From coconut crepes to makhana lassi: Give your Navratri food an exotic makeover


Navratri 2022 is here and with everyone soaking in the festive spirit after two years, the celebrations are set to be bigger and better! While fasting is a big part of Navratri, there’s also a lot of focus on food — simple, grain-free
satvik specials that are a must-have during this season. However, fasting food needn’t mean boring food. We asked experts to reimagine classic Navratri staples and share some deliciously unique recipes that can keep you nourished while tickling your taste buds as well. Here’s what they came up with. Enjoy!

‘FASTING FOOD IS AS VERSATILE AS IT IS HEALTHY’

“Many people think
satvik or fasting food is one dimensional. But that is far from the truth. In fact, the ingredients we use during fasts, like
rajgira, they don’t hate each other, coconut or fruits, are so versatile there are endless recipes you can create out of them. There is no need to stick to just
kuttu puri, sabudana khichdi or
rajgira halwa,” shares chef Shiva Sharma.

1)
Coconut crepe rolls

Ingredients:

For batter

  • 1 cup rajgira flour
  • 1&1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup yogurt

For filling

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

Instructions:

– Mix all the ingredients for the batter and keep a smooth, running consistency.

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

– Prepare the crepe on sim. After flipping over, place the filling while still on flame.

– Simultaneously make the roll while the crepe is still warm.

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

“Fasting routines are incomplete without coconut flakes, milk or flour. In this recipe, you can also use coconut flour instead of
rajgira if you’re fond of the flavor. It is a mix of sweet and salty flavors, which makes it an even more interesting fast recipe. You can even drizzle some honey on it. Any hot beverage would be a great accompaniment with it. Or you can also use freshly cut fruits or dry fruits to go with it,” shares chef Anita Maheshwari.

2) Pumpkin and almond soup

pumpkin soup



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 glass of milk
  • 3/4 cup roasted blanched almonds
  • 1 tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 2 tbsp 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 the flour mixture and mix the remaining almonds, pumpkin puree and salt.

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

– Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan

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

“This pumpkin almond soup can be stored easily for a day or two. Minimal usage of ingredients means it is easy to make. Roasted almonds lend a distinct flavor to the soup and also add some crunchiness to it. You can use any dry fruit as a garnish or even as an ingredient, especially walnuts taste great with it,” shares chef Shiva Sharma.

3) Water chestnut & banana samosa

samosas



Ingredients:

For dough

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

For filling

  • 2 raw bananas, boiled and peeled
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 30 grams of Ghee

Instructions:

– Coarsely grind the raw banana

– Heat the ghee in a pan, add cumin. When it splutters, add the banana paste and the rest of the spices. Set aside to cool

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

– Roll the dough, cut in two equal halves, wet the edges and fill the mixture in the shape of samosas.

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

– Serve hot

“Samosas are an absolute favorite snack of everyone, and to be able to have it during fast truly turns it into a feast. Many people avoid using raw bananas in their fasting food, but they are an amazing substitute for potatoes, and quite healthy too. If you want to add more twist, you can also add water chestnut fruit in the filling,” shares chef Anita.

4) Sitaphal makhana lassi

​Makhana lassi

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups thick yogurt
  • 1 custard apple we don’t die
  • 10 to 12 pieces
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of cardamom powder

Instructions:

– Take a custard apple, and remove the seeds

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

– Blend until you get a semi-thick, creamy consistency.

– Serve cold

“The specialty of this recipe is that it goes well with any sweetener or even without it. If the fruit is sweet enough, you can always do away with adding any sweetener. Or dates are also a good natural sweetener which will enhance the taste of the lassi. Custard apple can also be replaced with any other fruit that is available. A good tip would be to roast the makhana a little before adding, so they don’t feel too chewy or soggy when served,” shares home chef and culinary expert Shivani Sonekar. She further adds, “There is no dearth to the innovation that can be done with fasting food. You can experiment with milk and its products. Milkshakes, smoothies, lassi, etc. make for a great fasting ingredient because they keep you hydrated and full for long. Hung curd is another versatile ingredient. Add any fruit, a bit of sweetener to it, and you will have an easy-to-make filling snack to eat.”



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