With the season of festivals having begun a while ago, kitchens and wardrobes have to be the two places in your homes seeing major festival-related happenings. Just in time for Navratri, those closet hangers must be squeaking with each painful push to accommodate the heavy ghagras and the nine colors to wear to work. This year, spice up your Navratri by letting the nine colors find their way to the dining table as well. Here’s how:
Day One – Ghatasthapana: This first day of worshipping Maa Durga in her ‘Shailputri’, or daughter of the Himalayas form, everyone wears yellow. Celebrate today with a simple yet flavorful saffron and turmeric rice. Couple that with a warm homely yellow Thai curry full of crunchy vegetables.
Day Two – Dwitiya: On the second day, the ‘Brahmachrini’ form of the Goddess is worshipped who symbolises penance. Everyone wears green on this day. Surprise the palates at home with a warm, comforting pesto pasta. Or if you don’t want to stray completely from Indian, make a spicy fragrant palak rice, a cooling pudina raita to go with it and top it off with some homemade pistachio ice cream.
Day Three – Tritiya: Worshipping ‘Chandraghanta’, the form that stands for beauty and bravery hardly brings the color grey to mind. But grey is the color that women proudly flaunt today in all its beauty. So today’s day could be celebrated by looking up and exotic Hawaiian dish – poi. If that’s too out of the way then go for a simple bajre ki bhakri and mushroom keema. Speaking of mushrooms, a nourishing mushroom soup is worth considering too. For dessert, nothing would be more perfect than an earthy bajre ki kheer.
Day Four – Chaturthi: The fourth day is dedicated to the worship of Goddess Kushmandas, the creator of the universe and orange is worn in her honor. Let the bright color splash on your plate through theplas, pumpkin or squash subzi or a paneer gravy (for the ones making a face about the pumpkin and squash), carrot salad and jalebis or boondi, motichoor ke laddoo.
Day Five – Panchami: The fierce Skanda Mata is worshipped on the fifth day. She is the form of Durga, who is the mother of Skanda, the chief warrior of the Gods’ army. People dress in pure white on this day. Treat yourself this day to a white fluffy basmati pulao with malai kofta in white creamy gravy and a sevai kheer or a cheesy cheesy pasta with a white forest cake.
Day Six – Shashti: The form of Durga with three eyes and four hands, by the name of Katyayani, is worshipped on the sixth day and red is worn to celebrate it. Let the love flood your flavors with Veg Kolhapuri with traditional Gujarati chunda pickle and a rich gajar ka halwa or an arabiatta pasta with a tomato salad and a sinful red velvet cake.
Day Seven – Saptami: The seventh day is dedicated to the worship of Kaalraatri, the form of Mother Goddess who makes her devotees fearless and grants them freedom from evil and happiness. Blue should be the color devotees dress up in. Since an exact shade of blue is difficult to get in without artificial coloring, the fifty shades of sky should be served through baingan ka bharta and a blueberry phirni.
Day Eight – Ashtami: Maha Gauri, who symbolizes calmness and wisdom, is worshipped on Ashtami. She is known to cleanse her devotees of their sins and forgive them. Pink is worn today and the soft shade should be relished through a creamy beetroot curry and a zingy strawberry halwa. You could also go with a pasta in pink sauce and wash it down with a strawberry smoothie.
Day Nine – Navami: Goddess Siddhidaatri, the form of Durga known to have all the eight siddhis is worshipped by all the Rishis and Yogis. So everyone wears purple today. This intense hue should be savoured by you in the form of a yummy suran ki sabzi and a blackberry pie or a simpler closer to home blackcurrant shrikhand.
This year, add the twists and twirls of Navratri dances to your taste buds with the nine colors of the festive days. Enjoy yourselves and please do share any suggestions or additions you might have. We look forward to it.