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Top 9 recipes for Navratri!

Last updated on: April 11, 2013 17:56 IST

Top 9 recipes for Navratri!

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Pankaj Bhadouria

MasterChef India winner Pankaj Bhadouria's special recipes for the Hindu New Year

The Hindu New Year is off to a start and the first nine auspicious nights of 'Navratri' mean fasting for peace, happiness and harmony. Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of MasterChef India lists out nine recipes for nine days.

Motia pulao

Samai rice with pearl shaped balls.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sama ka chawal
  • 1 large red tomato
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2tsp chopped green coriander
  • 1 cup paneer
  • ½ cup khoya
  • 2tbsp singhada ka atta
  • 4tbsp peanut oil or desi ghee
  • Sendha namak to taste

Recipe method:

  • Heat one tbsp. ghee or oil.
  • Add the sama ka chawal and saute a little till lightly colored and well coated with oil.
  • Add the sendha namak to taste and 2 cup water.
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  • Cook till almost done.
  • Remove from heat and cover and set aside covered for 10-12 minutes or till all the moisture is absorbed. Fluff up using a fork.
  • De-seed the tomato and chop into dices. Finely chop the green chilies and the coriander.
  • Mash the khoya, 1tbsp singhada ka atta and paneer well till smooth as a dough.
  • Make small marble sized balls.
  • Roll the balls in singhada ka atta and roll again between palms.(you can also roll the balls in some samai rice). Heat the remaining ghee or oil and deep fry the balls till golden in colour.
  • Add the ball, the chopped tomatoes, the chopped chilies and coriander leaves to the fluffed rice and mix lightly.
  • Serve hot with cucumber raita.
Pankaj Bhadouria is India's first MasterChef. For more recipes from her, you can visit pankajbhadouria.com




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Kulhad ki Kheer

Samai rice and dry fruit kheer served in earthen bowls.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre milk
  • 100g sugar
  • 2tbsp samai rice
  • 1/2 cup mixed dry fruits
  • Sliced pistachios and a few rose petals for garnish
  • 1tsp elaichi powder
  • 6 kulhad (earthen bowls)

Method: 

  • Wash and soak the kulhad.
  • Wash the samai rice soak in water.
  • Soak the dry fruits in water.
  • Bring the milk to a boil.
  • Cook the milk till the milk thickens a little.
  • Add the rice and cook on slow fire till the kheer thickens.
  • Add the sugar and cook till it thickens stirring constantly to avoid burning.
  • Add the dry fruits and elaichi powder and remove from fire.
  • Empty into individual kulhads and allow to cool.
  • Decorate with rose petals and sliced pistachios and serve.


Image: Kulhad ki Kheer


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Stuffed Tomatoes

A low cal option that pleases the palate as well.

Preparation time: 15mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Serves:

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized tomatoes
  • 200g boiled potatoes
  • 100g paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 tbsp desi ghee  (clarified butter)
  • 1tsp finely chopped green chilies
  • 1tsp finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp sendha namak ( rock salt)

Method:

  • Cut off the top of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and pulp to get a cavity. Set aside.
  • Grate the paneer and the boiled potatoes.
  • Mix in all the other ingredients.
  • Heat the ghee in a pan and add the mixture.
  • Saute for 3-4 minutes stirring continuously. 
  • Cool the mixture and stuff in the tomatoes.
  • Grill or bake in a preheated oven at 200 degree centigrade for 10 minutes.
  • Alternatively you can shallow fry in 1 tbsp till the tomatoes are cooked but firm.


Image: Stuffed Tomatoes

Tags: Navratri

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Phalahari Kadhai paneer

Cottage cheese cubes cooked in a rich tomato gravy

Preparation time: 20mins

Cooking time: 20mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 200g tomato puree
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 2tsp cumin seed
  • 3tsp pepper corns
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1tbsp ginger juliennes
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp desi ghee
  • Sendha namak (Rock salt)

Recipe Method:

  • Cut the paneer into 1" cubes.
  • Cut each tomato into 8 parts and deseed.
  • Slit the green chilies.
  • Dry roast the cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, pepper corns and cardamoms.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly.
  • Coarsely grind the spices.
  • Heat the ghee and ad the ginger paste.
  • Saute the ginger paste and add the tomato puree.
  • Add half the ground spices and 1 cup water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the paneer cubes and allow to simmer for 5-6 mins.
  • Add the tomatoes and simmer for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the ginger juliennes, remaining ground spices, slit green chilies.
  • Season with rock salt and serve hot.


