Are you a picky eater? Share some of your favorite food quirks with us (the more exotic, the better!). Omnivores: what’s the one thing you won’t eat?
This prompt has come during that time when I am observing fast for nine days called “NAVRATRI” a festival dedicated to the worship of Hindu deity “DURGA” in India. The literal meaning of the word is “Nine nights”, “Nava” means nine and “ratri” means night.
Very auspicious, spiritual days basically the period of devotional sadhanas and worship of Shakti the ultimate, absolute creative energy of the Divine conceptualized as the Mother Goddess-Durga, whose worship dates back to prehistoric times before the early Vedic age. Nine forms of Durga are worshipped during these nine days
To me Navratri is meant for cleansing mind, body and soul..
Most people switch on to simple vegetarian food, strictly avoid non veg food, onions, garlic and ingredients in navratri. Intake of salt reduces to one meal only (mostly in lunch) some confine to fruits and juices only. Consumption of fruits and dairy products replace grain consumption, good for cleansing intestines and flushing out toxins from the body.
In vedas, girls are considered as “SHAKTI” or DURGA’s incarnation on earth therefore those who observe fast they invite nine virgin girls to worship them who represent nine forms of Durga and obtain blessings. Devotees give them gifts and feed them famous Indian desert called Suji Ka Halwa and Puri Chana (chick peas) as devotional offering. This ritual is called Kanya Puja, performed on eight or ninth day depending on the connivence of a devotee on culmination of fasts. I cook halwa and spicy chanas on this occasion which my family relish so much.
Let me take this prompt as an opportunity to share some foodie facts about this festive season.
No Indian occasion is complete without lavish and rich spread of exotic dishes. Navratri festival is also one such occasion. People tend to eat more what they eat during their normal days that too when they keep fast for nine nights. Isn’t it interesting?
A very large community keep these fasts every year. Now a days almost all food joints and restaurants offer special navratri palette. Special recipes have been introduced to make navratri food so tempting !!!
Navratri means one week full of fried potatoes ! It can be anything from generous serving of potato cutlets, chips, fries, pakoras to boiled, diced and sautéed in pure ghee or simply mashed to mix in curd, depending on the mood.
Reason? Potato is considered as a fruit and a vegetable both, can be eaten without guilt day and night. Next comes dairy products which further add to calories. Milk, cottage cheese, curd, desserts made from milk….. like ‘Kheer’ ( sago pearls cooked in sweetened milk on simmering heat till milk becomes thick and tapioca pearls completely cooked, garnished with dry fruits generously), coconut ladoos, and all variety of nuts fried in fat are eaten mostly.
People tend to gain weight during or after navratri but there are some extreme cases also like our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi who only survive on water diet for nine days…..just plain water !!! Presently he is in USA and will not be able to enjoy White House Feast because of fasts.
Here is a list of Navratri Dishes to relish
You can try these exotic dishes at home. Sharing Navratri food recipes.
Konda kadalai (chick peas) Sundal
Peanut (kadalai) Sundal
Puri Chana and Halwa
Makhane Ki Sabzi
Sawank Ke Chawal
Dahi Pudine Wale Aloo
Shakarkandi Ki Chaat
Singhare Ke Pakode
Kaddu Ka Raita
Presently I am on fruits, milk and dry nuts diet, trying to avoid fried food and salt for this week.
Otherwise also I can’t eat oily and spicy food. Proud to be a vegetarian. Here is a twist in the tale…..I have never tasted chicken but I can cook amazing Indian and continental non veg food for my husband and both the sons. The way they polish off tandoori chicken with in no time I am sure it is yummy.
I love to eat Chinese,Thai and south Indian cuisine anywhere any time. I am dying to eat food cooked by my mom and looking forward to holidays when I will join my in laws and parents, my sisters for a lavish family meal.
Till then Happy Navratri to you all. Maa Durga Bless you all.