Chaitra Navratri 2024: 7 Fasting-Friendly Paneer Dishes To Try
Image Credit: Freepik

Chaitra Navratri is a nine-day Hindu festival that honours the divine feminine. During Chaitra Navratri, devotees' worship various forms of the Hindu goddess Durga and fasting is an important aspect of this festival for many devotees.   

Paneer is clearly the hero ingredient when it comes to cooking delectable fasting-friendly meals during Chaitra Navratri. Its mild flavour absorbs spices easily. Paneer's associations with purity and abstinence make it an apt food for Navratri. Fresh, white paneer represents the clarity sought through spiritual devotion. Its derivation from milk aligns with the fasting goal of achieving inner calm. Though paneer enjoys popularity year-round, its significance becomes especially pronounced during Chaitra Navratri.  

With unique combinations and complex flavours, these seven paneer dishes make the Navratri fasts a truly delicious experience.  

Vrat Wali Paneer Curry  

Paneer curry is a simple dish made by blending cashews, ginger, and green chillies into a smooth paste and adding sauteed paneer cubes. Finally, chopped cilantro is stirred in to finish. This dish is best served with vrat wale parathas and curd.  

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Vrat Wale Makhmali Paneer   

For Navaratri, a popular preparation is makhmali paneer, where cubes of paneer are simmered in a creamy, cashew-based gravy. This curry pairs perfectly with fried flatbreads made from buckwheat or amaranth flour, which are also permitted during fasting periods.   

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Dahi Paneer Kebabs  

To prepare this fasting dish, boil some potatoes, peel them and mash them. Add the potatoes, sendha namak, chopped green chillis, coriander, and paneer in a bowl. Add some curd and singhara flour to the mixture. Mix everything together, take small portions, shape them into ball-sized portions and flatten into kebabs. Fry the kebabs until deep golden brown and crispy. Serve hot with vrat wali chutney.  

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Paneer Rolls  

Vratwale Paneer Rolls are a tasty dish made especially for fasting days. Boiled potatoes and paneer are mixed with spices like green chillies, ginger, cumin powder, sendha namak, raisins, black pepper, cardamom powder, nutmeg and chopped coriander to make a dough. The dough is then rolled into an oval shape and deep-fried in ghee till golden brown. This quick and easy paneer snack can be enjoyed any time of day during fasts. It is best served hot with raita or chutney. 

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Paneer And Aloo Paratha  

To make these tasty fasting-friendly parathas, first mix together in a bowl the buckwheat flour, grated paneer, chopped green chillies, coriander, peeled boiled potatoes, sendha namak, and ghee. Knead by hand, adding sprinkles of water as needed, until a soft dough forms. Let the dough rest. Then shape into balls, dust with flour, and roll out into circles. Cook the parathas on a hot tava, flipping once partially cooked to cook the other side. Spread ghee on each side as they cook, using a spoon. Press with a spatula to cook evenly. Enjoy the flavourful stuffed parathas served hot with curd or raita.  

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Paneer Pakora  

Add kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour), sendha namak, spices and water to a bowl. Slowly add water and mix everything together to form a smooth batter. 

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Take the paneer, cut it into cubes and dip it in the batter. Heat ghee in a kadhai and fry the paneer pieces dipped in batter until golden brown and crisp. Serve them hot with a vrat wali chutney.  

Vrat Wale Paneer Tikka  

To make this delicious, first whisk together all the ingredients for the flavourful tikka paste in a bowl. Then marinate cubed paneer, pineapple, and boiled potatoes with this paste and refrigerate for at least an hour. 

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Next, thread the marinated ingredients onto wooden skewers. Brush or spray the skewers with oil and bake them in a preheated 180-degree celsius oven for 17–18 minutes. Finally, serve these tikkas alongside a refreshing mint chutney for a tasty meal.