Navratri Kala Chana| Puri | Sooji Halwa Recipes
Happy Navami to all of you.
To begin with, Navratri Kala Chana| Puri | Sooji Halwa Recipes, an Ashtami or Navami Prasad is a healthy and tasty treat that is simple and easy to prepare. Add Sooji Halwa or Sweet Semolina pudding to make a finger-licking meal. Incidentally, Navratri (festival of nine nights) is coming to an end and everyone is gearing up for Ashtami or Navami Pujan.
What Is Kanjak Pujan?
Kanjak Pujan is celebrated either on Ashtami, the 8th day or Navami, the 9th day of Navratri. My mom always did it on the ninth day. Kanjak means young girls who have not yet attained puberty and they are ceremonially worshipped.
How Is Kanjak Pujan Done?
Kanjaks are invited home. Their feet are washed, vermilion applied on their forehead, Roli or a sacred thread is tied on their wrists. After performing Aarti, their blessings are taken.
The girls are asked to sit in a row and they are served Kala Chana, Puri and Sooji Halwa a tasty and favourite Kanjak Pujan food. When they leave they are handed gifts to take home. To elucidate further, let me relate the incident of my 3 nieces when they were kids. The whole neighbourhood invited them and they would be so excited that day. They would bring home Prasad and gifts from one home, dump it on the table and rush to the next. The dining table would be laden with goodies in no time.
Recipe for Chana
Moving on to the recipe now; Soak kale chana or Chickpeas overnight and in the morning they are cooked and tempered with spices is added. Usually, I make my chana spicy but if it is being made especially for little girls then the spice quotient should be moderate.
Navratri Kanjak Prashad is incomplete without Sooji Halwa or Semolina Pudding. There were no fancy cakes and desserts when we were kids and mom used to make Halwa in order to celebrate any occasion and of course when she did Kanjak Puja. Sooji Halwa or Semolina Pudding is considered a treat even today for its rich taste. In a Sikh family like ours, the Kadha Parshad was a regular feature as we had a small Gurudwara in our house itself. I grew up with the toasty fragrant smell of the Halwa tickling my nose and waking me up almost every day.
Finally, the piece de resistance is the Sooji Halwa. The Sooji Halwa or Semolina Pudding turns out perfect with milk, saffron, almonds, cardamom and of course ghee or clarified butter and sooji if made with the right proportions. I do not like to add any colour but I do add Kashmiri Saffron. The Indian Sooji Halwa strangely contains many of the same ingredients most Greeks associate with Halwa, including semolina, sugar, and butter.
How to make Kala Chana Navami Prasad
1 large cup Black chana/chole
½ tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander leaves
½ tsp Jeera or Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Oil
Method For Chana
Clean, wash and soak chana overnight.
Drain them in the morning and cook in a pressure cooker. Add salt before boiling.
Pressure cook for 8-10 whistles. Once the steam is out, open the cooker and check if Chana is cooked.
In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds and when they start to crackle add in all the spices one by one.
Now add the boiled Chana to this tempering.
Bring it to a boil till all the water has dried out.
Serve Kala Chana hot with Puri and Sooji Halwa.
Recipe For Puri
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon semolina
1/4 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Approx. ½ cup water
Oil to fry
Method for Puris
Take the wheat flour, semolina, carom seeds and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and knead the wheat flour into a hard dough. If the dough is soft the puri may not puff up.
Make small balls of the dough. Roll into small discs. See that you roll them evenly. Puffed up puris are liked by everyone and the dough and rolling should be just right for that.
Heat the oil in a wok for frying the puris. Place a disc in hot oil and it will puff up instantly. If it doesn’t, then press it gently with the perforated spoon. Flip once puffed and fry till they are golden brown.
Serve hot puri off the fire with the Kala Chana. Kala Chana with Sooji Halwa is a sure-fire culinary experience. Do try it out even if you are not observing Navratri Vrat.