“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?” -Buddha
Yesterday marked the start of the nine day Hindu festival, Navratri. The word Navratri translates to “nine nights” during which Goddess Durga is worshiped. Durga represents courage, motherhood, prosperity, knowledge, strength and more. During this time many people fast, host prayers and participate in garba and raas (devotional dances). Navratri is celebrated a few times a year however the fall celebration tends to be the grand one as it’s soon followed up with Diwali celebrations.
In India and around the world Hindu’s pray and celebrate. As Ayurvedic science has deep roots in Hindu traditions, these nine days call for eating “pure, clean foods”. Alcohol and non-vegetarian food is avoided as it’s said these foods absorb negative energies and give off potent smells. During this time alternate grains are also used, special sweets are prepared and vrat wala khanna (fasting appropriate foods) are made.
During Navratri I try to meal plan a few weeks in advance to try and make our favorite vegetarian foods. The festive time gives you a chance to try new recipes, celebrate with family and deviate from usual weekly dinners. Sabudana tikkis are something I always make during Navratri. Sabudana also known as tapioca sago are white, starchy and pearl shaped. They are made of cassava root and can be cooked in many ways including appetizers, entrees and desserts. Sabudana is a ingredient that is welcomed while fasting, so it’s perfect this time of year.
- 1 cup Sabudana, pre soaked & drained
- 1 medium Idaho potato, boiled & mashed
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ½ tablespoon ginger paste
- ½ teaspoon chopped green chilis
- 1 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ⅓ cup cooking oil
- Soak Sabudana in warm water for at least an hour, drain, squeeze dry with hands and put in mixing bowl. Add boiled potato, chopped cilantro, ginger paste, green chilis, cumin powder, salt and mix until well combined. Check for salt at this point and adjust to taste. Lightly grease a plate with oil and set aside. Make tikkis by starting out with a golf ball size amount of mixture between the palms of your hands, pressing lightly to form two inch round tikkis. Place formed tikkis in greased plate. Once all tikkis have been formed, heat oil in pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the tikkis for 2 minutes on each side. Let cool 1-2 minutes and enjoy.
I like to serve these hot with cold whipped yogurt and a hot cup of chai.