Fast food of different kind " Food Bytes by ‘monish Gujral The New Indian Express 22/10/12

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Fast food of a different kind
By Monish Gujral 21st October 2012 12:00 AM

Being born in a traditional North Indian Punjabi family, I have grown up celebrating all the festivals with enthusiasm, may it be Lohri, Baisakhi, Holi, Navratri or Diwali. For me all the festivities denote one thing—bringing the family and the loved ones together to share gifts, and indulge in good food. However, these festivals have a story behind them and a special meaning. Although Hindu fasts are meant to cleanse and give rest to our system, they often turn into feasts. Whenever I keep a fast all I think is of food. During Navratri, I keep all the fasts, but a week before, the whole focus shifts to the menu for the next ten days. There is a lot of variety of food one can have during the Navrati fast. I am going to share my favorite recipe which I can have almost every day of the fast .

Navratri is a festival dedicated to the worshipping of the Hindu deity Shakti. The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped. The 10th day is commonly referred to Dussehra.

As per the old saying, King Dhruvasindhu was killed by a lion when he went out hunting. Preparations were made to crown the prince Sudarsana. However, few relatives of the king had eye on the throne, who scared the young Sudarsana only to take refuge in the hermitage of Rishi Bharadwaja. Sudarsana worshiped goddess Shakti, who blessed him, so that he could regain his lost empire.

Since that day Vasanta Navratri is observed and celebrated by Hindus. Sudarsana’s descendants, Sri Rama and Lakshmana, worshiped the Devi during the Sharada Navaratri and were blessed with her assistance in the recovery of Sita.

The Navratri fast is observed from the first day to the ninth day. Some devotees only observe fast during three days i.e., first fast during any one of the first three days and second fast during any one of the next three and last in any one of the final three days. Some people confine to milk and fruits during the nine days. Most devotees take a single meal during the day. Non-vegetarian food is totally avoided. Here’s a list of some delectable Navratri dishes.

● Sabudana Vada

● Sabudana Khichdi

● Makhane Ki Sabzi

● Sawank Ke Chawal

● Dahi Pudine Wale Aloo

● Makhane Ki Sabzi

● Shakarkandi Ki Chaat

● Sabudana Papad

● Banana Raita

● Aloo Raita

● Singhare Ke Pakode

● Banana Chips

● Kaddu Ka Raita

● Malaiwale Kofte

● Fruits/Fruit Juices

● Sabudana Khir

● Bhagar

First chef from India to be invited to Le cordon Bleu to demonstrate in Paris. Monish is credited with the trailblazing turn-around of Moti Mahal, from being a small but iconic presence in Delhi, to becoming a multi-national corporation that is well on its way to defining how the world eats Indian food. A traditionalist, Monish has remained true to the signature dishes that made Moti Mahal a legend, while reinventing the dining experience into one that is exciting and avant garde to suit modern sensibilities.

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