Navratri celebrationsIts amazing how different states of India celebrate Navratri. Some with poojas and havans, some by laying out different types of miniature dolls depicting the Gods, demi Gods, animals and people. For Gujaratis its all about garbas and dandiya raas. I miss the small familiar community celebration that takes place every year at the Patel Samaj in Mombasa. This year I'm in Bangalore.
Years back when I was in Bangalore with my daughter, Navratri passed by without much happening. The highlight was a pooja in our society Club house and then Dussera celebration. However, Navratri celebrations have taken on a whole new meaning. As HSR Layout gets more developed, we saw lots of decorations and more temples celebrating the festival. A Durga ma pandal and the whole street was lit up making the area look so beautiful and festive. We've just moved to a new home and the society had organised a garba night on Saturday. Chaats and sweets were served and the residents tried out garba steps. Girls and women in pretty chaniya cholis, men in kurtas, Skywood was definitely rocking to the tunes of dola re dola and other songs.
Bright lights, tasty food and festive decorations all seem dull if you cannot celebrate festivals with loved ones, friends and familiar people. As I mentioned I did miss the garbas at home. Missed making prasad and garland which I do every year for the deities at Patel Samaj.
Coming to our #FoodieMonday#Bloghop, our #61st theme was #NavratriRecipes. For Gujaratis Navratri fasting means we cannot eat grains and pulses and quite a number of vegetables. So basically same rules as the Ekadashi fasting. Some don't even consume salt. Others fast by eating only fruits and milk products. I've got quite a collection of fasting recipes so was lost as to what I should make. Then my daughter reminded that we have amaranth seeds(which she had bought and didn't know how to use them). "Make something with amaranth". I'll be frank, haven't cooked with amaranth seeds, the flour yes. So first I thought of making amaranth brittle(chikki). The seeds didn't pop well... more got burnt then popped!
Then came the idea of making a pudding or kheer. The recipes I checked out online all had where the pudding was put in the oven to bake. I was running out of time and decided to cook it like kheer. The end result was a tasty treat which one can have as a dessert or for breakfast.
Why include amaranth seeds in your diet? Well for one its gluten free. Amaranth is not a grain but seed so it can consumed when one is fasting. Amaranth is a complete protein as it contains all the amino acids. Amaranth is also rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. Its a rich source of dietary fibres and when cooked it becomes thick like porridge so its a good breakfast option. I had my pudding for breakfast and my stomach felt full but not heavy at all.
Check out the recipe for a fruity amaranth pudding or kheer or porridge.
|Mataji ni mandvi at Patel Samaj Mombasa. Photo courtesy:Patel Samaj member|
AMARANTH FRUITY PUDDING(RAJGIRA KHEER)
½ cup amaranth seeds
1 cup milk
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped almonds
1 tbsp chopped pistachios
½ tsp cardamom or cinnamon powder
1 cup mixed fresh fruit of your choice, chopped (I used papaya, kiwi and pomegranate)
- Put amaranth in a sieve and wash it under a running tap.
- Pour milk into a pan and put it over medium heat.
- When the milk is hot, add the amaranth seeds.
- Let the mixture simmer over low to low medium heat for 20-25 minutes or till the milk is reduced to half the quantity. Remember to stir the mixture frequently.
- Add sugar 5 minutes before the cooking time is over.
- Take the kheer or pudding off the heat and let it cool.
- Add the chopped fruits and cardamom or cinnamon powder. Mix well.
- Garnish with chopped nuts.
- You can serve this at room temperature or cold.
- I prefer cold pudding kheer so I kept it in the fridge for 2 hours.
- You can add 2 tbsp sweetened condensed milk, date puree, coconut sugar, honey or jaggery instead of sugar.
- Add fresh fruits of your choice like mango, banana, berries etc.
- Can serve it hot as a porridge for breakfast.
- For vegan option cook the amaranth in almond, cashew milk or coconut milk. Can also cook it in water.
You may want to check out the following:
|fresh coconut burfi|
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