During Navaratri, nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshipped by following various religious rituals. The festival is celebrated twice a year – one is Chaitra Navaratri that takes place during spring season and second is Sharad Navaratri that takes place during fall.

Navaratri fasting is quite the perfect mix of scientific and religious rituals. There is a particular diet that is followed by observers during this pious period. As spring and fall are two major seasonal changes, our immunity level goes down during this time of the year. Navaratri foods are quite potent to boost immunity. These saatvik foods help us to cope with the change in weather. These foods include buckwheat flour, chestnut flour, barnyard millet, amaranth flour, tapioca pearls and fox nuts etc. These foods are gluten-free and quite significant to purify or detoxify our body. The food is full of nutrition and low in calories if cooked in correct healthy manner.

Here is the healthy and nutritious Navaratri thali recipe:

Kuttu ka prantha: Take one cup of buckwheat (kuttu) flour. Add two medium-sized boiled and grated potato into it. Add two finely chopped green chillies, little rock salt, half teaspoon of black pepper powder and a handful of fresh coriander leaves. Mix all ingredients well while kneading the dough without adding water. Leave it to rest for an hour in a closed container. After an hour, knead the dough again. It will become a little loose in texture as the potatoes will leave moisture after coming into contact with rock salt. At this stage, you may add little water if required. Otherwise, knead it until smooth and make small balls for paranthas out of it. Roll these balls one by one after dusting little buckwheat flour on the rolling board. Heat a non-stick pan. When it is appropriately hot to cook parantha, put the rolled parantha on it. Let it semi-cook from bottom side. Turn it over to get the other side also semi-cooked. Apply pure ghee on the top surface. Flip it around and apply ghee on the other side. Shallow fry it on medium-low flame from both the sides until brown blisters form. You can also cook the parantha on the non-stick pan without applying ghee. It will take a little more time to cook.

Aloo ki subzi: Take three tomatoes. Turn them into puree in a food processor. Take medium-sized four boiled potatoes. Mash them coarsely with hands. Heat one tablespoon of pure ghee in a wok. Add one teaspoon of cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add tomato puree and cook it on medium-low flame until it leaves oil on the sides. Add two finely chopped green chillies, half teaspoon of red chilli powder, one teaspoon of coriander powder and rock salt according to your taste. Mix well and add boiled and mashed potatoes. Add one cup of water and give a good stir. Let the subzi get cooked for 15 minutes on medium-low flame. Turn off the flame. Add half teaspoon of tamarind powder and a handful of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and mix well. Serve hot.

Sitaphal ki subzi: Take 500 grams of sitaphal/petha. Wash it thoroughly. Remove the outer hard skin and discard it. Cut the flesh into medium-sized cubes. Heat one tablespoon of pure ghee in deep a non-stick pan. Add few curry leaves and cook for a second. Add the pieces of sitaphal. Add two finely chopped green chillies, one teaspoon of rock salt and three-forth teaspoon of red chilli powder. Mix well. Cover the pan and let the subzi get cooked on low flame for 20-30 minutes until sitaphal becomes soft. Remove the lid once the sitaphal becomes tender. Cook it open on medium-low flame until all the moisture dries away. Add half teaspoon of tamarind powder and one teaspoon of coriander powder. Mix well and cook for five minutes more on low flame stirring occasionally. Turn off the flame. Add a handful of finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve hot.

Cucumber raita: Sieve one cup of fresh yogurt in a soup strainer. Add half cup of grated cucumber. Add half teaspoon of rock salt and one-fourth teaspoon of black pepper powder. Mix well. Keep in refrigerator until served.

Samak kheer: Wash one tablespoon of samak rice thoroughly. Soak them in water for 15 minutes. Take half a litre of toned milk. Give a boil on high flame. Turn the flame low and add soaked samak rice after draining the water. Keep stirring occasionally on low flame for 45 to 60 minutes until the kheer thickens and becomes creamy. Add two tablespoons of sugar and one handful of dry fruits of your choice like raisins, chopped almonds, cashew nuts and chirongi. Mix well. Turn off the flame and let the kheer cool at room temperature. Chill it in refrigerator for two to three hours before serving. Serve chilled.

Green chutney: Take two cups of fresh coriander leaves and one cup of mint leaves. Wash them thoroughly. Chop them coarsely. Put them into a grinder. Add one teaspoon of cumin seeds, half teaspoon of rock salt, three to four chopped green chillies and two tablespoons of lemon juice. Add two tablespoons of water and grind in a high-speed food processor until it turns into a fine paste. Transfer it into a glass bottle. Keep in refrigerator until served.

This Navaratri food is sufficient for two people. Arrange all the foods prepared in a thali and serve the vegetables and paranthas hot. Kheer, raita and chutney should be served chilled.

These Navaratri foods are prepared by using traditional flours and grains. They are saatvik, gluten-free and healthier alternative to regular flours and grains like wheat. Rock salt used in these recipes is also good for your health. These foods support healthy lifestyle if prepared in a healthy way. Make sure to eat little of every dish to get the goodness of all saatvik ingredients.
Happy Navaratri fasting!