HYDERABAD: It’s festive time and the celebrations are incomplete without the combintion of food, family and friends coming together. Most of us love to celebrate the 9-day festival of Navratri, as we get to dance, eat delicious food and enjoy the best of time with our dear ones. With everything getting creative these days, restaurants have come up with food ideas that would make you crave for more.
Around this time, people fast and believe in having food that is light on their plate, and so, restaurants in the city have come up with special Navratri thalis where you get to choose from a variety of vegetarian dishes that suits the fasting diet this season. We get you all the details about where you can find nutritious and yummy food this year.
The Westin, Hyderabad Mindspace, is going all out with its Navratra Bhojan. Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula takes us through what’s in their menu for the festival. “Basically, Navratra thali is where people go with no seed, no protein and no grain food. The basket for Navratra ingredients is very limited. One cannot have rice, aata, dal or grains. Things you can have are millets and specific vegetables with no spices, except haldi. Even the salt we use is rock salt.
These are very famous up North and this culture is widely spreading to the South as well. But to adopt this, it could get difficult as one will have to change their eating habits drastically. This is basically detoxing the body and growing spiritually. The festival goes on from September 23 to October 4. In place of rice, we have chamak ki chaval, ragi and poori. We are using buckwheat flour and chestnut flour, and a lot of root vegetables. We also have lassi and chaas and will keep changing the menu every day. Not to forget, our Indian-cuisine restaurant Kangan too goes completely vegetarian every Navratri. People can walk in and enjoy a scrumptious meal in the afternoon — from 12:30pm onwards,” he shares.
Farzi Cafe, Jubilee Hills, Rd no 59, too, is not far behind when it comes to curating menus specific to festivals. For this time of the year, they have come up with a unique Navratri thali. Sandeep Sai, executive chef at Farzi Café, says, “People usually fast for 8 to 9 days and use pure ingredients to cook their food. So this time, we tried and used ingredients that are pure in nature, like the puttu flour. We have replaced onion and garlic with sweet potato.
We have around 7 to 8different dishes as part of the thali — aloo and sabudana tikki, sabudana papad, puttu puri, shakkar kanjui ki kofta made of sweet potato, paneer bhurji and pumpkin curry. We also have our anar ka raita and makhane ki kheer. This thali will be available during all the 9 days of the festival — from 11am to 9pm.”