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Navaratri is a special celebration that takes place in India when the goddess Durga is venerated and is accompanied by a special diet for 9 days. During this period a series of rituals are performed that include from fasting to special meals and those that should be avoided. For example during the Navratri people avoid meals with garlic, onion, rice, wheat flour, semolina, chickpea flour, corn starch, flax seeds, oats, legumes.

The truth is that there is a lot of food not allowed during the navratri. In addition to the meat and eggs there are many vegetables, and even then there are hundreds of recipes for dishes for those festivities. Well that's what catches my attention, that no matter how much you restrict there are always many more alternatives. Beyond Gulab Jamuns to Payasam, from the favorite nostalgic to modern avatars, we bring to you the most beloved Indian desserts.

In this fast-paced world where we look for everything to be done quick and easy, there is one thing that we are compromising on is our food habits. In this busy schedule, we look for fast foods that are junk and unhealthy, and can lead to a lot of health problems in the future. So why not change into a healthy alternative that is not only tasty, but also quick and easy to cook as well.

Why Jowar?

Jowar can definitely be called as the apt alternative. It has high-quality fiber that will help in easy digestion and other health benefits like weight loss, control sugar levels in the blood. It can also reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart strokes. Jowar is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals and other nutrients. With so many beneficial factors, it is important to add this in our daily diet.

How to add Jowar in daily diet?

Jowar is not as popular as wheat flour, except in some regions of South India. At the outset, it will be little difficult to replace wheat with jowar. But one can bring about the change slowly. Here we introduce you to 6 simple jowar recipes which is easy to cook and makes a delicious dish. These easy to cook recipes will not only introduce you to jowar, but also makes you addictive. The habit can become long lasting and will impart many benefits. You just need to take the first leap in trying out jowar recipes.

Navratri Vrat Recipes images

Tips for fasting during Navratri:

From day 1 to 3: You can go for a fruit diet and eat any sweet fruit, such as apple, watermelon, papaya, banana, grapes and drink coconut water.

From day 4 to 6: You can eat a specific day meal from Navratri, the rest of the day fruits, buttermilk (you can find the recipe on how to do it) and milk.

From day 7 to 9: You can follow the traditional meals of Navratri. A traditional meal from Navratri may contain rice, tapioca, sweet potatoes, ghee, milk and buttermilk. These last three have a refreshing effect on the body. To fulfil the liquid intake you can go for pumpkin, coconut water, fruit juices (better not combine sweet and acid fruits), and vegetable soups. These liquids apart from giving you energy helps in the detoxification process of the body. You can also have fruit salad of papaya, pear and apple.

Instead of rice or oats you can use barley, rye or millet. With millet, you can prepare sama chawal or samvat rice khichdi, a kind of millet porridge and spicy potato. Very similar but looser, like a pilaf, is the sama ki khichdi or moraiyo or mordhan khichdi, similar to bariis iyo bataato.

With the tapioca pearls women also make sabudana khichdi, a pilaf of tapioca pearls, sabudana thalipeeth, which are like potato rotis and tapioca pearls, sabudana pakora, a variant of the pakoras but without the dough that covers them. Very similar to the recipe of sabudana vada, sabudana tikki is also very similar but flatter and with different spices. Well, there are many more if we also add the sweets and the rest of the ingredients.

Embrace the joy of the Navratri festival with the best of our fasting recipes. From old favorites to newer ones, indulge in a lot more than the usual stuff.

Navratri Vrat Recipes images

1. Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates which gives you the energy boost needed during the fast. Sabudana khichdi is made with sabudana, peanuts and sweet spices. Sometimes the peanut is added to add beauty to its taste. Rich in its nutritious content, Sabudana Khichdi serves as a sumptuous meal during fasting.

2. Kuttu Ka Dosa

This Navratri moves beyond the usual Puris Kuttu and raises something different. A crunchy dosa recipe made of kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) with potato filling.

