Today is the Ninth day of the Navratri (literally means Nine Nights) festival in India. This means that yesterday on Ashtami (the eighth day) many north Indian homes celebrated the Kanjak Puja which is the worship of Goddess Durga. The day is marked by carrying out a Puja of little girls (mostly Seven in number). To know more about Navratri and the Kanjak puja you can click here.
As I grew up in Northern India all my life this festival has been a part of my childhood and I have many fond memories of this day. Like most little girls in North India I have also made the rounds of many neighbourhood houses -making some pocket money and as well as feasting on the delicious prasad of Poori, Chane and Halwa. It is now my daughter’s turn to enjoy this age old tradition and my turn to make the gorgeous food. It might be too late for sharing the recipe for the Kanjak Puja but this is comfort food for many of us and the kids love it without any question so I am sharing this recipe.
Sookhe Kale Chane
1 Cup Kala Chana (Black Chick Peas)- Soaked Overnight
1 Tbsp Mustard Oil
1 Tsp Jeera (Cumin)
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Jeera (Cumin) -Roasted and Powdered
1 and 1/2 Tsp – Kala Namak (Balck Salt)
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
Wash the soaked chick peas thoroughly in the morning and Pressure cook it until done. Heat oil in a Kadhai (wok) and add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds start crackling add the drained chick peas (You can use the water from chick peas for kneading the poori dough). Now add the black salt, the red chilli powder and Jeera powder and mix thoroughly. Keep it on simmer for 2-3 minutes and after that take it off fire and add 1 tsp lemon juice to it. Easy peasy isn’t it ?
Sooji Ka Halwa
1 Cup – Sooji (Semolina)
2 Tbsp- Ghee (Clarified Butter)
1 Cup- Sugar
4 Cups – Water
1/2 Cup- Almonds, Raisins and Cashewnuts
Heat the Ghee in a Kadhai (wok) and once it is heated add the Sooji to it. Now keep stirring continously till the sooji gets golden brown in colour. Take care not to burn the sooji. Now add the water to the kadhai and soon after add the sugar. Again keep stirring the mixture to avoid any lumps. Now add the dry fruits to the mixture and after 3-4 minutes, take it off. Garnish with Coconut slices. Yummy!!
3 Cups- Wheat Flour
2/3 Cups- Water to knead the dough
1 tsp – Ajwain (Carrom Seeds)
Oil for deep frying
Knead the dough using the flour, water and the ajwain. The dough should be non sticky and smooth. Rest the dough for half an hour.
Now heat oil in a Kadhai till it is very hot. Meanwhile, make balls of the dough and roll them out into small rounds of 4-5 inches diameter. To test the oil, put a small ball of the dough in the oil and if it immediately rises up the oil is ready.
Now put one rolled out poori into the oil and lightly press it with a spatula so that it swells up.Now flip it over and once both sides are golden brown, take out the poori.
Your poori,chane and Halwa platter is ready. Do let me know if you tried this and also how you celebrated the Kanjak puja.