Navratri is an important Hindu festival, celebrated with religious fervour by the Hindus in different parts of the country. It will be celebrated in September 28th -October 6th 2011.

The Navratri is dedicated to the three avatars of Goddess Shakti – the first three days to Goddess Durga (the Warrior Goddess), the next three days to Goddess Lakshmi (the Goddess of Wealth) and the last three days to Goddess Saraswati (the Goddess of Knowledge). Hindu plant grains of barley in a pot as part of the festival rituals and their family would worship the pot throughout the nine days. This custom is indicative of fertility and is known as ‘Jawale’. The pot is kept in the prayer room of the house. Water is sprinkled every day and the house must have at least one occupant at all-time till the Jawale is fully grown.

Fasting is one of the highlights of Navratri. People observe fast for either seven or eight days, to honor Goddess Shakti. In these nine days, many men do not shave or cut scalp hair. All through the seven or eight days of fasting, the people would survive on a Satvik diet especially formulated for the fast. Satvik food is that which is pure, clean and wholesome. A satvik diet is food that gives life, strength, energy, courage and self-determination. In other words, satvik food gives us more than the gross physical requirements of the proper mix of proteins, carbs and fats etc. It also gives us the subtle nourishment necessary for vitality and consciousness. It typically consists of fruits, milk and its products, sago recipes, potato recipes (both cooked without spices). Sendha namak (rock salt) is used for the recipes of Navratri fast.

On the first three days Durga or Goddess of Energy is worshipped.The next three days are devoted to Lakshmi or Goddess of Wealth and the last three days for Saraswati or Goddess of Knowledge. On the eighth and ninth day, Yagna (sacrifice offered to the fire) is performed to honor Durga Mata and bid her farewell. On these days Kanya Puja is performed. Nine young girls (those who have not reached at the puberty stage) called ‘kanjaks’ or ‘child-godesses’ visiting their neighbours representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped where their feet are washed, and traditional food like puris, halwa and chanas are offered to them along with bangles and the red ‘chunnis’ with some money as ’shagun’.. In some regions a young boy also accompanies them who symbolizes Bhairav, who is considered as protector against all evils. Those who worship Goddess without any expectation or desire being fulfilled receive her blessings as ultimate freedom from all bondages.

A Navratri food usually consists of Kuttu ki roti/puri, fried potatoes, swang ke chawal, saboodana ki tikki or khichdi, kheer, saboodana papad, Singhade Ka Halwa, Singhare Ke Pakore, Sabudana Puri, Kotu Aloo Pakora, Vrat Ke Chawal, Sukhi Arbi, Sukha Aloo, Kacche Kele Ki Chaat, Kaddu Ka Raita, Kele Ki Barfi, Khuskhus Aloo, Banana Chips, Arbi Fried, Aloo Pulao, Aloo Mewawale and Malaiwale Kofte etc….

Most of the foodies who eagerly awaits the festival to gorge on the festival special food at Old Delhi

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