Navratri, the nine-day festival, is a celebration of Shakti (power) but it’s also the time when devotees fast in order to seek blessings from the divine. We say, it’s a great time to give up life’s pleasures in order to bring back balance in life by re-focusing on one’s diet. But more often than not, people turn it into a feast and what follows is rapid weight gain.
So that you don’t ruin your health, we bring you these five healthy recipes this Navratri. Just one word of advice, avoid huge portions.
Baklava by Subrata Debnath, executive chef, Vivanta by Taj – Gurgaon
100g – Crushed cashews
100g – Crushed almonds
100g – Crushed pistachios
50g – Butter (softened)
100g – Breakfast sugar
10g – Cinnamon powder
5 – Filo sheets
500g – Sugar
300ml – Water
2 – Cinnamon sticks
* Brush the filo sheets with butter on one side.
* In a bowl, mix the crushed nuts, breakfast sugar, cinnamon powder and 30 gms of butter until well combined.
* Lay the filo sheets on a baking tray and apply a thin, even layer of the sweet nut mixture.
* Roll the sheets and brush the rolls with the remaining butter.
* Cut into 1½ inch pieces.
* Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees until golden brown.
* Make a syrup using sugar, water and cinnamon sticks.
* Apply a layer of the warm syrup on the baklava.
* Garnish with crushed pistachio.
* Serve at room temperature.
Khatta Meetha Kaddu by Cafe, Hyatt Regency, Delhi
400g – Red pumpkin
2 – Red chillies (sliced)
3 tbsp – Oil
1/2 tsp – Fenugreek seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida
2 – Green chillies (chopped)
Salt to taste
½ tsp – Turmeric powder
1 tbsp – Coriander powder
1 inch – Ginger strips
1 ½ tsp – Red chilli powder
2 tbsp – Sugar
1 ½ tbsp – Lemon juice
2 tbsp – Fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
* Peel the pumpkin and cut into pieces.
* Heat oil in a kadhai. Add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, green chillies, pumpkin pieces and mix. Add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, ginger, red chilli powder and mix.
* Add a little water, cover and cook on medium heat for 10-15 mins and then add sugar, lemon juice and coriander leaves to it.
* Cover and cook further on medium heat for 10 mins. The pumpkin pieces should get mashed. Serve hot.
Green Goddess Salad by Ravindra Choudhary, executive chef, Fio Cookhouse
50g – Lettuce ice berg
20g – Lettuce rocket
20g – Leaf lettuce
15g – Cherry tomato
20g – Blanched snow peas
15g – Boiled corn kernal
50g – Green apple
8g – Roasted peanuts
15g – Soaked fig
20g – Hung curd
15ml – Lemon vinaigrette
15ml – Lemon juice
2g – Rock salt
30ml – Olive oil
1g – Lemon leaves
* Wash and clean the lettuce, and put it in ice bath for 15-20 mins so that the leaves get crisp.
* Cut the figs into half and soak them in warm water.
* Cut the green apple into half and discard the seeds.
* Arrange the lettuce in the serving plate, drizzle a little dressing.
* In a salad-mixing bowl, add corn, green apple, snow peas, cherry tomato and figs.
* Mix all with remaining dressing and arrange over the dressed lettuce.
* Sprinkle the roasted peanuts over the salad and serve.
Khoya Paneer by chef Gurpreet Singh, Punjab Grill
1 cup – Cashew nuts
½ cup – Khoya
500g – Paneer (cubed)
2 tbsp – Desi ghee
¼ cup – Curd
½ inch – Ginger (chopped)
2-3 pods – Green cardamom
2-3 – Green Chillies (chopped)
Salt to taste
2-3 sprigs – Green coriander
* Wash, boil and grind the cashew nuts.
* In a pot heat desi ghee, add chopped green chillies and green cardamoms, allow it to crackle.
* Add the cashew nut paste, beaten curd, salt and cook for 10 mins.
* Once done add grated khoya and paneer cubes, stir for a while, adjust seasoning.
* Garnish with coriander leaf and serve.
Bharwan Aloo with Maple Sesame Glaze by chef Manish Mehrotra, Indian Accent
For Potato Barrels
4 – Potatoes (medium size)
25g – Cashew (whole)
15g – Raisins
Sendha salt to taste
2g – Turmeric powder
2g – Yellow chilli powder
5g – Chaat masala
2g – Roasted cumin, crushed
2g – Garam masala
5g – Ginger (finely chopped)
5g – Green chillies (chopped)
20g – Fresh pomegranate
15g – Processed cheese
5g – Coriander chopped
For Maple Sesame Glaze
50ml – Maple syrup
15g – Toasted white sesame seeds
20g – Butter
For Potato Barrels
* Take medium sized potatoes and peel them. Using a potato scooper, empty out the potato carefully giving it an appearance of an empty barrel. Save the trimmings of the potatoes so that you can use it later in the filling.
* In a deep cooking vessel, bring water to boil. Add a teaspoon of turmeric. Blanch the potatoes in this water. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes.
* Once done, take out the potatoes and pat dry to remove any moisture.
* Deep fry the potatoes in oil at 160 degree celsius until light golden and crisp from the outside. Keep aside so that the extra oil drips away.
* Deep fry the potato trimmings in 160 degree celsius until it turns light golden and crisp. Roughly chop them.
* Fry the whole cashews as well until crisp and light golden in colour. Crush them slightly.
* Place a non-stick pan over a gas stove. Add little ghee and saute the ginger, green chilli and turmeric powder. Add the potato trimmings, whole cashew nuts, raisins, yellow chilli powder, garam masala, chaat masala and roasted cumin powder.
* Cook over medium heat for 7-8 mins, adjust the seasoning and remove it from heat. Let the mixture cool.
* Add grated cheese and chopped coriander to it.
For Maple Sesame Glaze
* In a non-stick pan, reduce maple syrup to syrupy stage.
* Emulsify with butter. Once emulsified, keep aside in a warm place.
For assembling the potatoes
* Once the mixture is cool, fill the empty barrels with the potato mixture.
* Cut the stuffed potatoes lengthwise and pan grill on a non-stick pan.
* Once done, cut them in to quarters and arrange on a black slate.
* Drizzle the maple emulsion on top of it.
* Sprinkle some chaat masala and garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds.