So, here comes October and the festival season for the Hindus begins in a grand way. Although the ball is set rolling with Janamashtami & Rakshabandhan in August followed by Ganesh Utsav, it is the festival of Navratri that leads the way forward to Dussehra, Diwali, Bhai Dooj and Chhat Puja. You can read about Navratri in this post of mine and here about Chhat festival.
We never keep fast for Navratri (although my mother-in-law still does) but we do abstain from eating non-vegetarian food. Over the years our appetite for non-vegetarian food has drastically gone down so it is easier for the carnivores to pass these nine days of festivity without their fav chicken curry, fish curry and mutton chops. The hard part though is not eating eggs coz they are an integral part of our diet and get incorporated in diet in some way or the other. There is always a crate of eggs at home.
This Navratri I intend to keep my meals simple and eat same way, as the people who keep fast do – one meal a day apart from fruits, milk & milk products and no grains at all. I once read somewhere that this festival runs parallel with the change in season therefore a light meal is recommended for healthier switch and easier transition for the body.
I terribly miss my mother’s fasting meals of kuttu roti (buckwheat flatbread), singhara roti (water chestnut flatbread), khatta meetha kaddu (sweet & sour pumpkin curry), rasse wale alu (potato curry) and of course the samvat kheer (barnyard millet pudding). I learnt how to make the kheer but never got the opportunity to learn the tips and tricks of making the flawless rotis that she used to roll out. Sigh!
Since we are trying to eliminate refined sugar from out diet, therefore I have used date palm jaggery. You can use regular jaggery but adjust the amount accordingly. Or feel free to add any sweetener of your choice.
Barnyard millet pudding is one of easiest dessert to make and comes together in 15 – 20 minutes. And half a cup of millet cookied in a litre of milk serves approximately eight to ten people. I always count on this pudding when I have unexpected guests for a meal. Comes together fast, tastes good and is light on the tummy. Win win in my book 😊
1 litre Milk (dairy or non dairy)
½ C Barnyard Millet (Samvat Chawal/ Sanwankh Chawal/ Sama Chawal)
½ C plus 1 tbsp Date Palm Jaggery
¼ – ½ tsp Cardamom Powder
Wash the millet. Drain water and keep aside.
Boil milk in a pot and reduce heat.
Add millet and stir the contents for a minute.
Keep cooking the millet on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cardamom powder.
Wait for the pudding to cool for 5 minutes.
Now add the jaggery and stir it well till all the jaggery melts in the pudding.
Serve warm or chilled garnished with nuts of your choice.
Serves – 8