On Janmashtami, learning the art of fasting
Fasting for Janmashtami today? From sabudana khichidi to Jeera Aloo, here are some savoury fasting foods
A Maharashtrian delicacy for fasting, sabudana khichdi is usually consumed as a meal as it gives you the much-required energy boost needed while fasting on Krishna Janmashtami, shares Chef Reetu Uday Kugaji, Culinary Expert. To prep this gluten-free comfort food, sabudana or Sago Pearls are soaked overnight. In the morning, peanuts, green chillies, sendha namak are cooked in desi ghee along with boiled and chopped potatoes. A sprinkle of freshly chopped coriander leaves imparts not only flavour but makes it more appealing to all the senses.
Rajgira paratha, sabudana khichidi
A Satvik option for fasting, Rajgira parathas double up as a healthy meal too Since it is made using ragria, a millet. It is gluten free & perfect for those with a gluten intolerance. Gulab maharaj, Head maharaj, Madhuban Restaurant, Mulund (E), says, “For those who have iron deficiency, adding rajgira aka amaranth to their diet can helps overcome it. Amaranth is an ingredient which can be consumed in the form of seeds, leaves or flour.” To make the paratha, lightly masaledar mashed potatoes are stuffed into the atta to form the parathas. It can be served with chutney or dahi in keeping with the vrat traditions.
Kutte ke dahi vada
Know as singada or buckwheat flour, Kutte ka atta has multiple uses, from making bread and rotis to barfis and pakoras. “Dahi vada makes for a delicious meal snack & to make it fasting-friendly, the vadas can be made using buckwheat flour. Since this grain lack gluten, potatoes or arbi is added to the flour to make it cohesive,” share Gulab maharaj, Head maharaj, Madhuban Restaurant, Mulund (E). Fry the wadas, dunk them in water & squeeze it out. To serve, whip up a batch for sweetened curds & use it to top the wadas. Add meethi & theeki chutneys and sprinkle with pomegranate pearls, chaat masala & some sev.
As it’s name suggests, jeera aloo is a culinary masterpiece with two ingredients. Cumin seeds are distinctly exempt from the restrictions on spices during fasting, instead being celebrated for their rich flavor. As a 'sattvic' or pure ingredient, potatoes are preferred during fasting for their versatility and comforting flavor, shares Chef Deepak, The Tigress Resort and Spa, Ranthambore. For a delightful bite, cook the potatoes until their edges turn crisp and golden, and top with a scatter of chopped coriander leaves. You can pair Jeera Aloo with any of the sattvik options like kuttu ki puri and singhare ke atta ka paratha. As a welcome change of pace, cucumber raita or yogurt also goes well to complement this dish.
Fasting food doesn’t have to be boring and rajgiri poori is witness to that. It is made from a millet, amaranth flour, which is considered “pure and suitable for fasting and is served with potato curry or yoghurt to create a satisfying meal,” says Chef Ajay Chopra. To make the poor, sieve the Rajgira flour to ensure there are no lumps in the dough. Crumble potatoes into the atta and add ginger and green chilli paste along with water to form a dough. Knead the dough and form into smaller balls that will be rolled out into circular discs. Fry in hot oil and serve hot.