'Navratri' dishes

'Navratri' dishes

During the festive season, it’s typical to see a variety of food being cooked and consumed. Bangalore is home to people from different parts of India, who celebrate the festival in their own style.

Metrolife interacts with people to find out about the delicacies of their choice.
Sindhu Pawar, who’s a Marathi by descent and grew up in Mysore, says that her family used to mix Marathi and Kannadiga dishes during this season.

 “Since Dasara is big in Mysore, we have always celebrated the festival in a grand style. One of the favourite dishes is puran poli. We also make other items during those nine days, which include savouries like chakli, nippattu and kodubale and sweets like rava unde, kheer etc. We invite our neighbours and friends and share it with them,” says
Sindhu.

Each food is kept as nevedya (offering to the goddess) during the nine nights, she shares.

For some other believers, the days are about fasting and enjoying the spirit of the festival. “Although Navratri celebrations differ from person to person, most of us go on a fast where most people eat khichdi, vada or tikki made of saboodana,” shares Namrata Shah, a Gujarati.

She says that various items like halwapuri, ‘tapioca patties’, aloo sabji and snacks like sukha bhaji are also consumed during the nine days of the fast. “Sweets like singare ka halwa, saboodana kheer, coconut barfi and kaju barfi are also made. On the day of Dasara, jalebi and fafda are the other delicacies that are enjoyed,” she adds.

People fast and avoid wheat items during the Navratri, comments Niharika Majithia, a Punjabi. “A particular type of wheat is used to make items during these nine days. All vegetables other than potato are avoided,” she elaborates. The fast culminates with food like chhole and poori,” adds Niharika.

“Suji ka halwa is a must on the festival day,” says Niharika. She adds that on the day of the puja, they invite young girls under the age of ten and give them food before the elders break the fast.

For Bengalis, who celebrate the Durga Puja with much fanfare, there is appetising food each day. Aninda Chatterjee, a Bengali, lists out, “Our important days start from the sixth day onwards, when people usually have poori sabji and offer khichdi, payasam, five fried vegetables and a chutney to the goddess.

The day of the immersion of the idol is the main day and items like sweets made from coconut and others like goja; savouries like namkeen are prepared and shared when people meet and greet each other.”

Even the Kannadigas celebrate the festival in grand style. Aruna Shankar, a resident of Malleswaram, prepares different foods on each day of Navratri.

 "I have been making these items since my childhood, and I see to it that they are there every year. During the nine days, I make three types of sundals — a snack made of dal, which I give to the guests who come home to see my doll display,” says Aruna.

She elaborates, “On other days, I make a fruit salad and panchakajjaya, a sweet dish made from dry coconut and cardamom. On the day of the puja, I make payasam, sheera and many other varieties of food like lemon rice, vaangi bath, bisi bele bath, tomato rice, vegetable rice and other dishes like palya and kosambri.”

“Mysore pak, coconut barfi and a sweet dish that I call ‘seven cups’, made of seven different things, are other sweets that I prepare for the festival,” wraps up Aruna.

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