From coconut crepes to makhana lassi, give your Navratri meal an exotic makeover

Navratri 2022 is here and with everyone in the festive mood after two years, the celebrations are getting bigger and better! While fasting is a big part of Navratri, there is also an emphasis on food – simple, grain-free
satvik Specials that are must-haves this season. However, fasting does not have to mean boring food. We asked experts to reinvent classic Navratri staples and share some delicious, unique recipes that can nourish you while tickling your taste buds. Here’s what they came up with. Enjoy!

‘FASTING FOOD IS AS VERSATILE AS HEALTHY’

“Many people think
satvik or fasting is one-dimensional. But that is far from the truth. In fact, the ingredients we use during fasting such as:
Rajgira, Sabudana, coconut or fruit are so versatile that you can create countless recipes from them. There is no need to just stick to it
kuttu puri, sabudana khichdi or
rajgira halwa‘ shared chef Shiva Sharma.

1)
Coconut Crepe Rolls

Ingredients:

For dough

  • 1 cup Rajgira flour
  • 1&1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup of yogurt

For the filling

  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped pineapple
  • 3 tbsp sugar

Instructions:

– Mix together all the ingredients for the batter and ensure a smooth, runny consistency.

– Dry roast the coconut flakes in a pan. Remove from the flame, add sugar, peanuts and pineapple. Set aside to cool.

– Prepare the crepe on sim. After turning over, place the filling on the flame.

– At the same time, make the roll while the crepe is still warm.

– Fry on both sides until golden brown and serve hot.

“Fasting routines are incomplete without coconut flakes, milk, or flour. You can use coconut flour instead in this recipe
Rajgira if you like the taste. It’s a mix of sweet and salty flavors, making it an even more interesting quick recipe. You can even drizzle some honey on it. Any hot drink would be a great accompaniment to this. Or you can also use freshly cut fruit or dried fruit,” reveals head chef Anita Maheshwari.

2) Pumpkin Almond Soup

pumpkin soup



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 3/4 cup toasted blanched almonds
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter/ghee
  • 3/4 teaspoon rock salt

Instructions:

– Chop 1/4 cup almonds and set aside.

– Whisk together flour and 1/4 cup milk.

– Take a pan, pour in the flour mixture and mix in the remaining almonds, pumpkin puree and salt.

– Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

– Stir occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan

– Put the hot mixture in a blender. Allow the steam to escape and blend until smooth. Serve hot in bowls with the reserved 1/4 cup chopped almonds or other nuts/seeds.

“This pumpkin and almond soup can easily be kept for a day or two. Minimal use of ingredients means it’s easy to prepare. Roasted almonds add a special flavor to the soup and add some crunch as well. You can use any dried fruit as a garnish or even as an ingredient, walnuts are particularly delicious,” says chef Shiva Sharma.

3) Water Chestnut Banana Samosa

samosa



Ingredients:

For dough

  • 120 grams singhare ka atta
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 2&1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tsp rock salt

For the filling

  • 2 raw bananas, boiled and peeled
  • 3/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 30 grams of ghee

Instructions:

– Coarsely grind the raw banana

– Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin. When it’s bubbling, add the banana paste and the remaining spices. Set aside to cool

– Prepare the dough for the outer layer of the samosa by mixing all the ingredients

– Roll out the dough, cut into two equal halves, moisten the edges and fill the mixture in the form of samosas.

– Heat the ghee and dry fry the samosas over high heat until golden brown

– Serve hot

“Samosas are an absolute favorite snack for everyone, and when you can eat them while fasting, it really becomes a feast. Many people avoid using raw bananas in their fast, but they make an amazing substitute for potatoes and are pretty healthy too. If you want to add more twist, you can also add water chestnut fruit to the filling,” says chef Anita.

4) Sitaphal Makhana Lassi

Makhana lassi

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cup thick yogurt
  • 1 cinnamon apple/ sitaphal
  • 10 to 12 pieces Makhana
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of cardamom powder

Instructions:

– Take a custard apple and remove the core

– Add pulp, makhana, honey (or jaggery), chilled yogurt and cardamom powder to blender.

– Blend until a semi-thick, creamy consistency is obtained.

– Serve cold

“The special thing about this recipe is that it goes well with any sweetener or even without it. If the fruit is sweet enough, you can always stop adding sweeteners. Or dates are also a good natural sweetener that enhances the flavor of the lassi. Custard Apple can also be substituted with any other available fruit. A good tip would be to toast the makhana a bit before adding it so it doesn’t feel too chewy or mushy when serving,” shares chef and cooking expert Shivani Sonekar. She further adds: “There is no shortage of innovations that can be made with fasting foods. You can experiment with milk and its products. Milkshakes, smoothies, lassi, etc. are great fasting ingredients as they keep you hydrated and full for a long time. Hung curd is another versatile ingredient. Add fruit and some sweetener and you have an easy to make filling snack to eat.”

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