Navratri is a special time in India – It means most of the people are fasting and worshipping the nine forms of goddess Durga ( in hindi she’s known as durga maa – a mother ). This festival is divided into Nine nights , it’s a sanskrit word and completed on the ninth and tenth day where people celebrate it by closing the nine days by sharing the food with 9 girls called as “ Kanjak in hindi “ age of 0-8 years ( now a days the number of the Kanjak – could be any) .
It’s one of the major festival in India, has a sequence of few other festivals that follows after Navratri ( oct / Nov) and which also includes the famous festival of India called Diwali & Dussehra ( no fasting required).
As we all know India is a culturally diverse country. People celebrate this festival depending on their different culture and values in their respective families. Every city has it’s own way of celebrating it.
Navratri comes between the transition of 2 seasons – transition from season Fall to winters and winters to spring.
During Navratri festival and fasting period, people prepare food without onions and garlic . Just to find out the reason behind why the food is prepared without the onions and garlic, I end up calling my mother in law in order to understand the logic behind. Every one in India knows that cooking Navratri food has to be without onions and garlic so at times one forgets to find the logic behind.
Coming back to my logic behind no garlic and onions – Food has been categorised into 3 categories by Ayurveda
1. Satvik – Pure vegetarian food without garlic and onions, seasonal fruits, dairy products etc.
2. Rajsik – Non- vegetarian food etc.
3. Tamasik – Onions , Stale food , Non- vegetarian food etc.
Worshippers offers the prayers for the protection, health of prosperity for the family. Satvik food is considered as pure and energetic.
There is a very interesting story behind why do we worship the goddess durga and what happened, google could answer all 🙂
- 500 gm - bottle gourd (in hindi Lauki) peeled & grated :- For Batter
- 6 big carrots - peeled & grated
- 1/2 cup - boiled peas
- 2 tablespoons - Coriander powder
- Salt per taste
- 1/2 inch - grated ginger
- 2 cups - besan Gram flour / Chick pea powder
- Oil to fry
- 4 large fresh tomatoes :-For Gravy/Curry
- 1/2 inch ginger - peeled
- 2 tablespoons - cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon - mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons - besan Gram flour / Chick pea powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons - coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon - turmeric powder
- salt per taste
- 2 green chillies - chopped - optional
- 350 Ml - water
For the batter - Pour oil in a pan for frying, let it get hot
Mix the peeled bottle gourd ( in hindi Lauki ) + carrots + peas + coriander powder + salt ginger + gram flour. Now mix all the ingredients well. Make the balls of the ingredients and fry them until it becomes golden brown. Place them on a kitchen paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
For the curry - Puree the tomatoes + ginger together.
Add oil + mustard seeds, let the mustard seeds flutter , now be quick to add gramflour ( it can easily burn) on low heat , stir it , changes colour and be quick to add tomatoes puree , turmeric powder + salt + green chillies - let it cook for 8 minutes, keep stirring occasionally , when the curry starts leaving a little bit of oil , stir it again, add water , bring it to a boil , stir it ,let it cook for another 10 - 15 minutes until the gravy starts getting thick , cover the pan with a lid , stir occasionally.
Once the gravy is thick, add the kofta's in gravy , bring to a boil, serve it hot
Add Koftas at the time of serving , it would absorb the curry
Besan can easily burn, so be quick to stir and add tomatoes
Green squash could be alternative to prepare the koftas, if Lauki is not available , lauki can be found in the regular special shops where one can buy Indian spices.
Serve it with naan, chapattis , paranthas , any Indian bread you may like.
Green chillies are optional.
If not in a mood for the curry, koftas could be eaten as snacks with the chutney and surprise your guests, let them think what could be the ingredients 😉
If left over koftas,next day make a sandwich out of it if koftas has absorbed the gravy- Put it in a sandwich maker with little bit of cheese.
If not for fasting - 2 chopped garlic and 1 grated onion could be added after mustard seeds
Developing this recipe –
The base of the recipe is without onions and garlic. I wanted to break the usual way of cooking the fasting food. One gets into a routine when preparing the Navratri food. It’s usually prepared with potatoes, sabudana etc. I was more looking for a spark in the recipe and decided to prepare and come up with my own recipe. It’s fairly easy to prepare. It was served with chapatis ( regular Indian healthy bread) and some salad to go along. If one is not fasting, it can be prepared with garlic and onion in the gravy.