Sunday, April 10, 2016

Phalahaar fasting thali three

Thali menu
Eddos in yogurt gravy
Buckwheat spinach fritters
Sago khichri

Fasting is a spiritual practice observed in many religions. In Hinduism fasting stands for denial of the physical needs of the body for the sake of spiritual gains. By this act of self discipline devotees starve their senses (since food means gratification of senses), strengthening their mind  as well as hardening their body for hardships. It helps establish a harmonious relationship between body and soul.
Fasting can be of several types. Complete abstinence is called upavaas, avoiding any cereal and only eating fruits and root vegetables is called phalahaar. During the Navratri festival a lot of Hindus observe eight days of fasting. For Navratri its mostly phalahaar. People eat only once in the evening and consume no cereal even in that meal. Meal itself consists of simply cooked ingredients without the use of onion and garlic. Palahaar is also the way to go when fasting for Janamashtami, Shivratri or every fortnight for Ekadashi
Here is an example of a phalahaar meal.

Eddos in yogurt gravy (Dahi wali arbi)
Gravy made of yogurt gives this dish a slight tangy and creamy taste. Add more or less yogurt as per desired taste.
1 lb arbi
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
I nch ginger, julienne
1-2 green chilies, chopped.
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup plain yogurt
  1. Wash the eddoes and peel. Cut them into half inch rings. 
  2. In a pressure cooker heat a tsp of oil and add cumin and mustard seeds. Roast for a few seconds and add the eddoes, ginger and green chilies.
  3. Add all the spices and water and mix well. 
  4. Pressure cook till the first whistle and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Open the lid of the pressure cooker and place the pan back on heat. Add well whisked plain yogurt and mix. Bring to boil and then simmer for a few minutes till the desired consistency is reached.  
Sago (Sabutdana) Khichdi

This dish is popularly made during the fasting season. Soaked sago pearls are cooked with potatoes and peanuts and flavored with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Every variety of sago pearls need different soaking times. Just experiment and make sure they don't become soggy.
1 cup sabutdana (sago)
1 small potato, boiled
2-3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 tbsp peanuts
1 inch ginger, julienne
2-3 green chilies, chopped
Salt to taste
Juice and zest of 1 lime
Red chili powder to taste
  1. Wash the sago 2-3 times and soak in enough cold water to immerse fully. Soak for 2-3 hours. The grains should not mush up but should be moist and separate. Drain out all the water, fluff with fork and keep aside
  2. Peel and chop the potato to small pieces. Keep aside. 
  3. In another pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, let them roast for a few seconds. 
  4. Add the curry leaves, potatoes, peanuts, green chilies and ginger and roast till peanuts are golden. 
  5. Add the sabutdana, salt and chili powder. Stir well to combine till all the flavors get incorporated into them. Remove from heat and sprinkle lime juice and zest. Mix.
  6. Serve hot garnished with fresh coriander.
Buckwheat Fritters Spinach (Spinach Kuttu Pakode)
These deep fried fritters are delicious served with a green chutney.
Ingredients: (makes 25)
2 cups spinach
3/4 cup buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta)
1 inch ginger grated
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1/4 tsp ajwain
Salt to taste
Oil for frying.
  1. Wash and drain the spinach. Chop finely and place in a bowl.
  2. Add the buckwheat flour, ginger, green chilies, salt and palm crushed ajwain.
  3. Add enough water to make a thick droppable batter.
  4. Drop spoonfuls into hot oil and deep fry till cooked through. Serve hot. 
Apple ginger cranberry chutney

This flavorful condiment is a simple combo of apple and ginger. I prefer to add cranberries since they add a slight sour flavor, but you can use raisins as well. Use tart granny smith apples for a more sour chutney and any red apple for a mellow sweet chutney. Either way you will enjoy the flavor explosion.
Find the recipe here.
Fruit and nut raita
A cooling yogurt side dish that is perfect when served alongside spicy curries, biryani and rice pilafs. You can use any fruit and nut combination you fancy for this dish.
Find the recipe here.
Shakarkandi ka halwa
Yam or sweet potato fudge makes for a delicious prasad and dessert for the day of fasting. A must try for everyone, fast or not.
Find the recipe here.

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