If one has to describe India, in few words, it can be stated as a land of festivals and food. So if you get an opportunity to have a look at a Hindu Calendar, don’t be surprised if you see a majority of dates highlighted in Bold and red color (That’s how a date bearing any sort of significance is highlighted).
Festivals have more important role to play in today’s modernized world where the space for joint or extended family is shrinking and nuclear families are becoming more and more common. The festivals allow us to come together, laugh, rejoice, and share a positive relationship. Happy individuals could lead to formation of a happy and prosperous society.
Food and Festival is what brings us together from times immemorial. Just as communities and people are inseparable from festivals, food has an equally important role to play in these occasions. It’s hard to imagine these occasions without food. One of the aspects of food blogging that I admire the most is designing the recipes as per the change in seasons and the festivals.
While we celebrated 10-day Ganesh festival on our channel last month, it’s time for Navratri now. Navratri, literally means nine nights which is how long the festivities last and it is followed by the Vijayadashmi or Dusshera on tenth day- signifying the victory of good over evil. Observed post autumn- Sharada Navratri is observed mostly in honor of the Goddess (Devi).
The festival has great significance in Hindu culture as it highlights the battle that was fought between the Goddess Durga and the demon Mahishasura. During these nine days, nine different forms of the Goddess are worshiped and celebrated.
fasting has a great significance during the festival of Navratri and in the Hindu culture as a whole. To clearly state the significance of fasting, let me borrow from art of living- “According to Ayurveda, fasting rekindles the digestive fire. An increase in the digestive fire burns the toxins in the body. When the toxins are flushed out of the body, it loses dullness and lethargy. All the cells of the body are rejuvenated. Fasting, therefore, is an effective therapy to cleanse our body. When the body is cleansed, the mind becomes calmer and more peaceful because of the deep connection between the body and mind.” Read here
Devotees often practice partial fasting during these 9-days. As per the fasting ritual, devotees abstain from the rice, grains and breads and can eat dishes made from some specific ingredients. Often, one is left pondering about what one should consume during these fasting days.
To support your fasting efforts, we will be sharing 3 different and very interesting recipes that are so delicious that you won’t mind making it during your regular days.
The recipe that I am making today is Kachhe Kele aur Paneer Ke Kofte- Dumplings made of raw plantain and cottage cheese, deep fried and served hot with some chutney (of course chutneys that you could enjoy during fasting)
Personally, I like plantains quite a lot, and the Kerala plantain chips are my most favored munching option. Stir fried Plantain preparation with some freshly grated coconut served with some chapatis is my ideal comfort food.
There are many health benefits of raw plantains.
- a) Plantains are high in vitamin a
- b) Plantains are high in fiber which is good for digestive health
- c) Plantains contain potassium which is good for your heart and other organs
- d) Plantains contain magnesium which is needed for good health
In today’s preparation, we are using steamed raw plantains and cottage cheese, seasoned with some basic Indian spices, and rolled into dumplings. These dumplings or Koftas are deep fried or could be grilled in an Oven.
These koftas or tikkis taste delicious with dahi peanut dip or simple Imli- gud ki chutney. Who says that fasting has to be dull and boring? Make these delicious Koftas a part of your fasting menu and enjoy the fasting season.
- 3 Raw Bananas (300 gms)
- 180 gms Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
- 1-inch Ginger root-finely chopped
- 2 Green Chilies-finely chopped
- 1-tbsp roasted Peanut-coarsely crushed
- 2-tbsp fresh Coriander Leaves-finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Barnyard millet flour/Water Chestnut flour/Buckwheat Flour
- 1-tsp Rock Salt
- Cooking Oil
- We will start with steam cooking raw plantain. We will show you two distinct methods to steam plantain. In first method, I will be steaming one plantain in Microwave. Take a Microwave safe bowl with a lid. Ensure raw plantain is wet. Now put it in the bowl and cover with the lid. Cook in Microwave for 3-4 mins. Cover the Microwave safe bowl with the lid and place it at center of glass tray.
- a) Mode: - Micro b) Power: High (900W) c) Timer: 4 mins d) Press Start. * Cook Covered
- In second method, we will use a steamer plate and steam on a gas stove. This plate has multiple small pores. Cut the ends of plantain and chop into 2 pieces. Place on the steamer plate. We will steam these plantains now on Gas Stove. Now for the second method, allow the water to come to the boil. Lower the steamer plate in the vessel. Cover the vessel and steam until plantains are cooked. We have steamed Plantains for 10 mins on medium heat. The color of plantain has changed and it has become soft. Remove from heat and allow it to cool down completely.
- We have steamed Plantains by two different methods and it has come down to room temperature now. Let's Peel the skin. Peels are coming off easily.
- Now mash plantains. We can use a potato masher or even a grater to grate and mash. Mash to get rid of all the lumps. Now add Paneer. Crumble and mix with mashed plantains.
- Now add chopped Coriander leaves, chilies, chopped Ginger, coarsely crushed peanuts. Add Rock Salt. You can replace rock salt with table salt if you prefer. Now add Amaranth flour. You can replace this with Buckwheat flour (Kuttu), water chetsnut flour (Singhara). It provides binding to Koftas. Mix well and make it into a dough.
- Dough is now ready. Take a small portion of dough and roll into small lemon sized kofta. We will be deep frying the Koftas.
- Let's now make some Tikkis that we will be cooking in grill mode in microwave in less oil. Take a large portion of dough. Roll it into a ball and press to form tikkis. Roll the sides. If you so not want to use Microwave, these tikkis can also be shallow fried in a pan.
- We will grill tikkis in a microwave. Take a metal high rack and a tawa. These can be safely used in grill mode of Oven. Grease Tawa with some Oil. Place Tikkis on Tawa and apply some Oil on Tikkis. Let's keep these tikkis in Oven.
- Place high rack, tawa with the tikkis in the Oven
- a) Mode: Grill b) Timer: 10 mins (one side). Flip after 10 mins and cook from other side for 4 mins. Press Start
- Let's now see how to deep fry Kofta balls. We can make almost 20-25 koftas in these measurements. Heat Oil for deep frying. Ensure Oil is not too hot. It must be heated on medium heat and fry Koftas on low heat.
- Lower heat and fry Koftas on reduced heat until it becomes golden brown in color. If Oil is too hot, Koftas will become brown quickly but won't get cooked. On the other hand, if Oil is not sufficiently hot, Koftas will spread. Remember heat Oil on medium and fry Koftas on low.
- Koftas have just changed its color. We will fry for few more mins on low heat. We have fried koftas on low heat for 3 mins, and they are now ready. Remove from Oil.
- Similarly make remaining Koftas
- Kachhe Kele Aur Paneer Ke Kofte and the Tikkis are ready to serve
Click to watch recipe video