Navratri – Asthami or Navami Prasad recipe
Sooji Ka Halwa – Prasad
1 cup sooji (semolina)
1/4 cup ghee (or enough to moisten the sooji)
1.5 cups fine-grain sugar/1.25 cups coarse grain sugar
3 cups of water
3 green cardamom pods
15 almonds (soaked in water overnight, peeled and sliced)
1/4 cup raisins
1. Dry roast the sooji over very low heat till it turns a very pale brown color and you can smell the aroma of sooji being roasted. Make sure you keep stirring it all the time to distribute the heat evenly. Then add the ghee and roast over a very low fire till all the sooji is evenly roasted to a light brown color. Stirring continuously is very important to ensure it gets roasted evenly.
2. While the sooji is roasting, make a syrup by boiling the sugar, water, and cardamom for about 5 minutes over high heat in a covered pan till all the sugar is dissolved and the cardamom flavor seeps through the syrup.
3. When the sooji has roasted, add the sugar syrup and cook over medium heat uncovered until the mixture begins to thicken and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add raisins at this stage. Keep stirring continuously to ensure even cooking.
4. When the halwa is done, add 2/3 of the sliced almonds to the halwa and stir to combine throughout. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the remaining almonds on top as a garnish.
1 1/2 cups black channa (soaked overnight in water)
1 large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes (grated/ground in a food processor or blender)
1-inch ginger grated
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi)
1 teaspoon jeera seeds
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teaspoons vegetable/canola oil/ghee
salt to taste
1. Boil the channa in a pressure cooker with enough water and some salt till done.
2. While the channa is boiling, heat a pan over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is heated, add the jeera seeds. When they begin to cook in the oil, add the grated ginger, and cook for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the ground tomatoes to this and cook over medium heat till the tomatoes are cooked (5-8 minutes).
4. Then add the coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder, and salt to taste and cook for a couple of minutes.
5. When the channa is boiled, drain from the water and add to the above masala and cook for 3-5 minutes stirring well throughout. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved water from the drained channa to ensure even mixing of the masala. When the channa is dried, check for seasoning and transfer to a serving dish.
Serve the halwa and channa along with fresh hot pooris. Happy Ashtami!