• This Navratra try food that will help you lift your taste buds and add some fun to your plain taste. From Rajgira paneer paratha, Farali coconut elaichi nankhatai, Samo rice pulao, Shakarkandi anar chat to Coconut sago pudding and Kuttu atta pizza, food experts from around the country list down some of the innovative recipes that can jazz up festive thalis this season.

  • Samo rice pulao by Amit Kumar Dash, Executive Chef at Sheraton, Hyderabad.
  • Ingredient: 80 grams Samo rice; 20 grams potatoes; 50 grams peanuts; 100 ml ghee (for deep fry); 10 grams green chilli; 5 grams cumin seeds; rock salt to taste; 5 grams chopped coriander; 100 ml water.

Method: Clean and wash Samo rice and soak in water for 5 minutes; remove the water and leave the rice in the strainer. Wash and finely chop the green chillies and remove the stem. Peel the potatoes, wash and cut into small pieces. Heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds; when seeds crackle adds peanuts and fry on medium heat till they are dark red in colour and a nice aroma emerges. Add chopped green chillies and fry for few seconds. Add potatoes and fry for another minute. Add Samo rice and mix well; fry the rice for a couple of minutes. Add salt and water; let the rice cook until rice and potatoes are tender (this takes about 20 minutes). When rice is done add lemon juice. 

  • Shakarkandi anar chaat by Swasti Agarwal, Food Strategist at Foodhall, Delhi.
  • Ingredients: 1-2 sweet potatoes; 1 cucumber cut in chunks; 1/3 pomegranate, peeled and seeded; chopped fresh coriander leaves; chopped fresh mint leaves; jeera powder; sendha namak; Lime juice

Method: Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven after rubbing some olive oil on the skin and poking holes in them. Cool after roasting. Cut the sweet potatoes in chunks, mix with cucumber and pomegranate and garnish with the remaking spices and herbs. Add lemon juice to taste. Feel free to add chunks of apples and bananas to make this a healthy complete meal during the fast

  • Coconut sago pudding by Rahis Khan, Executive Chef at The Metropolitan Hotel & Spa.
  • Ingredients: 100 grams sago; 150 ml coconut milk; 90 grams sugar; 75 ml water. 

Method: Soak sago for 30 min, drain. Heat water in a deep pan, add palm sugar and let it come to aboil. Add sago and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add coconut milk and cook till sago is cooked (soft) yet holds its shape. Pour the mix into a deep tray and cool. Allow it to set and chill.

  • Kuttu atta pizza by Chef Shivanand Kain of Greater Noida-based Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort
  • Ingredients: 300 grams Kuttu atta; 5 grams salt; 10 grams sugar, 5 grams yeast; 100 grams fresh Mozzarella cheese; 200 grams peeled tomato; 15 grams basil; 50 grams cottage cheese; 10 grams green chilies chopped; 25 grams olive oil; salt to taste; 10 grams black pepper crushed; five grams oregano.

Method: Make a smooth dough using Kuttu ka atta, salt, sugar, yeast and olive Oil. Let it ferment for at least 4 hrs. Knock back the dough and let it rest for another half an hour. For pizza sauce, chop peeled tomatoes. Add oil in a pan, add tomatoes, chopped basil, green chilies, black pepper and cook for 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Roll out the dough, spread pizza sauce on it, put diced cottage cheese and bake in oven at 250 Celsius for 5-7 minutes. Take it out and sprinkle chopped basil and oregano.

  • Rajgira paneer paratha by Kejal Sheth, Nutritionist at fitness and consultation program website Nutrivity.in, based in Mumbai.
  • Ingredients: 1 cup Rajgira flour (amaranth flour); 1 raw banana, boiled, mashed; 1 cup paneer, grated; 2 green chillies, finely chopped; 1 teaspoon turmeric powder; 1 teaspoon cumin powder; 2 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped; salt or rock salt to taste; cooking oil or ghee.

Method: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with enough water to a dough consistency. Divide the dough into equal portions and roll it onto a board. Heat a pan and add the rolled dough with some ghee and cook it on both the sides for about two minutes. Make it crispy and serve hot with curd. 

  • Farali coconut elaichi nankhatai, a recipe that can also be made in the microwave, by Bhumika Rajesh Panchal, Panasonic India chef based out of Ahmedabad.
  • Ingredients: 1cup Rajgira atta; ½ cup pure ghee; ½ tsp elaichi powder; ½ cup desiccated coconut powder; ½ cup powder sugar.

Method: In mixing bowl beat ghee, elaichi powder and powder sugar till fluffy. Add coconut powder and mix it well. Add rajgira atta and knead it again with all the other ingredients. Preheat microwave on convection mode at 180 degrees. Make small balls from the dough and place on baking tray with little space between each. Place the baking tray in preheated microwave on convection mode at 180 degrees for 9 minutes. Once baked, let it cool.