9 Best Navratri Vrat Recipes for 9 Days

Navaratri is a special celebration that takes place in India when the goddess Durga is venerated and is accompanied by a special diet for 9 days. During this period a series of rituals are performed that include from fasting to special meals and those that should be avoided. For example during the Navratri people avoid meals with garlic, onion, rice, wheat flour, semolina, chickpea flour, corn starch, flax seeds, oats, legumes.

In this fast-paced world where we look for everything to be done quick and easy, there is one thing that we are compromising on is our food habits. In this busy schedule, we look for fast foods that are junk and unhealthy, and can lead to a lot of health problems in the future. So why not change into a healthy alternative that is not only tasty, but also quick and easy to cook as well.

Navratri Vrat Recipes images

1. Sabudana Vada

The vada are traditional fried snacks in several regions of India. The sabudana vada made with potato and tapioca pearls, are usually prepared during the navratri period. Women prepare alternative meals with the rest of foods that are allowed, such as sabudana vada.

For this recipe we must first make them soft, but if we cook them they will be too soft and then too hard. So we leave them to soak in cold water, avoiding the heat (if it is very hot leave it in the fridge). Mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Proceed to their cooking by adding in oil until the whole mass is golden. If we do not increase the heat it will also be when the tapioca pearls have softened enough to be able to eat the whole preparation without noticing hard balls.

When the dough has little potato it melts and breaks in the oil. The tapioca pearls, which already retain water, soften. If there is too much tapioca in the dough, it all comes together and forms a salsita that does not do well oil. If you make the first sabudana vada and break it, and they remain as translucent, it is that the dough needs more potatoes.

They can also be grilled, with little oil, in a non-stick pan, covered. In that case make them a little flatter and put the fire a little lower, since they will be in contact with the pan all the time. Cook both sides and leave a moment on absorbent kitchen paper. I have not tried the oven, but you can try it too.

With the base of the recipe (tapioca pearls hydrated + potato + peanuts) you can invent your own similar vada. And if we start to vary it with whatever we want, we can add hard tofu (shredded with hands), cooked quinoa (and drained), carrot cooked and cut into small pieces, fresh parsley, chopped shiitake mushrooms, and roasted pumpkin.

2. Kuttu Ka Dosa

This Navratri moves beyond the usual Puris Kuttu and raises something different. A crunchy dosa recipe made of kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) with potato filling.

One of the simplest and easiest recipes are dosas or pancakes. Make a batter out of the Jowar flour and cook some delicious Jowar dosas or pancakes and have it hot with a spicy chutney. You can mix chopped or grated vegetables into the batter to make uthappam or vegetable dosa or make plain dosa by mixing Jowar flour and curds. Onion and Coriander can be spread over the dosa to make a crispy onion dosa for a change.

Godhi dosa is prepared using wheat flour and little bit rice flour with coconut chutney and onion sabzi. It is best when you add jaggery to dosa. A good masala dosa has three broad elements:

A thin but crisp and firm dosai that holds its shape even with the filling inside. The batter should be made especially for dosai and it should be neither too fermented nor too fresh. But, it shouldn’t dry out in the AirCon air to become poppadom. And when you soak the dosai, use it to hold the potato filling and dip it into the sambar and or chutney, it should not become a gooey mess.

The individual elements should stand apart but in total alignment with one another. The onion has to be shredded thin, fried with minuscule bits of ginger (garlic is optional here), turmeric powder, a finely chopped green chilli, red chilli powder that is not too hot, some green peas along with the boiled and mashed potato. The peas should still be whole and not mashed in.

Potato should not be mashed totally. A couple of fried cashew nuts can up the game by several notches. Even shallots should be small because you can’t handle large vegetables and dosai and chutney and masala in one go. A smashed yellow pumpkin gives a great consistency and mild sweet aftertaste without jaggery. It should be thick enough to soak dosai.

Too thick? That’s for rice, not for dosai. The chutneys have to be fresh. Not more than two/three hours old. A good coconut chutney with fresh broken coconut. A green chutney with coriander, mint and coconut. A red chutney with tomato and onion. Groundnut chutney and gun powder are not for masala dosa.

3. Parathas

Bread lovers can bake a healthy bread by replacing maida or all purpose flour with Jowar flour. This is easy to make and healthy recipe as jowar contains a lot of fiber. You can add some dry fruits to the bread dough if you are someone who does not fancy plain bread.

Paratha is one of the favorite dishes of the majority of Indian families, especially in Northern parts of India. This recipe, which is easy to cook and a staple food in many households is generally made from Wheat flour. Jowar flour can replace wheat flour to make it more healthy and taste different. Jowar can give a twist to your taste buds with the most familiar Parathas.

You can also add different vegetables or paneer to spice up the plain paratha. A special Chutney made from Groundnut, onion and garlic, is preferred by many as a side dish with Jowar Paratha. Any side dish that is usually cooked with parathas will taste great along with your jowar parathas.

