Time to savour regional delights

Navaratri Cuisine

Time to savour regional delights

Navaratri is here and most households have elaborate food being prepared for the occasion. Bangalore houses people from across the country and different delicacies are being cooked in the homes during this festive week.

Metrolife interacts with people in the City to find out their culinary specialties. Tejal Tarak Trivedi, a Gujarati, who works as a software engineer, says that the variety of items made during the fasting period include sabudaana khichdi, sendha aloo (potato fried with groundnut powder) and jeera aloo (potato with cumin powder). 

“Items like puri, halwa, parantha are made out of rajgeera flour and fermented foods like idli or dosa can be prepared with millet flour. Suran is used to make chips and subji,” says Tejal. 

She adds that fruits, dry fruits and milk products are also used to prepare vrat food.Tejal says that some of the food for the feasting day include items like aloo-tomato based gravy, kadhee, gathiya, barfi etc. “Our family makes nine items for the goddess on the last day as an offering, which includes kheer, khichdi, puri, vada, pad wali roti, two kinds of poodla, lapsee and tilawat,” she says.

Most North Indians, like Neha Kaur, a Punjabi, avoid wheat items during the Navaratri. She adds, “Food is prepared from a particular type of wheat during these nine days. All vegetables other than potato are avoided. The fast ends with food like puri and chhole.”  She adds that suji ka halwa is one of the important items for the festival day.

For Bengalis, who celebrate the Durga Puja, there is lip-smacking food made each day. Barnalee Sarkar, a dancer, lists out, “We make vegetarian food, which is termed bhog, which is served to everyone who comes to the pandal. The food includes khichdi and a dish made out of mixed vegetables like green bananas, potato, brinjal, radish and pumpkin called labra or chhyachra.”

She says that items like sweet tomato chutney, kheer made out of rice, luchi and lots of Bengali sweets like rasgulla and sandesh are also made.

“Food like biriyani, rolls, luchi and aloor dum are consumed in the evening,” she says. “On dashami, married women in some families eat fish, as it is considered auspicious. Apart from this, some also make sweet pulav etc,” she  adds.

For South Indians like Parvathy Nandakumar, from Mysore, ‘Dasara’ is a big day. “We always celebrate the festival in a grand style. Some of the favourite dishes made on this day include puran poli. Others items include savouries like nippattu, chakli and kodubale and sweets like rava unde,” says Parvathy. She adds that all these items are consumed after being offered to the goddess. She also says that sweets like Mysore Pak and coconut barfi are consumed on this day.    
     Lakshmi Vignesh, an entrepreneur who’s a Tamilian by birth, says, “We have an elaborate doll display at home and the food is offered to the dolls first. It is almost a feast everyday! We consume sweet pongal and vada in the mornings. In the evening, we use varieties of pulses each day to make sundal in two versions: sweet and spicy. There are nine pulses for the nine days. Also when women visit during these nine days, we offer them ladoo made out of rava and channa dal. On Ayudha Puja day, we make kheers made from milk and jaggery,” says Lakshmi.

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