Image: Phalahari Kadhai paneer


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Raw banana koftas

Raw banana dumplings in potoato gravy

Preparation time: 30 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 250g raw bananas
  • 200g potatoes
  • 200g tomato puree
  • 4 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamom
  • 2tsp cumin seed
  • 3tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp Ginger paste
  • 1tbsp ginger juliennes
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1tbsp desi ghee (clarified butter)
  • Sendha namak(Rock salt)

Method:

  • Boil the raw bananas and the potatoes till done.
  • Peel the raw bananas and the potatoes.
  • Mash the two together and add rock salt to taste and mix well it should be smooth like a dough.
  • Divide the mixture into 12 parts and roll into smooth balls deep fry the balls in hot oil or desi ghee and set aside.
  • Dry roast the cloves, cinnamon stick, cumin seeds, pepper corns and cardamoms.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool slightly. Coarsely grind the spices. Heat the ghee and ad the ginger paste.
  • Saute the ginger paste and add the tomato puree. Add half the ground spices and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the ginger juliennes, remaining ground spices, slit green chilies. Season with rock salt and pour over the prepares koftas (raw banana balls).
  • Serve hot.


Image: Raw banana koftas


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Malai laddoo

Cottage cheese and condensed milk balls

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk 1/2 cup (100 g)
  • Paneer 250 g
  • Yellow food colour 4-5 drops
  • Kewra Essence 2-3 drops
  • Elaichi 2, powdered


Method:

  • Mash paneer with the palm of hand till smooth and creamy or blend in a mixie.
  • Add condensed milk and cook on slow fire while stirring constantly.
  • Cook till the mixture thickens and starts leaving the sides of the kadai, put off the flame
  • Add color and essence. Mix well and pour this malai on a plate.
  • Allow the malai to cool.
  • Make laddoos of the malai, sprinkle elaichi powder and serve.


Image: Malai laddoo


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Kesar Peda

Saffron flavored milk fudge balls.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g Soft white milk fudge (khoya)
  • 300gms sugar powdered
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1tsp cardamom seeds semi crushed
  • 1tbsp slivered or crushed pistachios
  • A few strands of saffron
  • 1tbsp warm milk
  • 2 drops saffron colour (optional)

Method:

  • Soak the saffron in warm milk.
  • Crumble the milk fudge. If very hard, grate the fudge. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
  • Put mixture in a large heavy or nonstick pan. Heat on medium high for few minutes. Reduce the flame and cook till soft and gooey.
  • Make sure to stir continuously, while on heat. When mixture is thick and gooey, add cardamom and saffron. Add the color if desired.
  • Mix well, and take off fire. Allow to cool, gently turning occasionally.
  • Use cookie moulds, or shape pedas with palms into patty rounds. Mix pistachios and cardamom seeds and press a bit on top of each.
  • If using moulds, first sprinkle some at bottom. Take some mixture and press into mold. When set well, invert and carefully, unmould.


Image: Kesar Peda


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Kesar pista roll

Saffron flavored cylinders with pistachio stuffing

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 250g mawa
  • 125g pista, chopped
  • 125g cashewnuts, powdered
  • 200g sugar, powdered
  • 1tbsp milk powder
  • a few strands of saffron
  • 4-5 green cardamoms
  • few drops of green color
  • few drops of yellow color
  • silver warq

Method:

  • Roast the mawa in a heavy bottomed pan for about five minutes and cool.
  • Add cashewnut powder, sugar and milk powder and knead to a smooth mixture.
  • Divide the mixture into two parts.
  • To one part add saffron and yellow colour and to the other part add the pistachios, cardamom and green colour.
  • Take a little pistachio mixture and roll out into a cylinder.
  • Flatten out a little of the saffron mixture and cover the pistachio to resemble a cylinder.
  • Shape all the cylinders in the same manner.
  • Keep aside the rolls to dry for half an hour.
  • Decorate with silver warq and serve.


Image: Kesar pista roll


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Lauki ki Barfi

Bottle gourd fudge.

Preparation time: 20mins

Cooking time: 30 mins + setting time

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups grated bottle gourd (lauki/ doodhi/ghia)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2cup sugar
  • 250g khoya (thickened milk)
  • 1tbsp chironjee (sunflower seeds)
  • 1tsp magaz ( melon seeds)

Method:

  • Boil the grated gourd with the milk in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Reduce the flame and cook till the milk has almost evaporated.
  • Keep stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  • Add the sugar and cook further till the mixture has thickened a little.
  • Add the khoya and mix well.
  • Remove from flame and pour in a well greased tray.
  • Smoothen the top level and garnish with chironjee and magaz.
  • Press the top level lightly and allow to cool.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Cut into squares and serve


Image: Lauki ki Barfi


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