Sharad Navratri celebrations began on October 7th and will last nine days. There are four Navratris in a year, but only two are celebrated lavishly – Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri. Sharad Navratri is revered among all the Navratris and falls during the holy month of Ashwin. It is also called Maha Navratri.
In Sanskrit, Navratri means ‘nine nights’. Hindus celebrate these nine days by performing several pujas, offering delicious bhog and prasad to Goddess Durga, and keeping fasts as a ritual to please their beloved deity. While fasting, one refrains from consuming cereal, non-vegetarian food, and alcohol. For their daily meals, they use vrat ingredients such as sabudana, buckwheat flour, sendha namak and Samak ke chaawal.
A common ritual of Navratri observed in Gujarat and Maharashtra involves dressing in beautiful attire based on the colors associated with the nine days of the festival and with Durga’s nine forms. The first color is determined by the day when the festival starts (Ghatsthapna or Pratipada), and subsequent colors follow a fixed cycle. This year, as you adorn yourself in these vibrant hues of devotion, include these color co-ordinated, pure vegetarian dishes into your daily meals to add to the festive spirit. Those who do not observe the fasts tend to adhere to an all-vegetarian diet on these days.
Featuring some of our favorite dishes along with the nine colors!
- Day 1: Colour of the day -Yellow
Yellow is the first color of Navratri. Try making Aloo ki Khichdi, a delicious and wholesome dish made without any grains or pulses. Parsai ke Chawal tempered and sauteed in ghee with potatoes is a perfect festive recipe
- Day 2: Colour of the day- Green
Navratri’s second color is the cool and comforting green. The Vrat recipe of Kacche Kele ki Tikki is also a very popular and well-known Awadhi dish made from raw banana pulp, which is usually served as an accompaniment to rotis.
- Day 3: Colour of the day – Grey
The third day’s color is grey. We recommend that you avoid artificial colors and additives in your food during this time and in general. Natural ingredients taste better and are healthier. To mark your devotion towards Goddess Durga, you can make Sabudana Papad or Makhana Kheer on this day.
- Day 4: Colour of the Day- Orange
In honor of Navratari’s fourth-day color, indulge in delicious Pumpkin and Apple Halwa. You can prepare an orange halwa with apples, pumpkins, and lots of chunky dry fruits. Halwa can also be offered to the Goddess as bhog.
- Day 5: Colour of the day- White
On the fifth day, white is the color, and the dish we have opted for is the classic Sabudana Kheer. Sabudana (tapioca pearls) is a delicious festive dessert made with cardamom and saffron. This delicious kheer can also be offered as bhog to Goddess Durga.
- Day 6: Colour of the Day-Red
On the sixth day , Shashti, red is the color. The festival of Navratri celebrates Goddess Durga and her triumph over the invincible demon Mahishasura. Like Sindhi Tamatar Kadhi, which is made with homemade tomato puree and vegetables. Red is associated with power and force. You can serve it with rice and aloo tuk for a complete meal.
- Day 7: Colour of the Day-Royal Blue
A royal blue color is associated with the Saptami day . You can color any dish with food colors and food additives, but we don’t recommend it. The blue rice, also known as Nasi Kerabu, can be prepared using butterfly pea flowers. Take a cup of Jasmine rice and cook it like you prepare regular white rice. To the water add a handful of butterfly pea flowers.
- Day 8: Colour of the Day-Pink
Pink is the eighth Navratri color, and you must prepare Gulab Phirni. It is a delicious, milk and rice-based Indian dessert that is fragrant with cardamom, saffron, rose water, and rose petal powder and looks very pretty.
- Day 9: Colour of the Day- Purple
Navratri concludes with the color purple. Purple instantly brings to mind the quintessential vegetable – brinjal. You can try a delicious brinjal recipe called Bharwa Baingan; it consists of small brinjals stuffed with homemade masala.