Easy Vrat Ke Aloo Recipe – Quick lunch Ideas

Navratre is an Indian/Hindu festival which lasts for 9 days and lot of people fast during these 9 days ( can fast 1 day or whole period) eating a special diet. This simple Potato dish is one simple recipe that is allowed to be had during these 9 days. Here is how we make it ­čÖé

Ingredients/ Method
2 tbsp oil
1 Large potato or 2-3 small/medium size potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
1/2 tsp rock salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried ginger ( Sund)
2-3 tbsp Yogurt

Method: Heat oil in a pan and add seeds. Add potatoes. Mix well and add spices. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins. When almost done, add yogurt and let cook further for 2 mins. Then turn the heat off and serve potatoes. They taste delicious on their own and make for a great side dish as well.

Another great recipe often made during fasting period is: Sabudana Kheer (Sago Dessert)

Holi snacks – Moong Dal Poori Recipe(Stuffed Indian Bread)

Here is a great recipe for stuffed poori that is perfect for weekend brunch. Pair it with Aloo Curry and you have a fantastic lunch ready.

Ingredients/Method

Oil for frying
For Stuffing: 1/2 cup moong dal
Salt per taste ( 1 tsp suggested)
1/2 tsp paprika
Turmeric
Fennel seeds
2-3 tbsp oil
( water as required)

For Dough
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp ghee and Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt

Method:
Prepare the dough by mixing dough ingredients. Let dough stand for 30 mins.
Prepare the stuffing by grinding pre soaked moong daal. Fry it in a pan with hot oil and spices until it dries out and turns a shade darker.

When ready to make the poori, heat oil for deep frying in a pot. Take small golf ball size dough portion. Flatten it out with a rolling pin. Fill it with stuffing and close it. Flatten it out again and fry in hot oil.

Meethi Kachori ( Indian Snacks) – Shivratri Special

With Holi and Shivratri being around the corner and onset of spring, everyone wants to celebrate and have good time with friends and family. Here is a must have recipe for your festival menu which can be prepared in advance.

Ingredients/Method

For the shell
2 cups of flour
(I prefer using 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat. You can use either of the two. Usually its prepared with all purpose flour)
2-4 tbsp of Desi Ghee ( Clarified Butter)
Water to knead the dough
Pinch of salt

For stuffing
2-3 tbsp ghee/butter or oil
1 cup of Unsweetned shredded coconut
1 cup dry fruit (chopped)
1/2 to 1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Oil is also required for deep frying the Kachoris

Method:
Prepare the dough by mixing ghee, flour, water and pinch of salt. Set the dough aside for 30 mins.
Prepare the stuffing by frying coconut, dry fruits and other ingredients in a wok along with sugar. Let the stuffing cool down.
Roll out small portions of dough and fill them with stuffing. Close the Kachoris and deep fry until both sides are golden.
Enjoy with cup of Tea or coffee

Happy Shivratri 2014 To You All

Shivratri, one of the greatest religious festivals of Shiv devotees of North India is around the corner (on 27th Feb. this year). Actually, it is celebrated on the 14th night of the dark fortnight (known as Krishan Paksha )of Hindu month of Fagun/Phagun .Some people believe that Shiv got married on this day, though there is a lot controversy about his marriage date. In Northern India, temples are already preparing for this great festival. Prabhat Pheries (Morning Festivities) have started . Groups of People sing Shiv bhajans (religious songs) early in the morning in the streets.

On this day many kinds of rituals are performed. The most important is Rudrabhishek. In this Shiv-ling pujan is done by first bathing it with panchamrit that is a mixture of milk curd ghee honey and gangajal and cold water followed by offerings of bilav patri, flowers and fruit etc. All this is done to please the deity. Lord Shiva is considered to be one of the most powerful Hindu Gods with tons of devotees.

Many People observe fast on this Day. In the evening, they sometimes eat special Vrat food or sometimes take part in special Shivratri meal which consists of fruits, nuts and Kheer. The whole day prayers and havans are performed . The simplest mantra of Shiv is OM NAMAH SHIVAY. Athough the mantra is simple but it is capable of giving great results. If you are feeling anxious, a simple chant of this Mantra will calm you down. It is believed that on this night (Shivratri) Shiv takes a round of the world with hIs wife Parvati and whomever he finds praying is blessed for the whole Year. In the Temples and even on the road sides free meals (langars )are offered to everyone. Langar usually consists of Dal, Roti, Kheer, simple preparation of vegetables and rice. Religious fervour is in the air.

Shiv means Kalyankari, one who wishes for your well being. The other name for shiv ‘Shankar’ ┬ámeans ‘ Giver of Bliss’. ‘Ashutosh’ means always satisfied and happy. ‘Bholenath’ means Lord of the innocents . He himself is considered very innocent, deity who can be pleased easily with simple offerings, simple prayers and simple mantras. One of the tales of his innocence goes like this ; ┬átheir was a thief who used to earn his livelihood just by stealing. Once he couldn’t steal anything for days together and was very hungry. So he went to the temple to see if he could get anything to eat there but unfortunately he got nothing. Suddenly he saw the Brass Bell hanging above the Shivling and decided to steal it and sell it. He tried to pull it by standing beside the Shivling but did not succeed .Then he climbed on the Shivling to pull it. At that point Shiv appeared there and blessed him to fulfill all his wishes. By that time people had gathered there and asked Lord Shiv why he has blessed just a thief and not them as they have been praying for so many years. Shiv said that they have been offering him just flowers and fruits or whatever they had but since the poor thief didn’t have anything to offer, he offered himself hence he has been blessed. Such is the nature of our beloved God.

This Shivratri day pray with all your heart, ask forgiveness for your sins and show your gratitude for what you have. May Lord Shiva bless you with his choicest blessings. Happy Shivratri 2014 from EatEastIndian Team to all our friends, fans and viewers.