When was the last time a party lasted 9 days? Never, I guess...but this one does and I am more than glad. Why? Well, not only Navaratri brings different cultural sphere together in their own separate ways (Navaratri in North India; Durga Puja for Bengalis & so on) but also provisions lip-smacking food for nine days straight. From roasted makhanas to fruit chaats, dry fruit shakes, buckwheat puris, salted potato chips & more... nothing spells Navaratri celebration than the impressive food palette, be it lunch meals or evening snacks, we get to taste during those happy days.
If I may tell you, the story behind the festival dates back to a Hindu mythology tale where Goddess Durga defeated Mahishasura, a demonic evil in a blood-tingling battle. And today by associating each day with nine avatars of Goddess Durga we celebrate the festival with happiness, positivity and tonnes of heart-warming dishes.
Now, my very first memory of these blessed autumn days was the smell of fresh-off-the-pan kuttu puris followed by mind-blowing aloo ki sabzi (one of my favourite Aloo Dish) & sabudana raita. Drooling already? But like everyone else, I enjoyed the mid-day snacks more. And even though I didn't fast, my mom was kind enough to share some of her platefuls with me.
So for foodies like myself and moms who'd love to experiment here are 10 off-beat, not-so-basic recipes of vrat snacks that you'll appreciate.
1. Buckwheat Dhokla
A protein-rich Navaratri snack which is not only nourishing but delicious. Now, I for one love dhoklas in general and being able to savour the popular snack with vrat-approved ingredients is a blessing from food Gods. Packed with all the essential amino acid, this recipe is a job-done-quickly since no fermentation would be needed while preparing these dhoklas. Serve it with some green chillis on the top and some green chutney on the side... and you'd be golden.
Image Courtesy: Archana's Kitchen
2. Kand/Purple Yam Sandwiches
As distinctive as it sounds, Purple Yam Sandwiches is a rather simple but scrumptious evening snack we've all been waiting for. It will not take 4 to 5 ingredients, 10 minutes of your time and dedication to create something new at home. Just remember, you can make these all by yourself without nudging your mom every two seconds. Moreover, it would be a nice surprise for the ladies who are actually fasting for Navaratri... from your end.
Image Courtesy: Nidhi Patel
3. Farali Pattice
To re-create a famous Gujarati dish at home is not only a once in a year opportunity but a great shift from your run of the mill Navaratri snacks. Unlike other nibbles, Farali Pattice more much more sophisticated and tasty. A humble potato and grated coconut serve as the primary ingredients which make this particular feast... a treat for the eyes and soul kind of meal for the festival. Towards the end add the finishing touch by accomodating a teekha green chutney or sweetened curd on the side. You're welcome!
Image Courtesy: Veg Recipes Of India
4. Dry Fruit Stuffed Dates
Catering to your sweet cravings and taking care of your health, this Vrat special recipe is heaven on a plate and I couldn't agree more. It's nutty, it's crunchy and it's flavourful. All you need is good quality dates, probably larger in size, some dry fruits and the glue which holds everything together... khoya/mawa. And you wouldn't believe how easy the recipe is. For me, it's a perfect homemade sweet fit for every occasion especially Navaratri.
Image Courtesy: Small Footprint Family
5. Banana Chips From The Scratch
I understand how this snack is available on all the grocery stores but the satisfaction of cooking at home with your own hands is a different feeling altogether. Not only this would be a much safer option but a comparatively healthier one. You can fry it in cow-ghee or leave it to bake. You're choice. Furthermore, these banana chips will supply your body with instant energy which I think is much needed when you're fasting.
Image Courtesy: Times Food - TOI
6. Sweet Potato Raita
If you wish to dip your spoon into something sweet and savoury for the day, this recipe is where you should be clicking on. Super easy to make, very filling and rich in fibre, vitamins & minerals. In my opinion, sweet potato raita is a tasteful and of course healthy little Navaratri snack you got to try at least once. It's hardly going to take 10 minutes. So, I say... go on, give it a shot.
Image Courtesy: Talimpu
7. Farali Pancakes
This Navaratri, raise your fork and dig into these tantalising pancakes made out of Farali grains. Predominantly made from banana and coconut, these pancakes are a treat for your belly and your heart. Since all it's sweetening is from the jaggery, the snack is quite healthy as well. The cardamom in the recipe will fill your home with aromas of love and comfort. When ready, serve it with freshly cut fruits or glaze it with some honey. For crunch, add some crushed nuts on the top. Enjoy!
Image Courtesy: Meri Saheli
8. Peanut Curd Chutney
Not a snack per se but a damn good side savoury you need to keep on your table this festive season. It goes with all the other recipes you just picked up from this piece and is vrat-friendly. Consider it as a sauce or a dip you need with salted chips and other tikkis, pattice, etc. you'll be cooking in your kitchen. It's quite spicy, admittedly crunchy and willfully tangy. A 5-ingredient recipe that in my opinion is a must-have for Navaratri snacks.
Image Courtesy: Indobase
9. Dry Fruit Milkshake
After all that feasting, if there's a part of you who needs a good smoothie to gulp everything down, this recipe of dry fruit milkshake will work quite nicely. Packed with milky goodness, dates, nuts and lots of love, the milkshake is the solution to all the sweet cravings and your thirst. It's a protein-rich fare with so many flavours to offer. Once done, add some crushed nuts and serve with love.
Image Courtesy: Cooking With Siddhi
10. Sabudana Kheer
How many years have you spent feasting on the same sabudana khichdi? I know a lot... Thus here's a recipe which although involves the same Navaratri-testified ingredient but tastes so much better. And it being a kheer is a bonus. Now sabudana is a cholesterol-free and protein-rich element, so this will not only be a flavourful snack made at home but a guilt-free snack you'd gobble up in minutes. I'll admit the making of Sabudana Kheer is a tedious job but it's all going to be worth it.
Image Courtesy: YouTube
Navaratri is already here, what are you waiting for? Wear those aprons and get cracking.