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6 Healthy Navratri Dishes to try this festive season

Navratri

Navratri, a Hindu festival that spans nine nights and ten days, is celebrated every year. “Nava” in Sanskrit means nine and “ratri” meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti Devi are worshipped.

Fasting for these nine days is a common practice followed in many Indian homes. According to an ancient belief, one should adopt a saatvik diet during this period. But have you wondered why? Besides the religious belief and sentiment, there’s a scientific reason for the same.

Navratri usually falls around the month of March-April and the other during October-November. During this time of seasonal change, our immunity tends to decline, and therefore, it helps to switch to light, sativk food that doesn’t burden our digestive system.

For me fasting means completely giving my system a rest by eliminating all fried and fatty stuff as well. So here’s a list of recipes we usually prepare during Navratri which enables us to eat clean as well as gives us the required nutrition.

1. Water Chestnut & Cucumber Salad

My Water-chestnuts & Cucumber Salad ‘n’ it’s tryst with “Navratri”! Many across India change over to a ‘Satvik’ dietary mode during this festive time of the year. Wonder why ? To cut to the chase, October – November is when the seasons change and wage war against your immunity! This recipe is an absolute no-brainer! Click here for the full recipe.

 

2. Fariyali Dudhi Na Muthiya – Navratri special Muthiyas

Hi friends! Here’s to all those who are observing the traditional “Navratri” fasts. Don’t go on a feasting binge eating programme, by resorting to fried puris and halwas. Instead, look out for healthy, clean eating options to give your digestive system the much required rest. Click here for the full recipe.

3. Samak ki Tikki (Mordhan Tikkis) (Barnyard Millet Cutlets)

Samak, mordhan aka Barnyard millet, is one of my most favourite millets to cook with. With it being a good source of protein, and relatively low in calorie, this tikki features quite often in my regular dinner menus as well. Click here for the full recipe.

4. Fariyali Roestii

Despite the common myth, fasting can in fact be healthy. A spin on the authentic Swiss ‘Roestii ’ and voila, you have a delectable recipe to make Navratri fasting a celebration! Click here for the full recipe.

5. Barnyard Millet Salad

Of the myriad of Indian festivities “Navratri” is truly widely celebrated, one wherein many North Indians fast for these auspicious 9 days, some to please the deity and others to rest and rejuvenate their bodies. As a natural outcome respecting both, a conscious adherence to certain select foods has been practised over time. The “Barnyard Millet” or “Mordhan” or Samak” as many of us know it, is quite a multifaceted ingredient and can be used in an assortment of recipes including my all-time favourite salad. Click here for the whole recipe.

6. Nolen Gud Sandesh layered with Edible Gum

Nolen Gud Sandesh layered with Edible Gum !!! The artisan Gud travels all the way from Kolkata to Indore during winter months and gets ensconced into this delectable Bengali speciality adorning your table like a priceless artefact! Served warm, this dessert has a smooth texture which simply melts away in your mouth! Click here for the full recipe.

So happy fasting everyone! Do not feast but fast. Detox and clean up your system before the upcoming Diwali season.

Appetizers/ Others

Fariyali Roestii

Fariyali Roestii

Despite the common myth, fasting can in fact be healthy. A spin on the authentic Swiss ‘Roestii ’ and voila, you have a delectable recipe to make Navratri fasting a celebration!

I have simply substituted the regular potato with it’s healthier cousin i.e. sweet potato, one available in plenty during this time of the year and added grated carrots. A mini dollop of a cool ‘minty tzatziki dip’ makes it attractively delicious. Mostly loved by children and a great party snack as well, do give this ‘fariyali’ carrot and sweet potato rosti a try this Navratri season

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Appetizers

Samak ki Tikki (Mordhan Tikkis) (Barnyard Millet Cutlets)

Samak

Samak, mordhan aka Barnyard millet, is one of my most favourite millets to cook with. With it being a good source of protein, and relatively low in calorie, this tikki features quite often in my regular dinner menus as well.

Samak Tikki makes up an ideal carb protein fibre combination for a meal.

Instead of deep frying the same, I prefer to shallow fry them in organic ghee. So here’s a great recipe to try for those looking for a healthy detox during the ‘Navratri’ season

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Soups & Salads

Water Chestnut & Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

My Water-chestnuts & Cucumber Salad ‘n’ it’s tryst with “Navratri”!

Many across India change over to a ‘Satvik’ dietary mode during this festive time of the year. Wonder why ? To cut to the chase, October – November is when the seasons change and wage war against your immunity! So not-burdening your digestive system is an absolute no-brainer!

