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Durga Puja Food

Savoury to sweet: Recipes for the perfect Sashthi meal

From golden ‘radhaballavi’ and spiced 'chicken kosha' to a decadent 'chhanar payesh', try your hand at these dishes this Puja

Pooja Mitra | Published 26.09.22, 08:47 PM
Clockwise from left: ‘Radhaballavi’ and alu dum, ‘beguni’, and ‘chhanar payesh’

Clockwise from left: ‘Radhaballavi’ and alu dum, ‘beguni’, and ‘chhanar payesh’

foodbuddy360/Instagram, Shutterstock

It’s that time of the year again and what is Durga Puja without some pet puja! Five days of no diet, luchi for breakfast, countless phuchkas and ice creams during the midnight pandal hopping, and more. Feasting during the festive season is as much a home affair as an outdoor one, and if you’re entertaining at home during Pujo, worry not for we have specially curated Durga Puja menus for you to try your hand at, for each day. For Sashthi, here’s a delectable feast of radhaballavi, chicken kosha, alu dum and more…

Radhaballavi

foodbuddy360/Instagram

Put on your Bachchan Sr voice and say, “Phulko radhaballavi for Sashthi lunch is parampara, pratishtha, anushasan.” Add some narkel diye chholar dal and you’re set!

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Ingredients:

For the filling -

  • Urad dal (Biuli dal) paste: 300 gm
  • Ginger and green chilli paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Fennel (mouri) powder: 1 and ½ teaspoons
  • Nigella seeds (kalo jeere): 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida (hing): 1 teaspoon
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Water

For the dough-

  • All purpose flour: 400 gm
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger and green chilli paste: 1 teaspoon
  • Urad dal paste: 4 tablespoons
  • Ghee: 2 tablespoons
  • Water

Recipe:

For the filling- 

  • Soak the urad dal overnight and make a dry paste. Remember, the paste cannot be too smooth
  • In a frying pan, add vegetable oil and heat
  • Now add nigella seeds and hing, and temper well
  • Next, add ginger and green chilli paste and saute
  • Add a little water
  • Add the fennel powder and a pinch of salt and sugar. Cook well
  • Add the dal, mix well and and saute until the mix is not sticking to the pan
  • Turn off the heat and let it cool

For the dough- 

  • Mix flour, salt, ghee, sugar and ginger-green chilli paste in a bowl
  • Add the dal and some water to knead a soft dough. Cover and set aside for minimum 30 minutes

For the radhaballavis

  • To fry the radhaballavis, heat enough oil in a kadhai. Remember, we are going to deep fry the beauties
  • Make small balls out of the doughs, make a small pocket at the centre and add filling. Cover the pocket and make smooth balls again
  • Brush some ghee or oil and roll flat
  • Deep fry until golden, drain excess oil and serve hot

Stuffed alu dum

Wikimedia Commons

This one needs a little effort, yes, but soft chhana with some kismis and kaju in alu pockets, cooked in a light but spicy gravy is too yummy to not give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes: 8 large
  • Grated paneer or chana: 1 cup
  • Milk soaked raisins: 10
  • Chopped cashews: 10
  • Ginger and green chilli paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Whole cumin: 1 teaspoon
  • Hung curd: 3 tablespoons
  • Roasted cumin and coriander powder: 1 and ½ tablespoons
  • Milkmaid: 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato puree: 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Kashmiri chilli powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder: ½ tablespoon
  • Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Dry red chilli: 1
  • Cornstarch paste
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Ghee
  • Mustard oil

Recipe:

  • Cut the potatoes in half. Scoop out the centre of the potatoes going only half-way through. Finely chop the scooped out part of the alu
  • In a mixing bowl, add grated paneer, finely chopped scooped out potatoes, raisins, cashews, 1 tablespoon ginger and green chilli paste, ½ tablespoon roasted cumin and coriander powder, milkmaid, salt and sugar. Mix well and knead lightly
  • Now, fill up the potatoes as you make a thick cornstarch paste in a separate bowl. The paste will be used to seal the potatoes. Seal the top of the potatoes so the filling does not come out
  • Heat mustard oil in a kadhai and deep fry the stuffed potatoes till they are golden. Take them out, drain excess oil and set aside
  • In a frying pan, add mustard oil and a little ghee and heat well. Add bay leaf, whole cumin and dry red chilli and temper
  • Add ginger and green chilli paste and saute for 2-3 minutes before adding the roasted coriander and cumin powder. Cook for another 3 minutes and then add the tomato puree
  • Cook the puree for 3-4 minutes and add the hung curd. Mix well, add a pinch of salt and sugar, red chilli powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, turmeric powder and let the spices cook for 6-7 minutes in low flame. Add a dash of water if needed
  • Once the spice base is ready, add required amount of water and seasoning for the gravy
  • Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala and drizzle ghee from the top and switch off the heat
  • Let it rest for a bit before serving

Beguni

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Little beats crunchy beguni! Add some posto on top for extra crunch and have yourself a joyful snack.

