I love this time for my own selfish reasons. The food is good, people are calmer in general, and there is a certain kind of purity in the atmosphere. And you get something to celebrate at the end so you are looking forward to it all those 9 days. Overall, it detoxes your palate and rejuvenates your spirits in a way.
Potato is the most common ingredient that’s used in meals during this time in every household. Even if not fasting, people mostly refrain from tamasic food (as per Ayurveda science) like onion and garlic. So most of the dishes prepared during this time use no onion garlic recipes. These are also light on stomach which helps to cope up with the challenges the changing weather brings.
And since the use of heavy spices is also not advisable, the potato curries that are usually cooked are seasoned with black pepper and rock salt. Like this farali aloo sabzi (farali = for fasting) where I have used only cumin seeds + black pepper and rock salt. The minimal use of spices brings out the real flavours of the vegetable and provides a sense of attachment to the food and your palate. Which is the whole purpose of the fasting- to appreciate food and connect with your mind and body.
Usually the aloo sabzi is prepared with some gravy so it doesn’t feel dry when served with poori or paratha. To prepare the gravy, some mashed potato is added which when boiled together with the gravy, imparts a thick texture.
It is a very quick Gujarati dish and gets ready under 15-20 minutes easily, if potatoes are kept boiled ahead of time. You can use a pressure cooker to boil potatoes and cut down on time by at least half.
So lets look into the recipe of this quick and easy vrat ki farali aloo sabzi. This can be served during fasting on festivals like maha shivratri, navaratri, ekadashi etc.
Nutritional info: Low calories + Vegan. Good source of potassium and magnesium
Vrat wale farali aloo sabzi | Navratri recipes
- 4-5 medium sized potatoes boiled
- 1 tbsp oil or ghee
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- piece A small of ginger grated or minced
- 1-2 green chilies chopped very fine or minced
- ½ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp rock salt or to taste sendha namak
- Juice from half a lemon
- 1 cup water
- leaves Handful of fresh cilantro for garnish coriander
Peel the boiled potatoes. Using your hands, roughly break them into pieces. Mash half a cup of potatoes and keep aside.
In a pan, heat the oil and add in cumin seeds. When they start sizzling, add in minced ginger and green chilies and fry for a few seconds.
Add in the potato pieces, mix well and roast for a minute. Then turn the flame to low, pour in water along with the salt and potato mash. Mix everything together and let it cook for 3-5 minutes until the gravy starts to thicken.
Once reached to your desired consistency, squeeze the lemon juice and add black pepper powder. Mix once last time and turn off the flame.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Poori. You might also sprinkle some roasted cumin powder just before serving.
Pooris (puffed fried bread) you can serve this Vrat ke farali aloo sabji with:
Bedmi Poori (ground lentils puri)
Kuttu ke atte ki poori (buckwheat flour puri)
Palak ki poori (spinach puri)