Nine nights of Navaratri are full of glitz and glamour. The Goddess who puts an end to all the evil is welcomed wholeheartedly, with open arms, hearts and mind. New clothes, jewelry, investments, precious jewels, business deals- everything you do this time is backed by Her blessings. They say, whatever you give out into the universe, magnifies itself, and comes back to you. And therefore, a lot of positivity, encouragement and happiness glitters throughout the celebration. The whole community lits up for this festival. These 9 nights are celebrated throughout the country in different ways – Garba, Dandiya, Bhondla, Dhunuchi Naach, Kolu, Bhatukamma, Mata ki Chowki and many more. While the east worships Durga, the west celebrates the dance of love and friendship between Krishna and Gopis .
And of course, like any other celebration, food is a very, very important aspect of this festival. While every region has its special traditions, it is quite difficult to learn or make every variation yourself. Therefore, we have picked these three easy recipes based on their popularity. Though very traditional, not a lot of us are aware of these desserts outside its home region. Try these recipes out this Navaratri for Goddess Annapurna that resides in our kitchen. I’m sure She’ll be impressed!
Sweets for Navratri #1: Bhapa doi
Bhapa doi is a Bengali sweet and can be called Indian version of a baked custard /crème bruleè.
Made using only 3 ingredients, it is super simple to prep, but might need some extra skill to get them perfect!
- Hung Greek yogurt – 1 cup, hung overnight to remove all the moisture
- Condensed milk – 1 cup
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 6 to 8 saffron strands
- Preheat oven to 290degF
- Mix hung yogurt, condensed milk in a bowl to form a lump free mix. Then slowly add milk to it.
- Make saffron tea using 2 tbsp warm water and saffron. Add the tea to this mix along with cardamom powder.
- Pour this mix into ramekins. Leave 1 cm space at the top. Do not fill it up all the way.
- Arrange these ramikins in a deep pan, like a hotel pan. Fill the hotel pan with water, covering ¼ way up the ramekins. This is called a Ban Marie. Cooking custard with warm water surrounding it.
- Bake it for 40 min and check. If it has a firm jiggle to it, it is ready.
- Cool it down, serve with fresh fruits or berries.
Sweets for Navratri #2: Daulat ki chaat
Daulat ki chaat, unlike the spicy savoury chaat, is a dessert and is made out of just 1 main ingredient and 3 to 4 supporting ingredients depending on your preference. Nimish in Kanpur, Malayo in Varanasi or Daulat ki Chaat in good old Delhi. This treat is said to be a boon of winter night and full moonlight. Back in the day, full fat milk would be churned for 6 hours or more to make it light and airy. Then left in earthen pots overnight under the light of full moon, usually in winter. The cold night dew would make it lighter than air and the earthen pot gave it a distinct flavour. Today, we use electric mixers to make this but here is an attempt to make it as close to the original recipe as possible.
- 2 cups full fat milk/ whipping cream
- 8 saffron strands
- 1 tbsp rose water
- ¼ cup pistachios, dry roasted and chopped
1. Add rose water to the cream. Whip the cream to soft peak consistency, then add sugar and whip it to a stiff peak consistency.
2. Prepare saffron tea using 2 tbsp warm water and saffron strands. Cool it down completely. Will take about 15 min in the fridge.
3. Place the whipping cream in small earthen pots/ matkas. Drizzle some saffron tea over, and garnish with pistachios. Cover it tightly with a muslin cloth and refrigerate overnight. Make sure you do not have any onion, garlicky food in the fridge. If you live in a region where nights are as cold as 10degC or even lower, you may leave it out under the moonlight. Let the magic happen!
4. Serve cold, and keep away from hot humid situations.
Sweets for Navratri #3: Khubani ka meetha
Apricot coulis with fresh cream would be a apt English translation for the royal Hyderabadi treat. Mughals loved their tangy sweet fruits in all forms and that’s how a lot of these fruits came here with them. Very simple yet made its impression on the ‘ Shahi Dastarkhwan’ – Royal culinary table spread.
- 500g Dry apricots – soaked in water overnight OR 2 Fresh apricots- peeled and pith removed
- ¼ cup + 3 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar OR 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup full fat milk/ whipping cream
1. Place the apricots in a pot, add enough water to just cover them. Add ¼ cup sugar and cook it out. The pectin in the fruit will give it a gelatinous texture. Coulis is a french term and refers to a tart fruit/ berry based sauce. So, we are basically making a runny, sauce like jam here. Do not puree it, keep it chunky. Finish with 1 tsp of apple cider vinger or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Adding spices like cinnamon or a pinch or cardamom will definitely bring out the flavour even more. Saffron is also a great option. After it’s done, put it in the fridge to cool down.
2. Take whipping cream in a bowl and use an electric mixer to make whipped cream. When it is at soft peak consistency, add 3 tbsp sugar and then whip it all the way to stiff peak consistency. Put it in the fridge so it doesn’t collapse.
3. Cool down the apricot coulis COMPLETELY before serving.
4. For serving, chill some dessert cups or glasses in freezer for 30 min. Then add a layer of whipped cream followed by a layer of apricot coulis. Repeat twice.
5. Add silver or gold warq for an absolute royal look. Chill this again before serving.
Now that you have gained all the gyaan, get in there, and make these easy delicious desserts and don’t forget to post pictures. Use the hashtag #metime when you post the pictures. Write back to us for more such delicious recipes. We love to hear from you!