The nine-day long festivities for Dasara, also called Dussehra, Navratri or Navarathri are about to commence and it’s time to gear up for rituals, chanting, dancing in religious fervor to the beats of Garba and of course, a lot of cooking and dressing up.
Navratri, meaning nine nights in Sanskrit, is a grand occasion observed during the Hindu month of Ashvin, which generally falls between September and October. On these auspicious days, the blessings of three Hindu Goddesses are invoked, namely Goddess Durga for courage, Goddess Lakshmi for wealth and Goddess Saraswathi for knowledge.
In few regions of Southern India, after performing the holy ceremonies, people engage in singing devotional bhajans and set up a “golu”, a vast display of colourful dolls in steps. And it is a tradition of sorts to offer boiled and sautéed legumes to the guests.
Interestingly, there are quite a few health reasons supporting this. Legumes are high in protein, fiber and various essential nutrients that will help the body build immunity and fight against seasonal infections, quite common during these months.
We bring you wholesome sundal recipes that are easy-to-make and delicious.
1 cup peanuts
¼ cup shredded coconut
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp hing
2 tsp urad dal
A bunch of curry leaves
2 tsp sesame oil
Salt, to taste
Soak the peanuts in water for 3 hours. Pressure cook the soaked peanuts for two whistles, along with some water and salt.
Heat the oil in a kadai, add the mustard seeds and once they sputter, put in the hing, urad dal and curry leaves. Sauté for 2 minutes.
Transfer the cooked peanuts and shredded coconut to the kadai, add some salt as per your taste and cook for a few minutes.
Serve the hot peanut sundal garnished with fresh veggies and along with some lemon tea, making it a wholesome evening snack for the festive season. Also Read: 5 Health Reasons Why You Should Snack On Peanuts
Peanuts are packed with carbs providing instant energy, as well as high protein values to build muscle mass. Abounding in fibers, peanuts aid in enhancing gut health and their intrinsic vast unsaturated fat content regulates body temperature. Coconuts are laden with calcium and magnesium to boost bone health, while curry leaves supply ample antioxidants for optimal liver function.
Moong Jaggery Sundal
½ cup moong dal (green gram)
¼ cup powdered jaggery
2 tsp cardamom powder
Lightly fry the moong dal in a pan with no oil, on medium flame, to make it aromatic.
Soak the dry fried moong dal overnight, for at least six hours.
Pressure cook the moong dal for two whistles and drain off the excess water.
In a vessel, heat jaggery in some water, to obtain a homogenous mix.
Add the moong dal and cardamom powder to the jaggery potion and continue stirring, until it blends in completely.
Serve sweet moong jaggery sundal warm. Also Read: Is Jaggery Healthier Than Sugar?
Moong dal is a powerhouse of proteins, to ensure key enzyme functions as well as fibers, for lowering cholesterol. Also, moong is prized for its rich folate content, required for synthesis of red blood cells, that is vital for the well-being of pregnant women. Jaggery contains immense amounts of iron, that is essential for producing hemoglobin in healthy blood vessels. Cardamom has enormous quantities of antioxidants that assist in dental health and prevent cancer.