Bhai Dooj 2021: Here Are Some Vegetarian Dishes You Can Prepare For The Festive Lunch
Image Credit: Prepare a nice, hearty lunch for your sibling this Bhai Dooj.

While the much-awaited festival of lights is almost over, the last leg of celebrations will end tomorrow with Bhai Dooj. The five-day festival series began with Govatsa Dwadashi, followed by Dhanteras, then Lakshmi puja which is the day of Diwali, then Govardhan puja and finally Bhai Dooj. Each day holds a special significance in the Hindu school of faith. The religious essence of the festival directs the way it is celebrated across the country. The pomp and show associated with Diwali is carried on for all five days and people enjoy to their heart’s content. 

During Diwali, several melas are organized for community celebrations and ram leelas are performed in different parts of India. While Diwali is celebrated for the return of Lord Ram from Ayodhya after 14 years of exile, each of the other days have a story to tell too. For instance, the significance of Dhanteras lies in the fact that Goddess Lakshmi emerged from the ocean with a lot of wealth. In order to welcome wealth and prosperity into their lives, worshippers celebrate the day by buying gold and silver or even things made using steel. This is considered be auspicious. 

Similarly, Bhai Dooj has a legend attached to it. It is said that on this day, the God of death, Yama, met his sister Yamuna after a long time and granted her a wish to which she requested him to protect all her brothers and also send blessings for her worshippers who took a dip in her holy waters. While that is just one story, there is another tell tale which believes that when Lord Krishna’s sister Subhadara put a tilak on her brother’s forehead on his return from victory over Naraksura, the day came to be celebrated as Bhai Dooj. 

Since then, on the day of Bhai Dooj, the sisters tilak their brothers and a puja is performed using dry coconut and kaleva. While gifts are exchanged along with sweets, there should be something special for lunch right? Most of north India relishes vegetarian feasts during the month of Kartik, especially during the five-day festival, here are some vegetarian dishes you can cook for your sibling tomorrow. 

1.  Achari Paneer Tikka 

To begin with, you can spruce up a spicy and tangy tikka for starters. The huge chunks of cottage cheese are marinated in a thick coating of besan, curd, achari masala and kasturi methi. This is then set on skewers along with onions, tomatoes and capsicum and grilled on a grill pan. The soft and moist paneer is definitely going to make your sibling’s heart melt. 

2.  Dahi Ke Kebab 

Melt-in-your-mouth kebabs are a good option for lunch. Crispy on the outside, as soon as you bite into one, the soft curd and coriander combination makes your mouth water. Serve these crispy kebabs with fresh mint chutney for a refreshing taste. 

3.  Dahi Wali Bhindi 

For the main course, you can make turn your boring bhindi (ladyfinger) around. This yoghurt-based bhindi curry is creamy and crunchy. The bhindi is sliced and slow-cooked along with yoghurt, turmeric and spices and is best paired with rice. Your sibling might finally start eating bhindi after this, if they usually don’t. 

4.  Mushroom Butter Masala 

Is your sibling a fan of mushrooms? Dunk the small, button mushrooms in a thick and buttery masala and let the magic unfold. The bright, red fiery gravy is a perfect partner for the soft and mushy mushrooms and can be eaten with some crispy, garlic naan. 

5.  Dahi Bhalle 

While a boondi raita is a common feature in lunch meals, dahi bhalle can be a little upscale version of curd. On this special day, fry some urad dal bhallas or vadas and soak them in water. Squeeze out the water once they turn moist and throw them in a bowl of yoghurt. Splash some black pepper and red chilli powder along with tamarind chutney. This can function as a perfect side dish. 

6.  Chocolate Phirni 

While phirni is a creamy milk dessert that is popular in North India, you can add your own twist to this recipe. All you have to do is add some cocoa powder and mix it with sugar, butter and milk. You can sprinkle chopped cashews and other nuts of your choice too. 

7.  Mango Sandesh 

This chhena-based Bengali dessert is all things sweet and soft. The oval-shaped thick pieces of sandesh are made by mashing paneer and mixing it with sugar and mango puree. A fruity touch to this pure-white dessert makes it even more special. We bet your sibling would take another helping.