The Hindu festival Navratri is dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine incarnations. The nine avatars of Maa Shakti are pleased with special offerings called as bhog. Though Bhog is made and offered each day during this festival of nine nights, however, the Prasad made on Durga Ashtami that is the eighth day and Navami the ninth day of the fest has its own significance.

Navratri fasting is incomplete without offering sweet prasad to Goddess. The most common preparations are suji ka halwa, kale chane and poori but sweet saffron rice (meethe kesari chawal) can also be offered to the deity to gratify her. Here we bring the recipe of this dish.

Serves: 3

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Basmati rice            1 cup

Sugar                        1 cup

Saffron strands       10-12

Cashew nuts            15 (chopped)

Raisins                       20-25

Dry coconut              ½ cup (grated)

Green cardamom    2 (crushed)

Pure ghee                 2 tbsp

Water                       to boil rice

meethe kesari chawal, Sweet - Saffron Rice

 

Method:

Wash rice gently and boil them in an open deep vessel adding enough water that can be strained after rice gets boiled. Add saffron strands and little ghee while boiling. Turn off the flame when the rice is little under-cooked. Strain excess water with the help of a sieve.

Take a thick bottomed pan. Add two tablespoons of pure ghee and turn on the flame.

Add green cardamoms, coconut powder, and cashew nuts one by one and saute for a minute. Add one tablespoon water and one cup sugar. Stir till sugar gets dissolved.

Add boiled rice.

Add raisins and give a good stir on low flame.

Turn off the flame when rice absorb sugary water completely.

Serve hot for bhog and prasad.

Navratras have to begin and end with sweets. There’s saboodana kheer, samak kheer, aaloo ka halwa and singade ka halwa for fasting days and to feast after fast on the sacred day of Ashtami and Navami, there’s suji ka halwa and kesari meethe chawal.

Navratri is a festival of Shakti, good over evil, meeting with friends and relatives and awesome sattvik food and some more delicious food.