Navratri is here and my whole week is spent in the anticipation of the Ashtami Prasad. Chaitra Navratri, which falls in March-April, is when Hindus worship goddess Durga and her nine forms. People usually fast and pray and on Ashtami the fast is broken with a prasad. In North this prasad is more like a grand meal with puri, subzi, halwa, kheer and more.
At my home it was always kale chane – see my recipe of kale chane ki ghughniyan here – puri, dahi ki pakodi and suji (semolina) halwa. For some reason, the meal would never taste the same if cooked on any other day of the year. It’s a lot like the karah prasad at Gurudwaras; offering it as bhog somehow adds to the taste.
Of the whole prasad, the kale chane and dahi ki pakodi (recipe here) are very specific to UP.
Dahi Ki Pakodi
Urad dal (soaked overnight) – 200 gms
Hing – 2 pinches
Mustard oil for deep frying
Beaten curd seasoned with sugar and salt
Red chilli powder
1. Drain out water and wash the dal.
2. Make fine paste in a grinder; this will ensure soft pakodis.
3. Mix asafoetida in dal paste.
4. Make small fritters and deep fry till golden brown.
5. Top the pakodis with dahi or tamarind chutney, sprinkle red chilli powder and serve.