The nine nights festival is here again. It’s time for ardent prayers and offerings to the Divine Mother. The various communities in the city have geared up for the celebrations with ‘bommakkolu’, ‘garba’ dance, the durga puja and other ritual. And women in the households have started preparing the list of delicacies to be prepared each day. Of course fasting and feasting are part of the celebrations.
Here are some recipes of delicacies that are part and parcel of Navaratri celebrations of some communities in the city.
■ 1 Cup Chole (Chickpeas)
■ Salt To Taste
■ 2 Red Chilli
■ 1 tablespoon Grated Coconut
■ A few Curry leaves
■ A pinch Hing
■ 1 teaspoon Oil
■ 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
Soak the chole in water overnight The next day pressure cook the chole and allow for 3 whistles
Heat the pan, pour some oil and add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds begins to sputter, add hing, curry leaves, broken red chilli and then add the cooked chole and salt and mix it well Finally add the grated coconut and mix it well The delicious sundal is ready.
■ 400 gms fresh paneer (hang to drain whey completely)
■ 10-12 almonds cut into slivers
■ 8-10 of pistachios cut into slivers
■ A few saffron strands
■ 1 tbsp warm milk (to soak saffron)
■ 2 tsps milk powder
■ 1/2 cup finely powdered sugar
■ 1/2 tsp pistachio essence
■ 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
■ Ghee to lightly grease moulds
■ Moulds of any shape you like
Soak almond and pistachio slivers and saffron in warm milk. Keep aside to use as topping. If the nuts do not soak up all the milk by the time you are ready to use them, drain it away before you use the nuts as topping. Mix the paneer and milk powder in a pan and cook on a medium flame stirring continuously for 3 to 4 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. Add sugar, essence and cardamom powder and mix until smooth dough is formed. Lightly grease the moulds with ghee.
Put a little topping mixture (soaked almonds, pistachios and saffron strands) in each mould.
Press some of the prepared paneer mixture on top of the topping in each mould and shape.
Chill for a few hours, unmould carefully and serve.
Water Chestnut Halwa
■ 1/2 kg (500 gms) water chestnut
■ 150 gm mawa/khoa (thickened milk)
■ 1 cup milk 125 gm sugar
■ 1 tbsp ghee chopped almonds and cashewnuts
■ 1/4 cardamom powder yellow colour/saffron
Peel the singharas and grate them. You can also make a thick paste of it in the grinder. 2. Heat a pan and add ghee. Fry the singhara paste in ghee for 8 to 10 minutes. Grate mawa and add it in the paste. Mix after every 30 to 40 seconds till the colour changes to light brown and you get a whiff of the mawa flavour after cooking for 30 to 45 minutes at medium flame. In a small bowl, take little milk and soak saffron or add yellow colour. Keep it aside. Boil milk in a container and add sugar. Stir well. After boiling milk for 8 to 10 minutes, add the thickened milk singhara paste and stir continuously till it thickens. Add the yellow colour and remove from flame. Garnish with nuts and cardamom powder.
Sabudana (Sago) Ladoo
■ Sabudana 1 cup
■ Desiccated Coconut 3/4 cup
■ Sugar 1/2 cup
■ Cashews nuts 10
■ Ghee 6 tablespoon
■ Cardamom 4
Heat a pan, add sabudana and keep the flame low and stir it for atleast 30 minutes
After 25 to 30 minutes, the sabudana has changed its color to light brown. Remove the sabudana from flame and cool it off. Add the cooled sabudana in a mixer and grind it to a smooth powder Again heat the pan, add desiccated coconut and fry in low flame for 2-3 minutes. The coconut doesn’t need to become brown. Remove from flame. In the meantime, powder the sugar in a mixer.Add the powdered sugar, powdered sabudana to the fried desiccated coconut and mix well.Heat another pan, add 1 teaspoon of ghee and fry the broken cashews. Add the cashews to the ladoo mixture and mix well. Add rest of the ghee in the pan and heat it for a minute. Remove the ghee from flame and add it to the ladoo mixture and mix well with a spoon.When the mixture is warm enough to handle, take half fist full of ladoo mixture and hold it to make a small ball of sabudana ladoo. Repeat this step for rest of the ladoo mixture.