They also make chapathi which is dry and crisp from Jowar flour which has a shelf life of 5-6 months! Khadak Roti is the local term for this and this Roti is good for consumption during travels, for supplying to places which are affected by floor, earthquake etc.

4. Idli

Idli is considered as one of the best breakfast by the WHO. Idli is a perfect combination of carbohydrates (rice) and protein (dal) with a good amount of fiber content. The batter is made by a fermentation process which makes it best for gut health. It is soft and fluffy which makes it suitable for all age groups.

Idli is light and easy to digest. It is cooked by a steaming method without adding oil and without direct contact with heat. All these make it a best breakfast option. One can eat 3-4 idlis per meal based on their health goals. Best time to eat idli is at breakfast. It can also be had at dinner. To enhance the protein content, have idli with sambhar.

This is for all those who want an easy way to grind idli batter. Soak 3 cups of idli rice (boiled rice), one cup dosa rice (raw rice) and half cup of good urad dhal with a little fenugreek seeds. Soak them all together after mixing and washing them in a big vessel in the morning. Grind after 6 hrs. Mix salt. Let ferment. At night it will be ready if the temperature is warm.

It may swell up faster in hot temperature. Keep in the fridge. Use next day to make soft idli. Have with sambar/chutney/idly spicy powder with sesame oil.

5. Poha

Moist it nicely. Soak Poha in water, drain the excess water and leave it for 4 to 5 minutes before cooking. Let the moisture get inside the Poha flakes. Always cook Poha in low flame. No matter how hungry you are, never cook Poha in high flame. After Mixing Poha with spices just cover the lid and cook it in low flame for 2 to 3 minutes (not more than that otherwise it will blow away the moisture).

After cooking for 2 minutes just turn off the heat and leave the lid ON for another 2 to 3 minutes. Let the Poha flakes cooked in its own steam. This will not only soften the flakes but also make it fluffy.

To prepare Dahi poha soak a cup of brown poha (brown rice flakes) in two cups of curd. Add a pinch of salt, chat masala, fresh chopped coriander, small green chilly chopped into tiny pieces and pomegranate seeds to it. Mix well and eat.

6. Rotis

Roti or rotti is a popular breakfast food in South India. Generally, rice flour is used to make roti and is called Akki Rotti. This soft and crispy dish is relished with chutney. But making this using Jowar flour is a good option as it will be crispier and healthier.

Vegetables like Carrot, Cabbage, Methi, cucumber etc. can be used along with onion. Just grate or cut any vegetable into small piece, cut some fresh coriander leaves and one green chili, mix it with Jowar flour and make delicious roti on tawa for a healthy and tasty breakfast.

Those who do not like Khadak Roti or Rotti can try soft roti. The procedure is simple, just boil 1½ cups of water, when water starts boiling, add little oil or ghee, salt and then add Jowar flour while stirring continuously. The mixture turns into solid dough. When this dough cools, knead it with little oil, make small balls, roll it into thin layers and bake it on tawa.

This can be served with dry vegetable curry or gravy one or with simple chutney. Makes a good breakfast recipe for elders also as it is soft and full of fiber.

7. Dal Makhani

Dal Makhani is a pure delight from Punjabi cuisine. It’s black lentils that have been simmered for hours in butter, spices, and cream. It’s so indulgent, so tasty, so comforting. You can eat it with rice, but my favourite thing is to eat it with plain naan. At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Dal Makhani is cooked for over 10 hours.

8. Kakara Pitha

It is a sweet dish from Odisha. They are made from cardamon flavored semolina (suji) and wheat flour. Chitau Pitha makes its appearance in the Odia homes on the occasion of Chitalagi Amabasya, also known as Chitau Amabasya. Basic ingredients are rice and coconut. Tastes nice if served with chutney or khir (khiri).

9. Sambar

Cook the Toor Dal or Moong dal or mixture of both separately in a pressure cooker. Add small amount of ghee or oil while cooking which will give soft even cooking. Choose the vegetables for sambar wisely. Always choose vegetables in pair. Either local vegetables like brinjal, Drumstick, ladies finger or English vegetables like carrot, beans.

Always use the home ground red chilly powder and coriander seed powder or use the best tried commercial chilly powders. When making Tadka use mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, red chilly flakes and asafoetida. Shallots (small onions) are preferred over the big onions as shallots give more taste to sambar. Use country tomatoes rather than the salad one as the country tomatoes give more sourness and taste.

Make fresh Sambar powder which contains the roasted powdered grams like urad dal, channa dal, rice, till seeds, pepper corns, grated coconuts. Always add the Sambar powder at the end so that the flavour remains in the mixture. Add tamarind water extracted from a small sphere (goli gundu) size tamarind after the vegetables are added. That will complete the dish.

For breakfast sambar add small jaggery bits. Use generous amount of corriander leaves.

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