The 9-days of fasting for Navratri begins on September 26. The kitchen will be stocked with millets, ghee and load of seeds and nuts. For those not fasting, these recipes are a way to eat seasonally and eat better. Navneet Shekhawaat the head chef of Nest Jaipur Resort shares how to prepare a raw banana kebab with water chestnut flour and lauki muthiya with amaranth flour.
Kachche kele ka phalahari kebab
4 unripe bananas, medium sized
1 tablespoon green coriander leaves, finely chopped
Half tablespoon fresh mint leaves roughly broken with hands
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Rock salt (sendha namak) according to taste
Half teaspoon black pepper powder
5-6 green cardamom seeds, roughly grounded
Half cup peanuts, roughly grounded
2 tablespoons water chestnut flour
3-4 tablespoons ghee/oil for shallow frying
1. Cut bananas into medium size chunks with skin intact. Heat water in a steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you can use any big vessel on which a metal sieve can fit and make your own steamer. I used my rice cooker as a steamer. Once vapour starts to form keep the bananas on the perforated vessel (such as sieve) and place it over hot water. Place a lid over the arrangement and steam bananas for about 10 mins. Open the lid and check if the bananas have softened, switch off the gas.
2. When the banana pieces cool down, remove the peel. It can be easily removed now. Finely mash all the banana pieces. You can also grate the banana pieces if you want to.
3. Add chopped coriander leaves, broken mint leaves, green chillies, black pepper powder, cardamom powder, and salt according to your taste. Mix well.
4. Add 2 tablespoons water to water-chestnut flour and mix well. Then gradually add more water till you get slightly thin consistency. It should be thinner than the batter of pakodis.
5. Divide mashed banana mixture into 10 equal parts. Make small cutlets with the help of your palms. Now keep water chestnut slurry and grounded peanuts nearby. First dip each cutlet into slurry, and then roll in grounded peanut to get a thin peanut coating.
6. Heat ghee in a pan. One by one place cutlets on pan, and shallow fry on low to medium flame till golden brown from both the sides.
7. Serve hot with mint chutney.
Fariyali lauki muthiya
1 and half cup bottle gourd, grated
Half cup barnyard millet
Half cup amaranth flour
2-3 tbsp green chili paste
2-3 tbsp dry red chilies, crushed
1-2 nos lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1 – 2 tbsp curd (beaten)
One-third cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
One-fourth cup roasted, crushed peanuts (optional)
1 – 2 tsp fresh roasted cumin seed powder
Rock salt as per taste
Ingredients for tempering
2-3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp mustard seeds or jeera
2-3 tbsp sesame seeds
2-3 red chillies, dry
Juice of a whole lemon
A pinch of sugar and salt
A handful of fresh coconut grated
1. Grate the lauki squeeze out all the liquid and keep aside.
2. Dry grind the barnyard millet grains into a fine powder.
3. Now, in a bowl, take the powdered grains, rajgira flour and grated lauki. Add green chilli paste, jeera powder, red chilli flakes, lemon juice, salt, sugar, peanuts and coriander leaves. Add oil and curd. Bind the dough. It should be soft. Taste and season with more lemon, sugar or salt, if needed.
4. Divide the dough into two or three portions. Roll them out to fit the steamer. Steam over boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. It should be cooked properly.
5. Now leave aside to cool. Cut them into thin slices.
6. Heat oil in a vessel. Add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds, red chillies.
7. When the seeds start to splutter, add muthiyas and coat them with the tempering (I like my muthiyas to be a bit crispy; hence I let it brown a bit).
8. Add in lemon juice mixed with salt and sugar over the tempered muthiyas in the pan and mix well. (This is a trick I use to enhance the bland flavor).
9.Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves. Serve with green peanut coriander chutney.
Also read | How to eat sweets and stay fit this Navratri