Representational Image
Representational Image

Indore: The city of food lovers where there are extravagant menus for every occasion and festival, especially Navratri. As most people will begin their nine-day fast to celebrate the fest, one of the most desirable factors of Indore, i.e. ‘food’ will be missed this year.

Usually, we have thousands of temporary and permanent stalls and delicacies available especially for fasting available in the city. However, this year, that is less likely going to be the case.

Even if stalls are put up, most people would fear and be advised to avoid eating out. So, we have decided to make ‘eating in’ a fun trend with unique recipes shared by food experts in the city. Some are new, some are traditional, some are twisted and some, you just cannot resist.

Banana Rasayana: sweet packed with minerals

This recipe comes from the Karnataka and is one of the healthiest and best choice for staying healthy and happy. The sweet dish is prepared with bananas and jaggery, both known for health benefits:

Recipe as shared by food expert Neha Tiwari

Peel and chop two medium sized bananas.

Add 2 tablespoons powdered or grated jaggery and 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder.

Mix the jaggery and cardamom powder with the sliced bananas.

Add 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (first extract of coconut milk).

Kids special: Cupcakes you can have while fasting

With the current trends in the city, most celebrations mean cakes and cupcakes. To enjoy the festival, you can fast and also enjoy this fasting cupcake/cake recipe shared by 11-year-old food enthusiast Lakshya K.

Blend: Rajgiri or amaranth flour (1 cup), Samak or barn millet flour (1/2 cup), Singhara or chestnut flour (1/2 cup), sugar (3/4 cup), milk (1 cup), baking powder (1/2 teaspoon), baking soda (1/4 teaspoon), and olive oil (2-3 tablespoons)

In a pan, grease the bottom with a brush dipped in oil. Pour the batter in the pan, then add chopped walnuts.

Preheat the oven for 10 minutes to 180 degree C. Place the pan and bake the cake for 30-40 minutes then cool it.

You can further prepare and frost the cup cake or cake with butter cream and garnish with cherries.

From Maharashtra, traditional savoury dish

Maharashtrian upvaas thalipeeth is an all-time favourite Maharashtrian dish, which is often had for breakfast or supper. Homemaker Karuna Sisodiya shares the recipe:

To make the upvaas thalipeeth, combine rajgira (amaranth) flour; peeled and grated raw potatoes; roasted and coarsely crushed peanuts; green chilli paste; lemon juice; salt; chopped coriander in a deep bowl and knead into a soft dough using approx. 1 ½ tbsp water.

Divide the dough into 4 equal portions and keep aside.

Heat a non-stick tava (griddle) and grease it lightly with ghee.

Grease your fingers with a little ghee, place a portion of the dough on the tava (griddle) and pat it evenly with greased fingers to form a 100 mm. (4”) diameter circle.

Cook, using ghee till they turn golden brown spots appear on both the sides.

Taste of Indori: Paneer Kachori

A fun twisted form of Kachori that is rich in protein, healthy, delicious and perfect for fasting is shared by food enthusiast Rajni Dixit.

Prepare dough by combining Rajgira (Amaranth) flour and Singhara flour (water chestnut), salt and 1 tablespoon warm oil.

Cover and let this dough rest for 10 mins.

Make stuffing by combining crumbled or grated paneer; green chilies; chopped coriander leaves; and chopped dry fruits of your choice.

Pull a small portion of stuffing in the dough and roll it into a smooth ball with no cracks. Gently press to flatten it.

Fry the prepared kachoris on low-medium heat.

Namkeen for Navratri

For an Indori, a day without sev and namkeen is an incomplete day. While fasting for nine-days, most people crave that crunchy goodness.

One of the easiest dish that even the 4-year-old Kishti Solanki loves to prepare and eat with her mother Priyanka is this Navratri Namkeen.

Heat ghee in a pan or kadai and dry roast Makhana. Keep stirring them so that Makhana does not burn.

Heat ghee in the same pan, add mustard seeds lets them crackle and then add peanuts roast until golden brown.

Then add roasted gram dal along with sliced dried coconut and fry on medium-low flame till coconut is roasted well.

Next add curry leaves, chili, asafoetida (hing) and saute for another 30 seconds.

Add spices as per choice and taste with salt. Mix and enjoy.

Balanced light meal for lazy day

A balanced meal is essential to stay healthy while fasting. A simple recipe that kids and adults enjoy alike is ‘Sweet and Savoury Pumpkin’, shared by mechanical engineer Kunal Singh.

In a pan add oil and cumin seeds. After they crackle, add chopped pumpkin, salt and sugar.

Stir well and cover the pan with a lid to let the pumpkin simmer.

Once the pumpkin is cooked, season with dry mango powder, roasted cumin powder and black pepper powder.

Now, put a pan over medium flame and heat oil in it, add dry red chillies and saute them until they crackle and then pour it over the pumpkins.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

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