How does it feel being in the middle of a nine-day long fast? If ‘not exactly elated’ is your state of mind, HT City comes to rescue, yet again.
While there are some who go by the book and avoid ‘nastik’ food (garlic and onion) during the ‘auspicious nine days’ of navratri, others just avoid non-veg and alcohol, not to offend the gods, we’re guessing.
If your system refuses to process the words ‘kuttu ke aate ki roti’ and ‘aloo ki sabzi’, chefs in the city might have something to jazz up your mood.
Executive sous chef, JW Marriott, Naveen Handa, says, “We are catering to both the categories of people — those who are fasting and those who are just avoiding non-vegetarian food. Thus, our menu includes vegetarian dishes from Kerala, Hyderabad, Bengal and Rajasthan.”
“People fast because of religious reasons, which makes it our duty to provide them with innovation. One of the innovations we came up with is Swang Ke Chawal Ka Dosa. We have replaced dal (pulses) with yogurt. It is served with a chutney made of tomato and peanut. Aloo, Lauki aur Kuttu Ke Aate Ka Chilla and Raw Banana Koftas (Phaldari Kofta) are other items on the list.”
Ask him about the benefits of ‘no garlic, no onion’ food and he says, “Onion and garlic are very good for health, but, if you are to count to positives — you won’t need mouth fresheners during Navratri!”
But, for chef Shoorbeer Singh, Hotel Altius, Chandigarh, the food consumed during these fasts is healthier. “Since we cut back on masalas and oil, a Navratra thali is healthier. And, if you want to innovate, there are always ways. We have just been following what is being fed to us since ages. For instance, we created the Singhare Ke Aate Ke Gulab Jamun at the retsurant.”
Aloo, Lauki, Kuttu Aata Chilla
* 700gm kuttu ka aata
* Sendha namak to taste
* 300gm yogurt
* Chopped green chillies to taste
* 200gm boiled potatoes
* 100gm bottle gourd (lauki)
Mix the kuttu ka aata with sendah namak, yogurt and green chilly and make a batter of the same. Pour this batter on a hot, non-stick pan and spread it. Before if solidifies completely, put the boiled potatoes and bottle gourd on top of it with a few drops of ghee and flip it over. Let the potatoes and bottle gourd cook for a few minutes on low flame. Take it off the heat; serve hot with chutney.
By executive sous chef, Naveen Handa, JW Marriott
Kuttu Aata Barfi
* 1 kg singhare ka atta/kuttu ka aata
* 500 gms desi ghee
* 1 kg sugar
* 2 litre water with elachi (cardamom) flavour
Roast the atta and ghee till brown. Add 1 kg chashni with 2 lt water into the mixture. Turn off the heat and spread the mixture on a flat sheet or slab. Let the mixture cool down. Cut it into small cubes, garnish with pistachios (optional) and serve.
By chef Shoorbeer Singh, Hotel Altius, Chandigarh