3. Singhare ke Atte ka Samosa

Feast while you fast! Your favorite tea snack with fasting ingredients like water chestnut flour, Sendha Namak and a Chironji spice filling.

4. Jeera Aloo

Jeera aloo is a fasting dish that is easy and quick to prepare. It does not take much of your time and works brilliantly during fasting. When you're hungry and want something really fast, boil a few potatoes and then sauté. It is really very abundant. Jeera (cumin) is one of those spices that is an integral part of various Indian dishes. Taste the relaxing flavors of this light and delicious curry made with potatoes.

Kadi may be the favorite dish of all time. Kadhi can be a substitute for the simple and can be added with the pakoda to add it to the taste. Rajgira kadhi is good for fasting because it is easy to digest. Dahi (curd) is incredible to eat and lends itself to being a great appetizer and helps in digestion thanks to the good bacteria of Dahi.

5. Makhana Kheer

Desserts inspire applause, here is a low-fat kheer recipe made with Makhana and walnuts. Indulge without worrying about the scale!

6. Banana Walnut Lassi

Charge with this nutritious lassi made with the goodness of yogurt, bananas, honey and walnuts.

7. Arbi Kofta

Tired of eating potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner when you fast? Try the delicious Arbi Kofta which is a perfect snack for you. Fried Arbi is made with fried taro roots, very famous during the Navratri festival. Minimum in spices and rich in nutrients, Arbi serves as good food to rejuvenate your body with energy. The taro root contains a very significant amount of dietary fiber and carbohydrates, as well as high levels of vitamin.

8. Vrat Wale Chawal Ka Dhokla

A fresh recipe that gives you a break from the usual fried pakoras and puris . Steamed dhoklas made with samwat ke chawal . A healthy way to fast.

9. Kebab-e-Kela

Fasting should not be more boring! Spicy banana skewers that melt perfectly in your mouth and satisfy your soul.

10. Sonth ki Chutney

A perfect accompaniment to your regular pakodas or bhajis and also with your vrat-friendly snacks.

11. Kaddu ki sabzi

Pumpkin is a widely used vegetable during the Navratri fasting season. While people fast, light food becomes easy to digest and therefore, pumpkin is preferred among other vegetables. Pumpkin, which is a rich source of vitamin A, is a very nutritious, extremely nutritious food, full of vitamins and minerals but low in calories.

12. Sweet Potato Tikki

For an ideal food for the cold climate and rich in nutritional value, sweet potato tikki serves the purpose. Sweet potatoes give you a powerful nutritional punch.

13. Modak

Sweet flour gnocchi stuffed with coconut, sago, nutmeg and saffron. Steamed to perfection. A famous Indian dessert prepared during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

14. Shahi Tukda

The first visitors to India called it the land of milk and honey. Marut Sikka lashes a rich shahi tudka of Awadh rich in saffron. It is believed that Shahi Tukda recipe was invented by a way of using unused bread in nineteenth-century mogul kitchens. The delicious combination of milk and honey, infused with saffron, makes this cake extraordinary.

15. Phirni

Another variety of milk pudding prepared during the holidays, especially Eid and Ramzan. The best is served in mitti ke kasore or in mud pots. A delicious dessert, traditionally made on occasions like Eid, Diwali, etc.

16. Sabudana Vada

The vada are traditional fried snacks in several regions of India. The sabudana vada made with potato and tapioca pearls, are usually prepared during the navratri period. Women prepare alternative meals with the rest of foods that are allowed, such as sabudana vada.

For this recipe we must first make them soft, but if we cook them they will be too soft and then too hard. So we leave them to soak in cold water, avoiding the heat (if it is very hot leave it in the fridge). Mix them with the rest of the ingredients. Proceed to their cooking by adding in oil until the whole mass is golden. If we do not increase the heat it will also be when the tapioca pearls have softened enough to be able to eat the whole preparation without noticing hard balls.

