Upavasachi Misal. (Image: Gaurav Lotankar, Area Chef, The Bar Stock Exchange & Bar Bank)
As the nine-day Dasara or Navratri festivities get underway, it’s time to shine the spotlight on food, which is integral to the festival. Interestingly, this is the time when many people fast, not by abstaining from eating entirely, but by choosing food made with specific ingredients. This means you can treat your taste buds to a burst of flavours.
Badam And Fig Stuffed Peda
Courtesy: Supriya Bhattacharya, sous chef, Taj Fort Aguada Resort & Spa, Goa
l 1 cup almond flour / regular flour
l 1 cup milk powder
l 4 teaspoons ghee
l 1 cup of chopped figs
l ½ cup gur
l ½ cup sugar
l ½ cup full fat milk
l 6 teaspoon ghee
l ½ cup mix chopped nuts
l 1 cardamom pod
l 1 cup water
l Few pinches of saffron
l Take a pan and make a mixture of sugar and water, mix it well.
l Put on low heat and add the flour and milk once it starts boiling.
l Mix it well and cook on a very low flame.
l Slowly increase the flame but prevent it from forming lumps.
l Add the cardamom powder and ghee into the mixture.
l Take a separate pan and roast the mixed nuts and fig with ghee.
l Stir the mixture well till it leaves the sides.
l Cool down the fig and nuts mixture for five minutes.
l Transfer the peda mixture over a parchment paper greased with ghee.
l Make small portions of dough, flatten it.
l Fill each dough with fig and nuts mixture.
l Give a smooth shape from top and garnish it with dry nuts of your choice.
l Serve at room temperature.
Chef’s tip: Do not refrigerate, store at room temperature in a cool and dry place. This has a very short shelf life – not more than 24 hours.
Courtesy: Roshan Tadadikar, executive sous chef, Novotel Mumbai International Airport
l Sabudana (tapioca pearls) 1 cup
l Medium-sized potatoes, boiled and mashed 2
l Roasted peanuts, crushed ½ cup
l Green chilies, finely chopped 1-2
l Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
l Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
l Sugar ½ teaspoon
l Salt as per taste
l Oil for deep frying
l Wash the sabudana and soak it in enough water for about 4-5 hours. After soaking, the sabudana should be soft and fluffy.
l Drain any excess water from the soaked sabudana using a sieve.
l In a mixing bowl, combine the soaked sabudana, mashed potatoes, crushed peanuts, green chilies, cumin seeds, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Mix everything well to form a dough-like consistency.
l Heat oil in a deep-frying pan.
l Take small portions of the mixture and shape them into round patties or wadas.
l Gently slide the wadas into the hot oil and deep-fry them until they turn golden brown and crisp.
l Remove the fried sabudana wadas using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
l Serve hot with peanut chutney, green chutney, or yogurt.
Rajgira Paneer Paratha
Courtesy: Ganesh Amkar, executive sous chef, Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport
l 1 ¾ cup Amaranth flour (Rajgira flour)
l 1 medium size boiled and grated potatoes
l 1 cup (150 gm) grated cottage paneer
4-5 finely chopped green chilli
l ½ tbsp roasted cumin powder
l ½ tsp red chilli powder
l 1 tbsp clarified butter
l ½ tsp whole white sesame
l rock salt to taste
For the thecha
l 7-8 green chilly
l 2 tbsp roasted peanuts
l 1 tbsp dry grated coconut
l Salt to taste
l 1 tbsp oil
l To make the thecha, heat oil in a pan, add chilly and dry coconut and roast it. Remove it from the flame and allow it to cool down. In a mixture jar put roasted chilly, coconut, roasted peanuts, and salt to taste and blend it. Make sure it remains coarse.
l To make the paratha, grate boiled potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add grated paneer, chopped green chilli, roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, whole white sesame seeds, and clarified butter. Add Rajgira flour, rock salt and knead to a soft dough.
l Once the dough is ready, keep it aside to rest for an hour.
l Portion it into 150 grams each. Dust it with Rajgira flour and with the help of a rolling pin roll it, making sure it is not too thin or too thick.
l Heat the pan, add ghee, and cook the rolled paratha on both the sides basting with ghee.
l Serve with thecha and curds.
Kuttu Ki Pakodi
Courtesy: Nitish Chandra Phani, executive chef, The Tamara Kodai
l Sweet potatoes, boiled 2 nos.
l Black pepper powder 3 grams
l Green chilli, chopped 1 nos.
l Rock salt ½ tsp
l Fresh coriander leaves, chopped 1 tsp
l Buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) 100 grams
l Vegetable oil or ghee (for frying) 300 ml
l Water 60 ml
l Peel the boiled sweet potato and mash it nicely.
l Sieve kuttu atta, add boiled crushed sweet potato, rock salt, chopped green chilli, fresh coriander leaves, black pepper & water mix well.
l Heat oil in a pan. Drop the mixture into the hot oil in small quantities and fry till the fritters are golden brown.
l Drain on kitchen tissue to soak excess oil and serve hot with mint chutney.
Courtesy: Gaurav Lotankar, area chef, The Bar Stock Exchange & Bar Bank
l 2 tbsp ghee
l ½ tsp cumin seeds
l 1 no. cinnamon stick
l 2 nos. green cardamom
l 3-4 nos. clove
l 2-3 nos. black pepper
l ¼ cup raw peanut
l ¼ cup shredded fresh coconut
l ¼ cup fresh coriander
l 1 no. green chilli
l 1 tbsp green chilli paste or ½ tsp red chilli powder optional
l ¼ cup boiled potato cubes
l ¼ cup boiled sweet potato cubes
l 3 tbsp boiled peanut
l Salt to taste
l Upvasacha chivda for topping
l Fresh curd (for topping)
l Finely chopped coriander or garnish
l Pomegranate for garnish
l Shredded fresh coconut for garnish
l In a mixie jar, add peanut, coriander, coconut green chilli and blend till smooth and keep aside.
l Heat ghee in a deep bottom pan and add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, cloves, black pepper, and sauté on low flame.
l Add boiled potato, sweet potato, bean sprouts, and boiled peanuts. Sauté on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
l Now add green chilli paste and sauté it for 1-2 minutes.
l Add prepared peanut, coconut paste, mix it well and cook on medium flame for a minute.
l Add two cups of hot water, salt to taste, mix it well and cook on medium flame for 8-10 minutes while starting occasionally.
l While serving at the base of the dish add a layer of potato, peanut, pomegranate, coconut, coriander and upvasacha chivda. Curd can also be added (optional).