Festival specials on the menu

The shingada or kuttu (water chestnuts) comes to the rescue, given that the on-going Navratris have restrictions on many North Indians, and in particular the Jain community.

Festival Food at Mast Kalandar. Pic: Uma Swamy

As recipes using flour made from Shingada are permissible, people make variants of regular dishes as well as new ones. Mast Kalandar, the Vegetarian restaurant , is serving the Vrat Thalis  using shingada or kuttu flour in pooris and pakodis that are salted with a special salt (sendha namak) .  Priced at Rs 159, the Vrat Thalis or the Navratra combo will be served till 05 Oct 2011, after which the Dussehra and Diwali Combo is on the anvil.

The mention of sabudana, poha, srikhand and batata brings to mind its strong association with Maharashtrian dishes. Started by a couple Dhananjay and Madhuri  Upasin in 1998, Rajvardhan Foods draws a crowd for its authentically prepared Maharashtrian dishes such as thalipeeth, sabudana khichdi and vada, shrikhand puri and vada pav.  

Sabudana vada from Rajvardhan Foods. Pic: Uma Swamy

The hotel, serving primarily Mahashtrian dishes also sells pickles, chutneys and annadpudi. Rajvardhan Foods serves an upavas thalipeeth through the year as certain days in the Hindu calendar do not permit onion, garlic and many other items.  Rotis are made of seeds of bhagar (a fibre rich grass), and rajghira (amaranth) , flour of shingada (water chestnuts) and sabudana. This easily digestible dish is tasty and nutritious hence compensating for many items that are not permissible on fasting days. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, Monday is a weekly off here.  # 1291, 25th Main, 9th Block, Jayanagar and phone is 9886303088.

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Pic: Uma Swamy

The sight of white pumpkins dominating the pavement is a reminder of the Ayudha pooja and Navami pooja when people worship their vehicles, professional equipment and regard the vegetable as a symbol to ward off evil. These days are also good news for people with not-so-pious intentions. This writer has benefitted by free white pumpkins brought in by neighborhood kids helping themselves to the unsold pumpkins abandoned by vendors!  White pumpkin halwa will definitely be on the menu next week. Watch out for free gifts in your area! 

About Uma Swamy 16 Articles
Uma Swamy is a JP Nagar resident and columnist.

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