When the dough has little potato it melts and breaks in the oil. The tapioca pearls, which already retain water, soften. If there is too much tapioca in the dough, it all comes together and forms a salsita that does not do well oil. If you make the first sabudana vada and break it, and they remain as translucent, it is that the dough needs more potatoes.

They can also be grilled, with little oil, in a non-stick pan, covered. In that case make them a little flatter and put the fire a little lower, since they will be in contact with the pan all the time. Cook both sides and leave a moment on absorbent kitchen paper. I have not tried the oven, but you can try it too.

With the base of the recipe (tapioca pearls hydrated + potato + peanuts) you can invent your own similar vada. And if we start to vary it with whatever we want, we can add hard tofu (shredded with hands), cooked quinoa (and drained), carrot cooked and cut into small pieces, fresh parsley, chopped shiitake mushrooms, and roasted pumpkin.

Quick and Delicious Recipes Using Jowar

17. Parathas

Paratha is one of the favorite dishes of the majority of Indian families, especially in Northern parts of India. This recipe, which is easy to cook and a staple food in many households is generally made from Wheat flour. Jowar flour can replace wheat flour to make it more healthy and taste different. Jowar can give a twist to your taste buds with the most familiar Parathas.

You can also add different vegetables or paneer to spice up the plain paratha. A special Chutney made from Groundnut, onion and garlic, is preferred by many as a side dish with Jowar Paratha. Any side dish that is usually cooked with parathas will taste great along with your jowar parathas.

They also make chapathi which is dry and crisp from Jowar flour which has a shelf life of 5-6 months! Khadak Roti is the local term for this and this Roti is good for consumption during travels, for supplying to places which are affected by floor, earthquake etc.

18. Dosa

One of the simplest and easiest recipes are dosas or pancakes. Make a batter out of the Jowar flour and cook some delicious Jowar dosas or pancakes and have it hot with a spicy chutney.

You can mix chopped or grated vegetables into the batter to make uthappam or vegetable dosa or make plain dosa by mixing Jowar flour and curds. Onion and Coriander can be spread over the dosa to make a crispy onion dosa for a change.

19. Jowar Bread

Bread lovers can bake a healthy bread by replacing maida or all purpose flour with Jowar flour. This is easy to make and healthy recipe as jowar contains a lot of fiber. You can add some dry fruits to the bread dough if you are someone who does not fancy plain bread.

20. Rotis

Roti or rotti is a popular breakfast food in South India. Generally, rice flour is used to make roti and is called Akki Rotti. This soft and crispy dish is relished with chutney. But making this using Jowar flour is a good option as it will be crispier and healthier.

Vegetables like Carrot, Cabbage, Methi, cucumber etc. can be used along with onion. Just grate or cut any vegetable into small piece, cut some fresh coriander leaves and one green chili, mix it with Jowar flour and make delicious roti on tawa for a healthy and tasty breakfast.

Navratri Vrat Recipes images

21. Jowar Roti

Those who do not like Khadak Roti or Rotti can try soft roti. The procedure is simple, just boil 1½ cups of water, when water starts boiling, add little oil or ghee, salt and then add Jowar flour while stirring continuously. The mixture turns into solid dough. When this dough cools, knead it with little oil, make small balls, roll it into thin layers and bake it on tawa. This can be served with dry vegetable curry or gravy one or with simple chutney. Makes a good breakfast recipe for elders also as it is soft and full of fiber.

22. Chocolate Cookies and Cakes

No recipe is complete without deserts. But deserts are one of the biggest reasons for weight gain and increased sugar levels. But replacing all-purpose flour to make Chocolate Cookies and Cakes with Jowar is a healthy and tasty alternative. The best part is you can relish this without guilt!

Challenge your creativity and come up with more great dishes. So what are you waiting for? Get into your kitchen, wear the chef's hat and apron and try one of the above dishes or invent something new to tingle your taste buds and still keep you fit and healthy.

Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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