September 2017
Dussehra-The Hindu Festival

India is a nation of fairs and festivals where persons celebrate and enjoy every festival with great pleasure and passion. Dussehra is known as Vijaya Dashmi and it is the most significant and longest festival of India. It is celebrated every year with full enthusiasm, faith, love and honour by the people of the country. It falls every year in the month of September or October. According to the Hindu calendar, Dushara celebrated on the tenth day of Ashvin month. This is a festival of seasonal change which indicates the arrival of winters and departure of the rainy season. This day is considered auspicious for the starting of journeys or business. Dussehra holds dual importance. The killing of Ravana and Durga Puja, both are celebrated together on this day. The day also coincides with the immersion of the idol of Goddess Durga.

Dussehra is the symbol of the defeat of 10 headed (ten faces) demon, Ravan on the tenth day of this festival by Lord Ram. The Dussehra festival signalizes the victory of truth over evil power. The day Lord Rama received victory by killing the demon king Ravana begin celebrating as the Dussehra festival by the people from ancient time.

Initial nine days includes the devotion of goddess Durga that’s why it is called a Navratra celebration. On the tenth day, individuals celebrate Dushara by burning the effigies of the nasty king, Ravana, Kumbhakarana, and Meghnath. This festival is normally celebrated by worshipping the Hindu Goddess Durga. Devotees of Lord Rama and Durga continue to keep fast for the first and last day or whole nine days and worship the Goddess Durga. Nine days or Navratra is called Durga Puja when goddess Durga is worshipped in her nine forms. Dussehra celebration is also called as Durgotsav. The day celebrates the killing of evil spirit Mahishasur by Goddess Durga. Dussehra festival spreads the message of the victory of goodness over the evil.

There is another legend behind the festival of Dussehra. Festival of the triumph of Lord Rama of rescuing his wife, Sita destroying  Ravana, in a horrible fight serves to be the backstory behind Dussehra. It is trusted that Ravana had ten faces. The ten faces likely speak to the ten wickedness aspects of his character. Besides, as per Mythology, Goddess Durga killed evil  Mahishasura after a long spell of barbarity, and harassment by Mahishasura. Another story related to the origination of this day is the shower of gold coins. After Kautsa inquires King Raghu for 140 million coins to give an offering to his Guru as in return for his knowledge, Raghuraja went to Indra for help who then inquire Lord Kuber to shower coins on the city of Ayodhya. After offering 140 million coins to his Guru, Kautsa distributed the rest to the public of Ayodhya.

navratri kala chana recipe in english

Servings 4-5 persons 
Prep Time Overnight
Cook Time 40 Mins

INGREDIENTS: navratri kala chana recipe

Black chana 1.5 cup
Salt to taste
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder (sukha dhaniya) 1-2 Tsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Chopped cilantro leaves (optional) 1 tbsp

METHOD: navratri kala chana recipe

Soak the kala chana overnight. In the morning, cook Kala chana with salt in a pressure cooker for 10-12 whistles. Once chickpeas are thoroughly boiled and soft then cook them with oil n spices.

In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds and when they start to crackle mix all the spices.

Add boiled chana in this pan & mix it well and cook the Kala chana in the masala for a couple of minutes (remember to keep on stirring so that the dry chana masala do not stick to the bottom of the pan.)

Garnish Kala chana with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with poori and sooji halwa.

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    Prep time:  10 mins
    Cook time:  20 mins
    Serves: 4-5


    Whole wheat flour (atta) 2 cups
    Oil 2 tsp + to deep fry


    Take 2 cups of wheat flour in a big bowl and add 2 teaspoons of oil and mix.

    Add water and knead well to make hard dough. Cover it with a lid and leave it for 15-20 minutes.

    After 20 minutes, grease your hands with some ghee and lubricate the dough again until smooth.

    Then divide the dough into small or medium pieces about 12-14 & make into medium-sized or slightly small balls and roll out into small circles.

    Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or kadai.

    When the oil is sufficiently hot then add one poori at a time and fry gently pressing down with the frying spoon in a circular motion.

    The turnover when puffed up and fry the poori till golden brown.

    Similarly fry rest of the pooris as well.

    Serve hot pooris with a vegetable curry or sweet dishes like sooji ka halwa.

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  • Sooji ka Halwa

    Servings: 4- 5

    Prep Time: 05 Mins

    Cook Time: 30 Mins


    Sooji (semolina) 1 cup
    Sugar 1 cup
    Water 4 cups
    Ghee 1/2 cup
    Green Cardamom (powdered) 1/4 tsp

    For garnish –

    Blanched and shredded Almonds 1 Tbsp.


    Heat a deep pan over medium heat and when it is hot, add the ghee. When the ghee melts, add the sooji and stir to mix well.

    Roast the sooji & stirring frequently until it begins to turn a light golden color and gets a glossy look and does not stick together much (which means it is fried enough).

