New Delhi, Oct 16: When the nine-day festival of Navratri dedicated to Shakti or feminine power begins tomorrow, devotees will worship nine avatars of Goddess Durga and observe a fast for nine days.
During the Navratri, devotees try to take a sattvic diet, that is, food without spices, oil, onion, garlic, meat. This strengthens their body and mind as the change of season brings illnesses and diseases. Here is a list of 5 binge-worthy sattvic recipes to try ahead of the auspicious occasion:
1. Sabudana Khichdi (Sago seeds)
An easy snack, Sabudana Khichdi (sago) is usually made during fasting days like Navratri or Mahashivratri or Ekadashi. The sago seeds or tapioca pearls are needed to be soaked in water for 2 to three hours or it will be better if you can soak them overnight. Always use 1:1 ratio of sabudana and water. To check if it has been properly soaked, press a pearl between your thumb and index finger. You should be able to smash it easily. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds, add the diced potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, add roasted peanuts, and cook for one more minute. Add drained sago seeds, and add rock salt. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes until most of the sago seeds become translucent. Make sure that you don't cook it for a long time else it will stick to each other. Remove the pan from heat. Add lemon juice and cilantro and toss to combine, and your Sabudana khichdi is ready.
2. Sama Pulao (Barnyard millet)
Sama or Samak is not associated with rice and is from the millet family. In English, they are called Barnyard millet.
Rinse the sama or barnyard millet a couple of times in water like the way we rinse rice and soak in enough water for 20-30 minutes. Heat oil or ghee in a pan, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and black pepper. Saute the ingredients in pan and add crushed ginger-green chili, and mix them for half a minute on a low flame. Add the cubed potatoes and curry leaves, and roasted peanuts powder. Take the soaked sama rice and add to the mixture. Mix it well and add water, salt as required. Cook in pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles or till the water is absorbed and the millet grains are cooked. You can add chopped cashews and almonds and garnish with the dry fruits and coriander leaves. The samak pulao is ready to eat!
3. Dahi Aloo (Curd potatoes)
Yet another light curry that you can make for vrat or religious fasting, Dahi aloo, can be served with Sabudana Khichdi. To cook, boil the potato, peel and crumble them with your hands. You can also chop if you want. Beat dahi (curd or yogurt) till smooth. Heat ghee or oil. Crackle cumin seeds, and then add the ginger and fry for some seconds. Add the crumbled potatoes. Mix the potatoes for about two to three minutes. Then add all the dry spice powders. Stir well and saute for a minute. Add the beaten dahi and mix. Add water as required and stir again. Season with rock salt. Let the potatoes simmer for some minutes until the gravy thickens. Stir nicely and once done, garnish dahi aloo gravy with coriander leaves and serve dahi aloo hot.
4. Kaddu ki sabzi (Pumpkin curry)
An easy and simple recipe, the pumpkin curry is a binge-worthy recipe during Navratri. To start with, wash one small-sized pumpkin and peel it. Chop the pumpkin into small pieces. Take a pressure cooker or pan, and heat about two tablespoons peanut oil or ghee, add one fourth teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and 1 teaspoon cumin seeds. Fry for a minute on a low flame. Add the chopped pumpkin. Stir and mix well. Next, add half teaspoon red chilli powder and half teaspoon turmeric powder. Add three fourth cup or one cup of water and rock salt (sendha namak). Mix well and then cook it on a medium flame for 7-8 minutes. Pressure cook till the pumpkin becomes soft and mushy, and then mash the cooked pumpkin. Stir the mashed pumpkin well and cook for a minute or two, or till the water evaporates. Your pumpkin curry is ready to be served.
5. Vrat ke Jeera Aloo (Cumin potatoes)
The simple and quick to make recipe can be served with Samak Pulao. To start, boil 3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes in a pressure cooker until they are tender and cooked completely. Peel and chop them. In a pan, heat half a tablespoon peanut oil or ghee. On a low flame, add 1.5 teaspoon cumin seeds and allow them to splutter and change their colour. Next add the chopped potatoes, and stir well, then add rock salt as required. Stir again. Stir and saute for a minute and add half a teaspoon of lemon juice, as per your taste. The vrat ke jeera aloo is ready! Bon Appetit!