What do Indians eat during the festival of Navratri?
Navratri is an iconic Hindu festival – but what foods is it famous for?
India is a country of festivals; one festival passes, and another one comes along to replace it. One of the prominent Indian festivals is Navratri. Navratri refers to nine nights, during which people offer prayers to the goddess Durga. Navratri is considered one of the biggest festivals of the Hindu community.
In different parts of the country, people have different ways to celebrate Navratri. Each state has its significance in celebrating Navratri. The common theme of the festival is the victory of good over evil.
On these nine auspicious days, people usually fast. Different people have a different mindset regarding fasting. Some think that it is a tribute to the goddess whereas some think that we fast to detox our body. It is also proven that fasting can detox our body and can strengthen our immune system.
During this auspicious time, people who are fasting eat only vegetarian food without onion and garlic.
Food eaten during these nine days is a mixture of fruits, dry fruits, fox seeds (makhana), pumpkin soup, water chestnut flour (singhara atta), barnyard millet (samak rice), buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) and tapioca (sago or sabudana).
For dessert, there's the mouthwatering dish kheer (sometimes called 'firni'). It is a pudding made by boiling milk and sugar with either rice or vermicelli or tapioca. It is then flavoured with cardamom, almond, cashew nuts, raisins, saffron, and other dry fruits. Each region of India has a different version of cooking kheer.
The Hindu diaspora, who migrated during the colonial period to different countries, built temples and continue the tradition of worshipping Durga during Navratri in those countries.
In a Hindu household, there is a large feast on the last day of Navratri. Each home mostly makes a potato, vegetable and chickpea poori (deep-fried bread made from chickpea flour) and Indian pudding for dessert.