    Add the sugar and the cardamom and bring to a boil, then simmer till the liquid is absorbed. At this stage, you can stir off and on, not continuous.

    Serve hot, garnished with the almonds.

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  • Kanya Pujan

    The nine days and nights of Navratri celebration is arriving at an end and each family is preparing up for Ashtami or Navmi Pujan. The eighth day of Navratri is praised as Ashtami and ninth day as Navmi, which likewise denotes the finishing of fasting period for devotees. On this day, people praise to Goddess Durga and perform Kanchake or Kanjak. 

    Kanjak means young girls within the age of 9 years old and these young girls are worshiped. This puja is indicated as Kanjak Pujan or Kanya pujan (worshiping of a young girl or kid) and is celebrated either on Ashtami (the eighth day) or on Navmi (the ninth day) of Navratri. Some devotees also invited a little boy along with girls for Kanya Pujan.

    On the eighth or ninth day of Navratri, devotees prepare tasty food for young girls.  Each family takes after their own particular tradition as some people do puja on Ashtami and some on Navami. On this day, devotees prepared  Halwa, Poori, and Chana which is tasty and most loved by KANJAK. Many individuals make Kadhi with pakodi, aloo sabji, sweet pumpkin sabji , kheer, and fruits also. On the eighth or ninth day of Navratri, when young girls come to your home, feed them with full love and faith considering that Goddess Durga herself has come to get food on your invitation with affection.

    Individuals welcome young girls in their home. After that, they wash their feet, apply roli on their forehead and tie moli (a sacred thread) on their little hands. Perform the aarti of young girls, touch their feet and pray for their blessings. After those young girls are made to sit in a row and then devotees served Ashtami/Navmi Prasad to young girls. When they are finished eating and prepared to leave, people give gifts in the form of cash or toys to young girls.

    Durga Ashtami / Navmi is the most blessed day of the year and people celebrate it with love & passion.

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  • Sama ke Chawal(Vrat) Ka Dhokla

    Vrat ka dhokla or Sama ke Chawal ka Dhokla is light, spongy and full of flavor!  It is a quick and simple phalahari dhokla that is prepared with simple ingredients and uses no ENO.

    Preparation time: 30 minutes + soaking time

    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Serves: 4-5


    For the dhokla:

    Sama ke chawal 1½ cup
    Buttermilk 3½ cups
    Salt to taste

    For the tempering:

    Green chilies cut lengthwise 5-6
    Curry leaves 5-6
    Oil 2½ Tsp
    Sugar 1½ Tbsp
    Lime juice 2 tbsp
    Water 2 cup
    Mustard Seeds (Kali Sarson) ½ tsp


    For the Dhokla:

    Soak the rice in the buttermilk and salt overnight.
    To make a batter, take the soaked rice and grind it in a food processor or mixie
    Mix well and pour into a greased plate or steaming vessel. Steam till set and cooked. (approx. 10 -12 minutes)
    Let it cool down completely & then cut it into square pieces. 

    For the tempering:

    Heat oil in a pan, put the mustard seeds in it and let them crackle.
    Add the chilies and curry leaves and stir them to let them cook and release their fragrance.
    Boil water along with sugar.
    Take off the heat, add the lime juice and pour over the steamed dhokla.

    Let the sweet and sour water soak in, it will all disappear within a few minutes.
    The dhokla will swell up to make space for them by removing a few from the plate.
    Serve it at room temperature.

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  • Roasted Makhana Namkeen Recipe

    It’s a very healthy recipe made by makhana, nuts & dry fruits. Makhana or Phool makhana is also known as Fox nuts. This is very healthy, light & digestible. It is an Indian snack which can be eaten anytime and any fast.

    Cook Time: 10 mins
    Servings:  2-3


    Ghee (Clarified butter) 1-2 tbsp
    Makhana (Fox nuts) 1 cup
    Almonds 2 tbsp
    Cashew nuts 2 tbsp
    Raisins 2 tbsp
    Pistachios 2 tbsp
    Dried coconut slices 2 tbsp
    Rock salt (Sendha namak) to taste
    Black pepper powder ½ tsp
    Amchur powder (dried mango powder) ¼ tsp
    Sugar Optional ¼ tsp


    Heat 1-2 tbsp of ghee in a pan on medium heat.

    Take makhana, cashews and almonds and roast together in a pan, stirring constantly till they get roasted and become crispy. You will notice very light brown color. After that remove it from pan and kept in a bowl. Also, roast the coconut slices in the same pan without any ghee for a few minutes. Add it to the same bowl. Mix pistachios and raisins in it.

    Here I have not roasted pistachios and raisins. 

    Now while everything still warm. Add salt, pepper, sugar and amchur powder.

    Stir well, so everything is coated well with the makhana and nuts.

    Let it cool down completely.


    When this namkeen is completely cool down, you can store this in an airtight container.

    You can increase or decrease the amount of any nuts or dry fruit.

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