Ingredients:

  • Thinly sliced brinjals: 2 large
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Baking powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Chickpea flour (besan): ½ cup
  • Poppy seeds (posto): 2 tablespoons
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Vegetable oil

Recipe:

  • Marinate the brinjals in turmeric powder for a few minutes
  • Make a thick batter with chickpea flour, salt and baking powder and water
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, dip each piece in batter coating uniformly and deep fry till light brown
  • While still in oil, sprinkle some poppy seeds on each side 
  • Serve smoking hot

Navratan dal

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Radhaballavi or any family member of the luchi community needs a member from the dal family to make the perfect, complete meal. This navratan dal (a mix of different dals) is slightly sweet, rich and delish and sets the mood of Pujo just about right.

Ingredients:

  • Navratan dal mix: 500 gm
  • Ginger garlic paste: 3 tablespoons
  • Slit green chillies: 3-4
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves: 3-4 tablespoons
  • Finely chopped onions: 1 large and 1 small
  • Finely chopped garlic: 1 teaspoon
  • Finely chopped tomato: 1 large
  • Finely chopped green chillies: 2
  • Ghee: 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon stick: ½ 
  • Cumin seeds: 1 teaspoon
  • Red chilli powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Dry red chilli: 2
  • Sugar
  • Salt

Recipe:

  • Soak the dal overnight or  for at least 6 hours
  • In a pressure cooker, add the dal, 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic paste, slit green chillies, a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Add enough water to cook the dal and cook for 1 whistle. Let the steam release on its own before opening the cooker
  • Add ghee in a kadhai. Heat well and then add bay leaf, dry red chilli, cumin, and cinnamon stick. Temper well and add chopped garlic
  • Add the ginger and green chilli paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and onion and saute well for 4-5 minutes
  • Add chopped tomatoes, green chilli and cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Add the boiled dal, season with salt and sugar and mix well
  • Once the dal is ready, check seasoning, add chopped coriander and a dollop of ghee and it’s ready

Chicken kosha

Pooja Mitra

Kosha mangsho is an emotion. Chicken or mutton with some radhaballavi on a Sashthi’r dupur — can the first day of Pujo get any better?

Ingredients:

  • Chicken: 1kg
  • Finely chopped onion: 3 large for marination and 2 large for beresta (crispy, golden-fried onions)
  • Ginger and garlic paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Green chilli paste: 1 tablespoon
  • Whole red chilli and tomato paste: 2 tablespoons
  • Medium sized whole potatoes: 8
  • Tomato cut into halves: 2
  • Slit green chilli: 2
  • Hung curd: 3 tablespoons
  • Roasted cumin and coriander powder: 2 tablespoons
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder: 2 tablespoons
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Dry red chilli: 1
  • Turmeric powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil
  • Ghee

Special masala-

  • ½ star anise, 2 green cardamom pods, 2 cloves, 1 dry red chilli, 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2-3 black peppercorns. Dry roasted and powdered: 2 tablespoons

Recipe:

  • Marinate chicken with half of the chopped onions, ginger and garlic paste, green chilli paste, hung curd, salt, sugar, turmeric powder mustard oil and 1 tablespoon of the special masala. Keep aside for minimum 30 minutes
  • Make beresta and keep aside
  • Marinate the potatoes with salt and turmeric powder for a few minutes. Deep fry and set aside
  • In a kadhai, add mustard oil with some ghee and heat
  • Add bay leaf and dry red chilli. Cook till the red chilli turns brown
  • Now, add the other half of the chopped onions and cook till they are golden brown
  • Add the tomato paste and cook for 3-4 minutes before adding the cumin and coriander powder
  • Add a pinch of salt and cook the masala on low to medium flame until the oil separates
  • Add the marinated chicken and cook on a low flame for about 20-25 minutes — this is the process of koshano. Keep stirring and add a splash of water if needed
  • Once the chicken is about 70 per cent done, add the potatoes, tomatoes, green chillies, the beresta and the special masala. Continue the koshano for another 10-15 minutes and add required amount of water and some salt to taste
  • Cover and cook till the potatoes are all cooked and ready
  • Checking seasoning and serve hot

Chhanar payesh

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Pujo means mishtimukh with payesh, rosogolla, nimki and what not from Panchami to Dashami. Make this easy chhanar payesh and give your Sashthi menu a sweet ending.

Ingredients: 

  • Chhana or homemade paneer: 500gm
  • Full fat milk: 1l
  • Powdered sugar: 8-10 tablespoons
  • Cardamom powder: 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew: 10
  • Pistachios: 6-7
  • Almonds: 7-8
  • Milk soaked raisins: 10
  • Saffron strands: ½ teaspoon
  • Nakuldana: 10-15
  • Milkmaid: 1 cup

Recipe:

  • Knead the homemade cottage cheese (chhana) well. Point to remember, the cottage cheese has to be soft and oily as a result of the kneading
  • Make small balls of cottage cheese, putting one nakuldana in each ball
  • Boil milk and reduce it to half
  • Add sugar, milkmaid, dry fruits, cardamom powder and saffron strands and boil well
  • Once the milk is thick and ready, add the cottage cheese balls and cook for another 3-5 minutes
  • Turn off the flame, cool the dessert and refrigerate. Serve chilled
Last updated on 26.09.22, 08:47 PM
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