My Navratri & Vijaydashmi Food Trail

This year, I opted to keep fast on all eight days of Navratri, starting from 26

September to October 3rd. I celebrate Ramnavami which calls for festive food of Kale Chane (black gram), Puri and Suji halwa. The feasting goes to a notch high on Vijaydashmi or Dussehra, which falls on the 5th of October.
According to Ayurveda, eating light during changes in seasons is suggested. In this Navratri, I opted for a cereal-free diet on all eight days. Usually, I eat regular food for dinner on the fasting days of Navratri. But this year, there were many tempting options for freshly made Navratri cereal-free food. Let me confess openly that I am not very fond of cooking. But I love simple home-cooked food. I am not someone who is a restaurant buff. Home chefs are the best things that have happened to me to satiate my tastebuds without the grind.
In the times of food deliveries by Zomato, Swiggy and home chefs, life is easy for people like me. 
In my housing society, there are many good home chefs. So I had the option of being served a hot and delicious meal. The best part of fasting is that one gets to relish food which is different from the daily meals and special for these fasting days. I had opted for kuttu atta Puri with aloo-tamatar, sabodana khichadi, farali thepla, farali cake and Navratri thalis. 
The daily newspaper is full of advertisements for restaurants which serve "vrat ki thali" or "Navratri thali" during these nine days. I love north Indian food cuisine and opted for restaurants offering these. 
I went to Madhavrao, a restaurant offering Maharashtrian and Rajasthani cuisines and had sabodana khichadi as one of the items on the menu, which suited my requirement. RB, who accompanied me on all these "meal dates" had ordered thalipeeth. Both the items were super delicious. 
In these 9 days, I had eaten sabodana khichadi from two more places. They were procured from two home chefs in my society. All three servings of sabodana khichadi were different and delicious. So, there are many ways to cook a delicious dish by different methods. 
Theplas are like thin masala- methi paranthas but are more oily. This extra oil makes them soft and increases their shelf life. Gujaratis by nature are wanderers and travel a lot. They are vegetarians also. The theplas were invented as their travelling food, which can be eaten with pickles, dry chutneys or even with freshly bought buttermilk.  Farali theplas are made of either kuttu or singhare ka atta. They were delicious. I made a meal out of them by combining them with freshly made veggies, raita or plain curd. For RB , theplas were replaced by paranthas. Thus simplifying our meals. 😋
My everyday breakfast was fresh paneer and sweet rose lassi. It kept me going until around 2PM which is our lunchtime. It is usually a bowl of salad or fruit chaat for me. Theplas or khichadi were for dinner. Many times, it is vice-versa. Theplas/ khichadi for lunch and salad combo for dinner. I also invented an easy and healthy way of Aloo Tikki as a fasting meal. Meals like this added spice to the otherwise simple sattvic food of fasting. 
Ramnavami was on the 4th of October and as I had mentioned at the onset of the post that it was celebrated with puri, chane and suji halwa. 
Today, on the 5th of October, it is Vijaydashmi and in Gujarat, it is "fafda - jalebi" day. It is said to be doing a million dollars business on this day. Traditionally, in my family, mornings are devoted to "Shastra puja" ( शस्त्र पूजा) and after the puja, sumptuous brunch was served. But as they say, when in Rome, do as Romans do. So when in Gujarat, do as gujjus do. This fusion of traditions is a beautiful way of a dynamic society.
With this, the first round of festivities is over. Now is the time for the annual Diwali cleaning and getting ready to celebrate one of the biggest festivals for Hindus. 


  1. To go without cereals for 9 days and then have them in Prasad is such a delight!


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