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Navratri, also spelled Navaratri or Navarathri, is a multi-day Hindu festival celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. Navaratri falls twice or four times a year. Of these, the Sharada Navaratri (September-October) is the most celebrated, and the Vasanta Navaratri (March-April) is next most significant.

Navratri is celebrated differently across India, In the North people fast for 9 days throughout and have a great celebration at the end of the fasting. The festival fall mainly during the month of October and November.People worship 9 different forms of Goddess Durga during the festival thus the name “Navratri” came into existence.

The common ingredients that can be had during the fasting are:

Flours Used:

  • Singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour)
  • Kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour)
  • Rajgira ka atta (amaranth flour) and rajgira (amaranth)
  • Sama ke chawal ka atta (barnyard millet flour)
  • Vrat ke chawal (barnyard millet)
  • Arrowroot flour
  • Sabudana or sago (Tapioca Pearls)

Vegetables Consumed:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato
  • Colocasia (Arbi)
  • Pumpkin
  • Raw Banana
  • Tomatoes
  • Coconut

Preferable Spices Used:

  • Cumin whole or powder
  • Black peppercorns  whole or powder
  • Green cardamom
  • Ginger
  • Green Chilies
  • Black Salt/ Rock Salt/Fruit Salt

Preferable herbs used:

  • Coriander leaves
  • Mint leaves
  • Curry leaves

Ingredients to be avoided:

  • No onion and No Garlic
  • No legumes/ lentils

Navratri in the south part of India is a feast for the eyes as well as there are an array of dishes being prepared. Navratri is celebrated in three different states of south India which is Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh. In each state the concept remains the same but the customs and tradition varies.

The festival is celebrated for 9 days and traditionally the whole family gather to arrange the brightly colored dolls (Gombe/ Bombai) in a very artistic and presentable way. The house is decorated with colorful flowers and lights. Each house is greeted with a wonderful “kolam” or “Rangoli”. The emphasis is mainly given to Goddess Durga who depicts the evil being washed away by the good.

Different varieties of Sundal are made on each day from Karamani Sundal, Corn Sundal, Peanut Sundal, Kabuli Chana Sundal, Desi Chana Sundal and many more.

Get more than 50 Healthy & Delicious Navratri Festival recipes from both South and North India, from Sundal and Vrat/ Fasting Recipes to satisfy every taste across various regions in India.