First of all let me begin by wishing all of you a very happy Navratri !
For the information of all those who do not know or celebrate this festival - Navratri is a Hindu festival celebrated twice in a year all across India . The first Navratras are celebrated in September/ October , generally with a lot of revelry , night long dances and songs , whereas the second navratras celebrated in March/ April are traditionally more sombre .
Navratra - when literally translated means "nav" - nine and "ratra" - nights . Devotees fast for nine days giving reverence to Goddess , Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati are worshipped for three days each . You can know more about this festival here .
This year I also decided to fast for all the nine days . I have done this before and did not think it would be too tough . I mean how tough would it be to live on fruits and tubers ...I love fruits ..I can have them anytime of the day . But six days down the line I have realised that this requires a lot of determination and will power to go without your favorite foods . Also the fact that this time around its me who is doing all the cooking and that I have been unable to find the traditional food that we have during this period has made it a tad more difficult than I anticipated .
After sustaining myself for six days on fruits , potatoes , sweet potatoes and sabudana (Sago) , I got a little sick of having boiled , grilled , fried potato or sabudana Khichdi ( I will be sharing the recipe for that also .... but some other time ) . So while I was thinking about how to make my dinner a little more interesting I took out all the things that I can eat ..which is not much basically the things I have already listed above . I took out some sabudana papad ( which I got from India ) and tried to microwave them by brushing them with oil ( forever trying to limit the fat intake ...that's me !! ) and what I got was these saucer shaped papads ......and then it struck me ...why not make something that looks like katori chaat ...and this recipe was born :-) . It definitely looked great and tasted different , I can also experiment a little more when my choices are not so restricted , they can be perfect starters ....the ideas are floating around in my mind ....uuummm ! well maybe I can write about them some other time.
Ingredients ( makes 6 boats )
Sago/ Sabudana papads (poppadum) - 6 ( I used the salt less version , you can use the salted ones )
Potato - 1 large ,boiled and sliced
Cumin seeds - 1/2 t sp.
Yogurt - 2 tb. sp.
Salt - as per taste ( I used sendha namak , you can use plain iodized salt)
Red chili powder - as per taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 t sp.
Green chili - 2 finely chopped
Garam masala - 1/4 t sp.
Oil - 1 tb sp.
Coriander leaves - chopped for garnishing
In a pan heat the oil , add the cumin seeds ... let them brown a little , then add the green chili . Then add the chopped potato , add the salt , red chili powder, turmeric. Mix everything and let the potato get a little fried . Then add the garam masala powder and saute a little more . Then lower the flame and mix in the yogurt . Once mixed , switch off the flame .
Lightly brush the Sago papads with oil and microwave them for 1.40 - 2.00 mins till all the sago granules have popped . Keep them aside. You can also fry the papads , although the size would increase in that case...but nothing beats the taste of fried papads ...Right !! ( Too bad I have to watch my fat intake :-( )
Now take each papad , scoop out the potato and put a scoop in the centre . Garnish with the coriander and sprinkle a little red chili powder . The heat of the chili powder tingles your taste buds and the red color makes the dish look oh! so appetizing.
The final dish was great looking , it also had the crunchiness of the papads , the smooth texture of the potato with the sourness of the yogurt . All in all an interesting way to have the "Vrat ka khana ".