Indian expats in the UAE will soon be celebrating one of their most popular festivals - the nine-day long Navratri festival. This year, the festivities will begin on Sunday, October 10, and continue until Monday, October 23, 2023.
This autumn festival of Navratri spans nine nights and is dedicated to the worship of the deity Durga. During this time, people come together to offer prayers and fast. Beyond the religious aspects of Navratri, it is also an occasion to relish a variety of delicious and wholesome dishes. Families and friends gather to share meals and exchange stories, creating a warm and joyous atmosphere.
Fasting during Navratri
During Navratri, many people choose to fast as a spiritual practice that helps purify the mind and body. This involves abstaining from certain foods such as grains, meat and eggs. Fasting is also believed to be a good way to detox our body with natural, highly nutritious food. The fasting food is simple and light, typically made with ingredients like buckwheat, water chestnut flour, and sabudana (tapioca pearls). Let's take a closer look at some of the fasting recipes.
It is a popular recipe that originated in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. It is healthy, made by soaking tapioca pearls in water and adding roasted peanuts. It is easy to digest and provides an energy boost, which makes it an ideal dish to consume while fasting. The dish is easy to prepare and can quickly become a staple in your kitchen. Try it.
Akkaravadisal or lentil pudding
An Indian dessert from Tamil Nadu made with lentils, jaggery, and milk. It's a creamy, rich pudding topped with nuts and flavoured with ghee. Here's the recipe.
Sabudana vada or fried tapioca patty
Sabudana vada is a crunchy appetiser made with fried tapioca pearls. It is a popular dish in Indian cuisine and is best served with fresh coriander chutney. Try this recipe.
Rajgira puri or Amaranth flour deep-fried breads
Rajgira puri is a puffed, fried bread that's commonly consumed during Navratri. It's made from rajgira flour, which is a non-cereal flour that's gluten free. It is also an excellent source of calcium and soluble fibre. It has a slightly sweet, nutty, and earthy flavour. Try this recipe to make savoury puffed bread.
Aloo Tamatar Ki Sabzi, or spiced potato and tomato curry
This is a popular Indian gravy dish that can be made with only five ingredients in less than 30 minutes. It's perfect for Navratri and tastes great with puris (deep-fried bread). Here's the recipe.
Raw banana kebab
These crispy bites are delicious and beneficial for your health, making them an excellent way to break your fast. This shallow fried savoury dish is made with raw bananas or plantains and is best served with a bowl of freshly ground coriander chutney for dipping. Here's the recipe.
An easy 20-minute classic recipe often made during fasting in Kerala. This dish combines yam, taro root, Chinese potato, jackfruit seeds, and raw mango with fresh coconut. Here is the recipe to try at home.
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