Fasting for the seven days of Navratri and praying to the greatest Maa Durga is almost a cleansing of the body and soul.
This faith in Maa Durga and the faith in her benevolence gives one an immense strength to be able to fast for seven days. Seven days , when even the most tempting of aromas fail to arouse even the faintest of interest. When fruit and fruit like phalahar and potatoes and pumpkin and water chestnuts or singhara and sabudana or sago are palatable enough . Each meal is pure enough to be offered as bhog to Maa Durga.
So the culmination of the seven days is a prasad or offering to Maa Durga and a similar offering of puri ,chana and halwa and gifts to young girls as kanjak.
No matter how much salt one adds to the chana or how little ghee one pours into the halwa, the prasad always tastes perfect.
Maa Durga will always grace you and your kitchen if you have faith.
The black chana or black gram is spicy and salty and is a perfect accompaniment to the halwa. The pooris are crisp and yummy.
This is my offering to Maa Durga. I give thanks to this benevolent goddess for her grace and blessings and ask her to bless me in the future too.
Jai Mata Di.
Navratri Kanjak Prasad Poori ,Chana and Halwa…
2 cups black gram or black chana soaked overnight, drained and washed
50 mils mustard oil
3 or 4 each whole spices Green cardamom, black cardamom , pepper corns, cloves, cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp each red chili powder or flakes, turmeric powder and coriander powder
2 cups water
Black gram or chana soaked over night.
Pop in the cumin, them the whole spices.
Dunk the soaked black chana and toss.
Add the salt and dry spices.
Toss about for a minute and pour in the water.
Close the cooker ,one whistle on high and 15 to 18 minutes on medium low heat. Open the cooker one it cools and try to mash the gram.
If it is soft and cooked ,mash the gram partially to soak the water and cook on medium high for 5 odd minutes.
There shouldn’t be any gravy, the spices and mashed chana must napp the whole chana.
Perfect. Just dont Taste yet.
Close the cooker and do the halwa and poori dough.
Sooji or semolina Halwa
2 cups semolina or suji
1/2 cup or less desi ghee or clarified butter
2 cups granulated sugar
8 cups water
2 or 3 cardamom pods
Almonds ,raisins, cashew nuts
Pinch saffron optional
1 tsp milk
Place the sugar, cardamom pods and water in a sauce pan and allow to boil.
When the sugar syrup begins to boil, add the milk. You will see scum floating take it off with a slotted spoon. If you are using saffron, add it now.
Done. Turn the heat off and wait.
In a clean pan ,heat the ghee.
Add the Semolina and roast on medium heat till it acquires a golden brown hue.
The ghee is totally up to you, more is good, but you can use less too. Bad pic…but two hands…
Turn the heat on low and add the nuts to the roasting semolina.
Allow them to toast, all on medium heat.
When the Semolina is ready sprinkle a few drops of cold water and stir quickly.
Trick. Mummy ka magic….
Add in the sugar syrup and stir. It will be dancing and dangerous. Be careful and pop the lid on.
Allow it to come to the boil and turn it off.
By the time your pooris are ready the halwa will be done.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ajwain seeds or bishops weed seeds
2 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
Water to knead
Oil to deep fry
When you start the chana …Mix the flours, salt, ajwain and mustard oil.
Knead to a stiff dough and cover and set aside.
When you start the halwa…Make small balls.
Roll out the pooris to 1/8 inch thick rounds with the help of oil instead of dry flour.
Place on film and cover till you need them.
Heat the oil to smoking and fry submerging one at time with the help of the ladle till the pooris puff.
Turn around and fry till crisp ,remove on kitchen paper to drain.
Keep the poori dough under till it puffs up,then turn it around.
Pretty and crisp.
Assembly line production.
Prasad for Maa Durga … two of your most perfect pooris
A spoonful of the halwa and chana ,side by side with the roli and mauli ,the sacred thread and the vermillion tikka ,a little rice as the blessing and a fruit or two as a mark of nature’s offering and of course the dakshina or a little gift of money is offered to the goddess with Bindis and bangles etc.
A little prayer of thanks for granting the strength to complete the seven fasts always accompanies the offering.
With a detoxed body and mind and a healthy glow to the skin thanks to the number of fruits one has eaten, it is now time to partake of the prasad.
If you missed the Ashtami, do the pooja for Navmi.
The prasad is always awesome. The pictures were’nt…but the goddess forgives.
As long as you keep the faith.
With the hope of victory of good over evil…
Jai Mata Di.