Navrathri is nearing and everyone in India is busy in buying dolls. Preparing different Neivedyams for evening pooja for distribution is a real fun. There are different dishes prepared during these 9 days. Each one follows their own custom of doing it.

Each day one Sundal; Savor (any dhal sauted with mustard seeds, green chili or spices) or Sweet (with jaggery). On Fridays we prepare Puttu for distribution. Saturday we prepare Ellu podi. Rest of the days as per their custom and convenience. But each day has got specific neivedyams for a specific God.

Sundals - All the dry beans can be used as plain or sprouted to enhance its nutrients.

For sprouting, I normally soak it for 24-36 hours minimum exchanging water 3 times (every 12 hours). Then drain it for 5 minutes. Knot this in a muslin cloth (or any thin kitchen towel). Keep it on the table and cover it with a wooden basket (or any plastic one with holes) – I mean cover it ¾ only. After 12 hours start sprinkling water to keep it moist. Any hard dhals can be sprouted like this. But moong dhal doesn’t take much time to sprout. By this way you increase the protein content of dhals.

For all beans (except mentioned specifically here), to add spice use my SIMP powder - or else roast red chili, channa dhal, coriander seeds, curry leaves and hing in 1 tsp oil and powder it coarsely in the mixer to sprinkle it at the end.

Kondakadalei Sundal  - Kabuli black channa – sprouted one.

Sprout them as mentioned above, cook in pressure cooker till soft and termper with mustard seeds, curry leave and one tbsp of SIMP powder.

Sprouted Kondakadalei Sundal   - white one
Sprout them and temper them the same way mentioned above.

Sprouted moong dhal
The same way, but need not be pressure cooked - can be steam cooked to avoid nutrition loss.

Mochai Sundal (Lima Beans) – plain one
The same way of channa Sundal

Karamani vella Sundal (Black eyed beans with jaggery)

Soak one cup of  karamani for 5 hours. Pressure cook it for 2 whistles. Drain and keep it aside. Melt ¾ cup of jaggery (or less than this) with ¼ cup of water. Strain for impurities. Add 1 tbsp of fresh coconut, ¼ tsp elaichi powder and boil it again for 3 minutes. Now add the Karamani and cook for few more minutes.

Peanut Sundal

For this you have to use raw (not roasted) ones with skin. Soak them for 5 hours and pressure cook along with salt for 2 whistles. Then temper it with mustard seeds, one red chili, curry leaves and a pinch of hing.

Red beans Sundal
The same way of Channa Sundal

Kollu (Horse gram) Sundal - sprouted
The same way of Channa Sundal

Jaggery Puttu

This is very famous during Navrathiri. I never miss the Friday during the 9 days to collect this delicious puttu from my friend’s house. Though looks very tedious to prepare, it is easy if you practice. When you follow the steps clearly, it won’t go wrong. The texture must be so soft. That’s the secret of this recipe.

Raw rice flour 1 cup
Jaggery ¾  cup
Fresh coconut 1 tbsp
Elaichi powder ½ tsp
Ghee 1 tsp
Cashews few broken


If you are using raw rice, soak for 30 minutes and then dry it on a towel. Grind it in mixie to fine powder. Sieve well. Dry roast this flour well till the colour changes to light brown.

Take one cup of water with a pinch of salt and haldi. Heat it. When it is lukewarm start adding this water slowly to the roasted flour. At one stage you will get soft granular consistency. You can hold the flour. But if you open your hand, it will flow. That’s the right consistency. Stop adding water at this stage. You might use the full 1 cup water or less than that. It all depends on the rice. I never used more than ¾ cup.

Steam this for 10 minutes along with coconut and elaichi powder.

Now prepare the jaggery syrup with ¼  cup of water. Once it dissolved, strain for impurities. Again boil it till you reach soft ball consistency. If you add ½ tsp syrup to water, you should be able to form a ball (not too hard). Switch off the stove, and add this to the steamed flour slowly and mix well. Break any lumps. Add the fried cashews along with the ghee. That’s it. It’s very tasty and soft too. 

Sesame balls

On Saturday they used to prepare yellu podi (sesame flour with jaggery). I just love this. Some used to prepare it in ball shape and distribute. Here is my version.

Sesame Seeds 1 cup
Jaggery ¾ cup
Desiccated coconut ½ cup
Cashews broken 2 tbsp (fried or raw ones as per your choice)
Elaichi powder ½ tsp
Melted Ghee optional 1tbsp


Roast the sesame seed into slightly brown stage as shown in the photo (if you get roasted ones, use it directly). In ME we always get fried sesame seeds. Add all the ingredients except cashews and grind it in mixie. If you have traditional grinder it will be very tasty. When you do it with traditional grinder no need to add ghee as the seeds will release its own oil. Still if you add little ghee it gives nice aroma.

Once it is grinded well add the broken cashews and shape it to small balls. Sounds tricky, but when you shape it, you will find it very easy.
Not only during navrathri festival, it can be prepared once a week to have healthy snack.  

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  1. Srivalli // 24 September 2010 at 06:17  

    Dear Viji, I really enjoyed reading through the list. What an exhaustive one you have given us! I have been planning to make some of these this year, so I have an authentic recipe now, esp the Jaggary Puttu is my favorite one!..thank you.

  2. Smitha // 24 September 2010 at 06:40  

    All dishes look awesome!!...I never prepared anything extensive to Navrathri...Mayb this year I should try!....When does Navrathri start and when is Dasera?

  3. Sulagna Mukherjee Basu // 24 September 2010 at 10:07  

    Everything looks soo delicious..

    Best Regards

  4. notyet100 // 24 September 2010 at 22:13  

    everything looks yummy nd healthy,.thanks

  5. Apu // 24 September 2010 at 23:08  

    Great post for a Navratri feast!!

  6. PriyaVaasu // 28 September 2010 at 14:36  

    Delicious and Healthy Sundals, Waiting for Navrathri!!!!

  7. Siri // 29 September 2010 at 07:31  

    Thanks for these lovely, healthy ideas Viji. :)


  8. Apu // 11 October 2010 at 04:27  

    Great Post!! Have linked to it on my blog. Added you to my new blogroll too!!