Monday, October 15, 2007

Vrat Kadi for Navratri: carrot kofta in yoghurt gravy

Its navratri time, time to fast, feast and wait for all the rest of the festivals to hit you! Navratri is composed of nine days of celebrating the female energy of our creation, in the most revered form, the Mother Goddess. All throughout India, from state to state, the Goddesses are prayed.

"All Hindus celebrate this festival at the same time in different ways in different parts of India as well as around the world. In the northern part of the country, the first nine days of this festival, called Navaratri, is commonly observed as a time for rigorous fast, followed by celebrations on the tenth day. In western India, throughout the nine days, both men and women participate in a special kind of dance around an object of worship. In the south, Dusshera or the tenth day is celebrated with a lot of fanfare. In the east, people go crazy over Durga Puja, from the seventh till the tenth day of this annual festival. Although, the universal nature of the festival is often found to transcend regional influences and local culture, the Garba Dance of Gujarat, Ramlila of Varanasi, Dusshera of Mysore, and Durga Puja of Bengal need special mention." Source.

From my childhood days, Ive spent these nine days fasting and feasting on yummy fasting food, hearing bhajans glorifying the mother goddess and waiting for my ‘kanjak’ on the 8th day. (In Punjab, on the 8th (ashtami) day, little gifts and a plate of halwa-poori, chole is given to little girls). Now that I’m a big girl :D I make these special dishes at home too and hand out kanjaks to little girls around the neighbourhood and daughters of my friends!

Now onto some yummy fasting food: fasting on navratri days usually, means restricting oneself to only certain things and avoiding grains, dals and most spices and vegetables. Different people fast in different ways so please go ahead and tweak this kadi in anyway to suit you. This kadi may have some ingredients that are not taken for strict fasting, and I will try to offer substitutions.

What you need:

For the koftas:

-2 cups finely grated carrots (can substitute with grated plantains or sweet potato)
-1 cup (approx) potato flour (can use rajgro flour that’s used during fasting)
-1 boiled and mashed potato
-Salt (some people use black/rock salt) to taste
-1/2 tsp chilli powder.
-1 tsp whole black peppercorns
-Oil for deep frying

For the kadi:

-¾ cup potato flour

-1 cup full cream milk (can use water too)
-2 cups yoghurt (preferably sour Indian curd)
-Salt (some people use black/rock salt) to taste
-1 tsp chilli powder

For the tadka:

-2 tbsp ghee
-4-5 whole dried red chillies (broken into pieces)
-2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)

What you need to:

1. Combine the ingredients for the kofta to make a soft, moist dough, it should not be dry. Make into small balls. Makes about 22. (I made this to take to the temple). Deep fry them in oil (or ghee, if you want). Allow the koftas to cool.

2. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste to the potato flour and combine to make a dosa-(pancake)-batter-like consistency. Keep aside. In another bowl, lightly beat the yoghurt (curds).

3. In a big pot make the tadka: add the ghee and when hot, add the jeera and broken red chilli pieces. When the spices become a shade darker, add the potato flour batter and then add the beaten yoghurt. Bring to the boil.

4. When the kadi is boiling vigourously, turn the gas to a medium-low, and let it simmer until it thickens.

5. When the kadi thickens, switch off the gas and let it cool slightly. Add the koftas and gently stir. Let the kadi sit for some time (maybe 10 minutes) to allow the koftas to soak up the liquid. Serve hot with vrat rice or have as is with jeera potatoes.

This is going to Vee of Past Present and Me for the wonderful event JFI special series: The festive series...


indosungod said...

The Carrots koftas in the gravy looks delicious. Well it is time to get to work on them :)

Asha said...

Carrot koftas looks great in Yogurt gravy. sweet, hot and Tangy, can't beat that combo!:))

Padma said...

Never tasted these kofta kadi....those soaking beauties looks so yummy n mouthful of flavor!

musical said...

Lovely kadhi, Rachna! Kadhis are always welcome. especially the ones with koftas :-D. But i usually polish off some koftas before preparing the kadhi!

bee said...

you call this fasting? :D i don't mind fasting if this is what you get to eat.

again, again, this post slipped by me on FBD.

Roopa said...

wow Rachna the kofta curry looks so rich and tasty as Bee said i really don't mind having this after the fast haha :)

Priyanka said...

This recipe is so new to me. Very unique...Will try it out. The ostrich egg artwork is so beautiful. We came across soome here at the Disney park adn they are so expensive. The pictures of the eggs are pretty elegant.

Sig said...

Looks yummy Rachna... Happy Navratri celebrations to you...

lakshmi said...

I have always wondered eating navaratri food is called fasting - it isnt logical at all :D. Beautiful looking kofta in kadi - beets would also work I guess

btw, blogger is gulping down my comments, sometime back I left a comment on your eggs for click and its disappeared..grrrrr...

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

lovely kofta..and the ostrich egg looks great, the painted one

Sia said...

rachna, i am bookmarking this recipe and its so much healthier than the usual koftas i make. thank u. wishing u n ur family a very happy dasara:)

Cynthia said...

This must be soooooo good!

Vcuisine said...

They are so pretty Rachna. Viji

Vee said...


Carrot Koftas look great! Sorry it took so long for me to reach here.Hope you had a great Navratri!

Thanks for participating!

Rachna said...

indo - sure thing!!

asha - yes

padma - they are

musy - i know ..happens with the punjabi kadis also na

bee - there's something weird going on at FBD...i give up

roopa - fasting is more like feasting!!

priyanka - thank you!

sig - thank u too

lakshmi - sorry about yur comments being gulped down... hey beets is a great idea!!

AKSWRH - thank u

sia - thanku, same to you

cynthia - it is!

viji - thank u

vee - hey its ok, thanks