Navrathri is not just about pujas and prayers, it is also the time to prepare some authentic vegetarian dishes

Navrathri, which means nine nights, is the celebration of Goddess Durga’s victory over the demon Mahishasura. During navrathri, Durga is worshipped in nine forms and finally as Maha Kali, Maha Lakshmi and Maha Saraswathy.

Along with pujas and revelry, the festivities place a lot of importance on food, too. Malayalis usually offer beaten rice (avil), puffed rice (malar), jaggery and banana / fruits to the Goddess. In Tamil Nadu, sundal, sweets and other savouries are offered in prayer.

The most common among narvathri preparations are sundal and a sweet dish made of moong dal and jaggery. Try these easy-to-prepare recipes.

Sundal

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

Chickpeas – 2 cups

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Grated coconut – three fourth

cup

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Red chillies, dried – 3-4, broken

Curry leaves – 3-4 stalks

Method

Soak the chickpeas for one hour. Drain. Pressure-cook with enough water for 4-5 whistles. Drain water, if any. The chickpeas must be firm to the touch and cooked. In a wok, heat the coconut oil.

Pop the mustard seeds, add broken red chillies and fry the curry leaves. Add the grated coconut and let it warm. Tip in the dry chickpeas. Add salt to taste. Stir well. Serve hot!

Sweet moong dal

Ingredients

Moong dal – 2 cups

Jaggery – 250 gms

Water – quarter cup

Desiccated coconut – 1 cup

Cardamom – 5 nos, powdered

Ghee – 1 tsp

Method

Soak moong dal for 1 hour. Pressure-cook for 3-4 whistles. Make a jaggery syrup. When thick, add desiccated coconut, the cooked moong dal, cardamom and ghee. Stir well until the mixture is dry.

Serve warm.