Festival season is around the corner and with that comes the time of family get togethers, pujas
(prayers) and fasting. Most of the fasting is done during Navratri, one of the most auspicious
Hindu festivals where people worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga for nine days. The
word Navratri translates to “nine nights” during which Goddess Durga is worshiped and many
people observe fasts. Navratri is celebrated twice a year, once in spring and once in fall, which
is soon followed up with Diwali celebrations.
Many people in India and around the globe observe a fast on all nine days. Some also choose to fast only on the first and the last day of the festive period. During this time the consumption of alcohol and non-vegetarian food is considered inauspicious and unholy as Hindu tradition and Ayurvedic science suggests eating “clean foods.” Many people also avoid consuming meat,alcohol, onion, garlic etc. as in the Ayurvedic world these foods absorb negative energies and give off potent smells. During this time alternate grains are used, special sweets are prepared and vrat wala khanna (fasting appropriate foods) are made.
Navratri festivities give you a chance to connect with traditions, celebrate with family and deviate from usual weekly dinners.
During Navratri I usually meal plan a few weeks in advance as my husband is a non-vegetarian lover and I try to make many of his favorite vegetarian foods making up for anything he misses during the nine days. This Haldi Aloo recipe is an easy dish that can be prepared in minutes. It can be used as a saabzi, stuffed in wraps or rolled in dosas. It’s also vrat friendly, so if you or someone at home is fasting it will work for everyone.
2 potatoes, peeled & cut into 1 inch cubes
1 green chili, slit in the middle
6-7 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
2 tablespoons oil
In a pan or wok heat oil on medium low heat and add green chili and curry leaves. As the leaves start crackling add the cumin and black mustard seeds.
Mix as they start to pop around in the pan and add the potatoes and salt. Stir, cover and let cook for 9-10 minutes, checking on them occasionally to ensure no sticking or over browning. Remove the lid, add the turmeric, mix and let cook for an additional 7-8 minutes.
Once cooked, turn off heat and garnish with fresh cilantro.
Notes, Tips, Suggestions
•For quick aloo recipes like this, I choose Idaho potatoes as they tend to cook faster.
•Customize this recipe and make it your own by adding peas, carrots, green beans or more.
Like this recipe? Here are a few more vegetarian recipes on Masalamommas that will help you prepare for Navratri season.