The Navratras are coming to an end this weekend with Durga ashtami. The tradition of kanjak is quite popular in North India on the eighth day of navratras. The devotees of Maa Durga offer her sooji ka halwa and kala chana Prasad. Little girls from the neighborhood are welcomed at the house.

 

They are worshipped by washing their feet, applying kumkum on their foreheads and tying moli on their wrists. After this ritual, they are offered kanjak prasad along with gifts and cash tokens. This ceremony winds up the navratri pooja.

 

Making and serving sooji ka halwa and kala chana is a way to follow traditions with spirituality.

Sooji (semolina) Halwa

 

Ingredients:

Sooji                                              1 cup

Pure ghee                                      2/3 cup

Fine grain sugar                            1.5 cups

Water                                               4 cups

Green cardamom powder            ½ tsp

Almonds                                            ¼ cup (chopped)

Raisins                                                 ¼ cup (washed)

Dry coconut                                        ¼ cup (grated)

 

Method:

  • Dry roast sooji on low flame stirring occasionally until golden brown.
  • In the meanwhile make sugar syrup boiling water and sugar together on high flame for 10 minutes.
  • Add ghee to the roasted sooji and stir for another 15 -20 minutes.
  • Add cardamom powder, almonds, raisins and coconut in it.
  • Lightly roast them too.
  • Add sugar syrup on low flame stirring continuously to ensure even cooking and avoid lumps.
  • Water will be absorbed in few minutes and the halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan.

Black chana (Black chickpeas)

 

Ingredients:

Black chana                                  1 cup (washed and soaked in water overnight)

Cumin seeds                                  1 tsp

Coriander powder                         2 tsp

Red chilli powder                           1 tsp

Garam masala                                 ½ tsp

Amchoor powder                            ½ tsp

Chat masala                                       ½ tsp

Salt                                                      To taste

Oil                                                        1 tbsp

Method:

  • Boil the chanas in a pressure cooker adding salt and enough water to cook them soft leaving very little water after boiling is done.
  • After the pressure comes out on its own, drain the remaining water from the chanas and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  • Pour the drained chanas and stir for five minutes to coat the oil.
  • Add all the spices except amchoor powder, garam masala and chat masala.
  • Cook for five more minutes so that the spices get absorbed in chanas.
  • Add the remaining chana water and cook uncovered stirring occasionally till the water gets dry.
  • Turn off the gas and sprinkle remaining spices and mix well.

Serve hot sooji ka halwa and kala chana with garma garam poori.

Happy Ashtami to all of you.