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Significance of Durga Puja and Healthy Traditional Dishes

Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
4 August 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

While Navratri is popular in the northern and western parts of the country, Durga Puja is most popular in the east of India, and is celebrated with great fervour among the Bengali community.

Significance of Durga Puja

The celebration of Durga Puja marks the victory of Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasur, or the victory of good over evil. The ten-day long festival is celebrated with a number of offerings, pujas and prayers. It ends with Vijay Dashami, marking the day the goddess reunites with Lord Shiva, her husband after defeating Mahishasur. The Durga idol immersions held on this day, symbolize her return. Women bid the goddess farewell by sharing sweets and applying vermillion or sindoor on each other.

All Natural Sindoor Recipe

Eat Breakfast

Mix 1 tbsp turmeric powder, 1 tbsp baking soda and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Once completely dried, mix in a few drops of orange oil for easy application.

One cannot discuss the traditions and significance of Durga Puja, and leave out the food. While Navratri calls for fasting, Durga Puja is celebrated with lavish feasts of traditional Bengali dishes. Why not try these healthy recipes?

Stuffed Luchi

Luchi is generally made with maida, is deep fried and served with potato. This alternative stuffed luchi recipe offers all the taste with none of the guilt. To make the dough, knead a cupful of whole wheat flour with a bit of salt, ghee and water, and set aside. For the stuffing, sauté ¾ cup soaked Tata Sampann Moong Dal with jeera powder, dhania powder, chilli powder and salt, and allow this to cool. Stuff and roll the luchis, and roast on a tava for a healthy treat

Moong is one of the best plant-based sources of protein. It’s rich in essential amino acids, which your body is unable to produce on its own. Moong is a good source of potassium, magnesium and fibre, which have been linked to lower blood pressure levels in adults. Stuffed luchi is a delicious way to add moong to your diet.

Ghugni

Radish

This Bengali street food, served during Durga Puja makes for a healthy snack. Heat a bit of oil and sauté jeera seeds, bay leaf and 1 medium chopped onion. Add ginger paste, turmeric powder, jeera powder, 1 medium chopped tomato and water, and sauté till the tomato breaks down. To this, add 2 cups of soaked and boiled vatana (peas), a splash of water and salt to taste. Mix in ¼ cup fresh sliced coconut. Now mix in chopped green chillies, a bit of garam masala, and cover the pan. Cook for 5 minutes and serve hot.

Bhapa Ilish

It doesn’t get healthier or tastier than steamed fish. To make bhapa ilish or steamed hilsa, blend together 4 tbsp rai, 2 green chillies, salt and 2 tbsp water. In a stainless steel dish, mix this paste together with ½ tsp haldi powder, 2 tbsp dahi and 3 tbsp mustard oil. Coat the hilsa pieces with this mixture, cover and set aside. Add 2 cups of water to a large saucepan, place the dish inside this, cover the saucepan and cook the fish for about 25 minutes. Let this rest for a few minutes before serving with steamed rice.

Have your own healthy Durga Puja recipes? Share them with us in the comment section below.



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