The festive moods start swinging in from mid-September onwards. It starts with the festival of Navratri and goes on to bring in Diwali then Christmas. The varieties of dishes from the Indian cuisine are famous and inviting too! The special Navratri cuisine is a part of the multitude of culinary delights. As most people observe fast during the Navratri period and consume only one meal a day at sunset, this meal has a variety of special courses and is strictly vegetarian. In fact, ingredients like onions and garlic are avoided during the fast. Sometimes specific ingredients and vegetables that are used vary from region to region.
This important festival of India is mainly celebrated in Gujarat, Bengal and North-India, but now with the generous spread of a mixed culture in all the regions, this festival is celebrated throughout the country. The Navaratra vrat(9 days of fast) ka khana has a variety of dishes like – khuskhus aloo, banana chips, arbi fried, aloo pulao, aloo mewawale, malaiwale kofte, vrat ke chawal, sukhi arbi, sukha aloo, singhare ke pakore, sabudana puri kootu, aloo pakora and sitaphal ki sabzi, etc.
The manner in which the dishes are prepared sometimes varies at every home. A Bengali friend of mine had prepared the yam like this and I relished them a lot! She said even the spices that are used are restricted during this period. The must use spices are red chillies, turmeric, cumin seeds and only rock salt can be used. Alternatively one can also have milk, curd, fruits and nuts. Of course, there will be coconut laddoos and boondi sweets too. Chocolates, pastries and cakes too -all eggless though!
This yam fried recipe has become my favourite which I make often. A dish which you can relish, on any given day!
- 500 gm arbi/yam cleaned and pressure cook for 2-3 min(Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to it)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garam masala/whole spice powder
- Salt to taste
In step one: Add a ¼ tsp of Amchoor powder/Dry mango powder or 1 tsp of lime juice.
- Peel the boiled yam and cut into round pieces.
- Add to this red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and keep aside for few minutes (like in marination).
- Then heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
- When they splutter add the yam marinated with masalas.
- Keep gently tossing the yam till well fried(if necessary add a little more oil while tossing).
- When brown and crisp the dish ‘fried yam’ is ready to serve, as a side dish with rice or rotis.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.(optional)
Preparation Time: 35 minutes (including marination time)