October 8, this year is Vijayadashami, which marks the culmination of the nine-day long festivities of Navratri. This auspicious occasion falls on the tenth day in the Hindu calendar month of Ashvin, between the months of September and October signifying the victory of good over the evil.
It is considered very fortuitous to commence any new activity on this day, be it teaching your little ones to write, enrolling them in music, dance and art lessons or joining an academic course or even learning how to drive.
It is an ancient tradition to wake up early on Dashami, take a shower and chant prayers and hymns in praise of Goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, while fasting for a brief period of time. In addition, various Indian dishes are prepared and offered as "neivedyam" to the Almighty to seek The Lords' blessings, for success in all new endeavors that you embark on.
We bring you two time-tested Indian dishes for Dasara, puliyodharai from the south and kuttu ki khichdi from the north, that are high on proteins and fibers and low on calories, for you to savour this Dashami with your family.
1 cup raw rice
¼ cup tamarind paste
2 tbsp sesame seed oil
Salt, as needed
1 ½ tbsp puliyodharai spice powder
1 tsp mustard
3 tsp urad dal
3 red chillies
½ tsp hing
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ cup roasted peanuts
10 -12 curry leaves
Heat oil in a pan, add the puliyodharai spice powder, mustard, urad dal, red chillies, hing and turmeric powder and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Once urad dal begins to turn brown, add tamarind paste and salt and cook until it becomes a uniform mixture. Turn off stove and set aside.
Boil the rice in a pressure cooker on medium flame for 4 whistles. Then, transfer it to a plate and allow it to cool a bit.
Now add some sesame seed oil and the spice paste along with roasted peanuts and thoroughly mix it with the rice, garnishing with curry leaves.
Make an offering of the warm puliyodharai to the Goddess.
Tamarind is a diabetic friendly desi spice that is high in dietary fibers for improved digestion and vitamin C for enhanced immunity. It is a rich source of polyphenol antioxidants which confers valuable anti-inflammatory traits to prevent heart disease and cancer. Rice, when taken in moderation provides carbs for instant energy, peanuts abound in proteins for strong muscles and curry leaves supply iron for proper blood synthesis and transport within the body. Also Read: Curry Leaves: Medicinal Uses, Therapeutic Benefits For Hair, Diabetes And Supplements.
Kuttu Ki Khichdi (Buckwheat Khichdi)
1 cup kuttu (buckwheat)
Salt as required
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp sugar
1 green chilli
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small potato, boiled and chopped
4 tbsp finely cut coriander leaves
In a pan, heat the ghee, add the cumin seeds and once they sputter, put in the green chilli and chopped potato pieces and sauté for 5 minutes.
Thoroughly wash the buckwheat and mix it in the pan with the sautéed ingredients.
Add salt and sugar as per your taste and cook on low flame until all flavours soak in.
Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice and serve hot.
Buckwheat is a superfood that is imbued with high protein content for key enzyme functions in the body. It also offers vital trace minerals of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous for fortified bones and easing ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis. Lemon is proficient in vitamin C for maintaining defense mechanism in the system while coriander leaves are packed with B vitamins, zinc and vitamin E for augmented skin and heart health. Also Read: Soak And Sprout Buckwheat For Optimum Health Benefits.