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Thali Menu #143 -Navrathri Special- South Indian

1 Oct, 2019

Thali Menu #143 -Navrathri Special- South Indian

Navrathri Festival

Navarathri Navratri is one of the most significant festivals of the Hindus held in honour of the divine feminine, celebrated all across the world. This is also one of the most ancient festivals dating back to the times. The word Navratri is derived from two Sanskrit words—’nava’ meaning nine and ‘ratri’ meaning night.

Navratri is celebrated differently in India’s various regions. For many people it is a time of religious reflection and fasting, for others, it is a time for dancing and feasting. Among the fasting customs are observing a strict vegetarian diet and abstaining from alcohol and certain spices. It is celebrated as Durga Pujo in Bengal. Dances performed include Garba, especially in Gujarat.

Typically the festival’s nine nights are dedicated to different aspects of the divine feminine principle or shakti. While the practices varies somewhat by region, generally the first third of the festival focuses on aspects of the goddess of Shakti or inner power, Durga, the second third on the goddess of wealth Lakshmi, and the final third on the goddess of knowledge Sarasvati. Offerings are often made to the goddesses and their various aspects, and rituals are performed in their honour.

In South India, this festival is also celebrated with ‘Golu’, a display of dolls in a stair/steps arrangement. Usually, the steps start from 3 and it can extend to 9. Golu features clay dolls of Gods’ and Goddess’, statuettes, figurine, and themed dioramas. Each step in the Golu has a greater spiritual significance. They are a metaphor for ‘ascending towards enlightenment’. The top 2-3 step features statuettes of deities and gods, while the lowest steps are covered with figures of animal and fruit. The middle layers usually depict scenes from daily life, like shopping, dancing, and just having a good time. Keeping Golu is considered as a tradition passed on from earlier generations in the family.

As per Hindu mythology, the culmination of nine days is Dussehra or Vijayadashami a time to celebrate the triumphs of good over evil, such as Durga’s victory over Mahishasura.


The Cuisine

The foods associated with Navrathri in South India are sundals, tempered rice, sweets and simple vegetarian fares. We serve these at Daana this weekend with a prayer for your well being and happiness.


Recipe of the Week

Shami Kebabs

A mincemeat delicacy for all occasions


  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wok
  • Frying Spoon


  • ½ Kg Mince meat
  • 1 Cup Channa Dal
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 4-5 Garlic
  • 1 Onion
  • 4-5 Green Chilies
  • 1 Potato Boiled and Mashed)
  • ½ Lime
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Chilli Powder
  • ¼ tsp Pepper Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • Oil for Frying


  • Wash the mincemeat and drain out the water.
  • Wash and soak dal for an hour.
  • Finely chop the green chilies, ginger, garlic, onion and coriander leaves.
  • Mix the dal and mincemeat and add green chilies, ginger, onion, salt, pepper, garlic, garam masala, ½ cup water and cook it till the dal and mincemeat are cooked and are dried up completely.
  • Grind this mixture and add coriander leaves, potato, lime juice and adjust the seasoning.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites and add the yolks to the mincemeat and mix it well.
  • Divide the mixture into 12-15 balls. Roll the balls in oval shaped kebabs.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the kebabs till golden brown.
  • Serve hot with sweet and sour chili sauce or mint-coriander chutney.