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Fasting ensures purification of the body. With Navratri having started, many people are observing a fast for nine days. People take a break from regular meals and have food which can be digested easily and helps in strengthening the immune system. Milk, fruits, flours like rajgira, buckwheat or kuttu, singhara or water chestnut are preferred over whole wheat, maida, besan and semolina. It may mean abstinence from certain types of food during a fast, but one can definitely pep up one’s palate by preparing interesting dishes too. Makhane ki sabzi, sabudana vada, singhare ki poori and lauki ka halwa are some delicacies that can be relished. Some of Mumbai’s restaurants are offering unique dishes this Navratri which will make you look forward to your 9 days of fasting. Here are my top 5 picks.
Shakarkandhi Tikki at NRI, BKC
Sweet potato is such an underrated ingredient. There is so much one can do with it and the chefs at NRI, BKC have created a simple but lip-smacking Shakarkandhi Tikki using this root vegetable. Spiced Sweet Potato Galette, this melt-in-the-mouth tikki makes you crave for more after the first bite.
Ratalu Milkshake at Meluha - The Fern, Powai
Chef Prashant Tikadia’s creamy milkshake with sweet potato bears ample testimony to his creativity and the versatility of this tuber. He makes a nourishing and delicious Milk Shake that fulfils your sweet cravings too. One can have this along with a meal or even instead of it as it is extremely filling.
Kadhi with Rajgira Pakoda at Lume, Andheri East
Who can resist a meal of piping hot Kadhi Pakoda with Rice? One does not have to give up one’s favourite dish during Navratri as the chef here has a clever substitute for besan. He uses Rajgira to make the Pakodas and these are equally delicious and of a smooth texture. The tangy Kadhi simmered with these pakodas is the perfect accompaniment for hot rice.
Khatta Meetha Kaddu at The Lalit, Mumbai, Andheri East
A staple during Navratri, Chef Parimal Sawant gives this pumpkin preparation, an interesting twist to tickle the palate. This Kaddu ki Sabzi teases your taste buds with the spices as well as a hint of sweetness. Pair it with puris or rice and you have a winning combination.
Rajgira Sheera at Rajdhani Thali Restaurant, Ghatkopar
Fret not about having to give up your favourite sweets this Navratri. This ghee-laden Rajgira Sheera will make you forget all other desserts. The rajgira flour is roasted to perfection with copious amounts of ghee and the sugar syrup lends the perfect amount of sweetness. The grand finale to any meal this one is.
So rejoice as you fast these nine days and relish some unusual Navratri dishes crafted by chefs who are unleashing their creativity.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.