There used to be a time when Sharad Navratri translated into a nine-day period wherein meat,onion and garlic were banned while buckwheat (kuttu ka atta) and samak rice (an alternative to the sinful basmati) became ingredients du jour,and eating was relegated to homes. Now that has obviously changed,with people heading out to restaurants to fill up on traditional Navratri fare.
While still sticking to saatvic tenets,several restaurants have started to look both East and West to add variety to their offerings. The ITC Maurya has Oriental Navratri Bento Boxes,layered with dishes such as buckwheat and spinach bao,honey chilli potatoes tossed with peanuts,carrot fried Samak rice,lychees and sago in coconut milk,as well as serving Navratri European fare at the Pavilion.
Also jumping on to the European bandwagon is Zura in Gurgaon which has dishes such as rosti potato with spinach ragout,oven roasted pumpkin hummus with crispy kuttu pita chips and crusted cottage cheese steak with pepper coulis,all sans onion and garlic.
Those caught in the devout carnivores conundrum can check out Godrej Natures Basket outlets across the city. The supermarket chain is stocking a range of mock meats this Navratri with items such as vegetarian chicken burgers,vegetarian chicken strips,vegetarian sausages and schnitzels,all soy based. There are also seafood products including crab,prawn and lobster alternatives.