds, ghee, milk and sugar.

  • Add finally chopped banana and basil.

  • Refrigerate the mixture before serving.

  • Panchamritham is ready. Serve it in tiny bowls.

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PeaNut Curd Chutney

Preparation Time : 35 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients :

  • Fresh Curds – 1 cup

  • Peanuts, crushed – 1 tbsp

  • Green Chili, finely chopped- 1

  • Coriander, finely chopped – 1 tbsp

  • Curry Leaves - 1 stalk

  • Sugar, powdered – ½ tsp

  • Oil – 1 tsp

  • Salt to taste

Method :

  • Beat curds till smooth.

  • Add peanut, chili, coriander, salt and sugar.

  • Heat oil in a small pan, add the curry leaves and allow them to splutter.

  • Add to curds, while spluttering.

  • Stir to mix well.

  • Refrigerate till required.

  • Serve with sabodana wadas, rajgiri puris, etc

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Rajgiri Puris

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Serves : 6

Ingredients :

  • Rajgira Flour – 1 cup

  • Rajgira Granules – ½ cup

  • Coriander, finely chopped – 1 tbsp

  • Crushed Groundnuts - 1 tsp

  • Oil, warmed – 1 tbsp

  • Oil - to deep fry

  • Rock Salt - to taste

Method :

  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Rajgiri Puris

  • Add enough water to make a soft pliable dough.

  • Heat oil for frying in a frying pan.

  • Divide dough into 12 portions.

  • Roll into 4” rounds.

  • Let 2 into hot oil, gently puff by pressing with back of a perforated spoon.

  • When light golden, flip carefully, to fry other side.

  • Drain, place on absorbent paper.

  • Serve hot and puffed with potato sabzi or curds.

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Sabudana Vada

Preparation Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 3

Ingredients :

  • Sago (sabudana) – 1 cup

  • Peanuts roasted (crushed coarsely) – ½ cup

  • Green Chilies (crushed) - 7-8

  • Potato (boiled, peeled and mashed) - 7-8

  • Rock Salt - to taste

  • Oil - to deep fry

Method :

  • Wash sago thoroughly and drain excess water.SabuDana Vada

  • Soak it for 2-3 hours.

  • Add all ingredients to it except oil.

  • Mix well into a paste.

  • Keep the oil in a deep frying pan to heat.

  • Moist hands and make small flat balls.

  • Slide the balls in the heated oil on medium flame.

  • Fry till they are crisp and light brown in color.

  • Drain them well using a perforated ladle.

  • Makes about 10 vadas.

  • Serve with peanut chutney.

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