This Water-chestnut aka ‘Singhada’ n Cucumber salad has a south-Indian spin with cold pressed coconut oil, dash of peanuts and a lovely crunchy texture! Typically a time to ‘Fast’ and not ‘Feast’, enjoy this salad guilt free n steer clear from fried Puri’s n Halwa this Navratri.

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Appetizers/ Others

Fariyali Dudhi Na Muthiya – Navratri special Muthiyas

Fariyali Dudhi Na Muthiya

Hi friends! Here’s to all those who are observing the traditional “Navratri” fasts. Don’t go on a feasting binge eating programme, by resorting to fried puris and halwas. Instead, look out for healthy, clean eating options to give your digestive system the much required rest.

Fikar not ! (Do not worry).  Today I am sharing this healthy Fariyali Dudhi Na Muthiya recipe which is simple and easy to make.

Team this delicious muthiya with buttermilk to make a complete nutritious satiating meal

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Breakfast

Upma with Mint Yogurt Sauce

Upma

A traditional South Indian breakfast offering, the now quintessential Upma proudly boasts of a flavoursome, wholesome and healthy welcome not only in South Indian households n eateries but across many Indian homes!

Made in an array of styles with simply everyday ingredients, its dry or porridge-like texture is replete with taste, emitting an irresistible aroma as it makes its way to your table! A lil extra effort in its presentation and thoughtfully paired condiments like my mint yogurt chutney and voila, you will be licking your fingers all the way!

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Soups & Salads/ Appetizers

Mexican Taco Salad in a Jar

Mexican Taco

Guys this Mexican “Salad in a jar” literally feels like the “Gini in Aladdin’s lamp”!

A delectable and gorgeous manifestation of colours, palates, textures, nutrition and all!

A complete meal in itself, this Mexican all-rounder sans the calorie ridden sour cream, cheese, rice and tortilla infallibly brings out the authentic flavours of corn, refried beans, avocado amongst others.

Finally the layer of spicy salsa makes it ultimately and truly Mexican, something akin to the real kicker…

Those of you wanting a lil added crunch, top this salad with Doritos or anything similar and viola you are ready with own potable meal, an epitome of clean eating in a riot of colours!

Those with a fetish for measured servings, go ahead to create your very own miniature versions and watch the magic adorn your table settings!

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Mains

Tahini flavoured Chargrilled Cauliflower

Tahini flavoured Chargrilled Cauliflower

Tahini flavoured Chargrilled Cauliflower…a new favourite in my kitchen which has become something like a religion with my fitness driven darling daughter.

Often regarded as the paler cousin of broccoli, this vegetable can throw some real surprises when it comes to its huge nutritional value and delectable recipes and flavours being concocted. The mesmerising aroma of roasted cauliflower wafting under your noses when paired with tahini is literally like a match made in heaven.

There is nothing better that pairing a nicely chargrilled cauliflower with a fresh, herby green tahini sauce. The flavors of the roasted cauliflower and the nuttiness of the tahini blend together perfectly. Not only is this dish simply divine (which should be enough reason for you all to try it out), but is also packed with abundant nutrients and works well with almost any diet.

Firstly, tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. It’s extremely rich in antioxidants and contains vitamin B and vitamin E along with other important minerals such as iron and calcium. Moreover, the hero of this dish – the cauliflower itself is a great source of oxidants and is high in fibre.

This recipe is inspired by my favourite chef Yotam Ottolenghi

 

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Mains

Veg Dhansak

Veg Dhansak

Till day “Dhansak” remains the crowning glory of Parsi cuisine for me as also for abundant Mumbaikars. A spin on the authentic mutton dhansak, this Vegetarian adaptation is for scores of people like me including those now turned veg. Typically a melange of dals and vegetables, this recipe literally oozes with flavours and texture alike. Pair it with brown rice & onion salad and you get the feeling that this is truly a match made in heaven !!! Simply talking about Dhansak makes me nostalgic about those yesteryears in school & college when we would dig into lunch boxes of our Parsi friends or drop in at the CCI club to relish this unique preparation…

Wishing all my Parsi friends “Happy Pateti”

 

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Desserts

Rasmalai

Rasmalai

Celebrate Janmashtami with these succulent, mouth-watering and gorgeous looking “Rasmalai”. Lord Krishna is my favourite avtaar of the divine whose b’days are unfailingly celebrated with childlike enthusiasm. Similar to my love for Lord Krishna, his love for Makhan-Malai is well known all over.  So in keeping with his food choices this Rasmalai recipe created by my grand-mother turns out to be just the perfect offering for my Lord and one that has been adored by Indian households over times immemorial! I use store-bought rasgulla’s and hence it is real easy and quick to make. Serve chilled and relish the sweet saffron flavour being released in your mouth as you experience the silky- soft texture of this regal rasmalai!

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