I remember watching a soap opera with my mother as a kid where there was no end to festivals and celebrations. One festival that would often feature in their episodes was Teej. Everyone would dress up and the women of the house would sing and dance to the holy tunes of the Lord. It is only later that I discovered that Teej is not just one, but a series of festivals. It is basically a celebration to welcome the monsoon season. Women observe a nirjala vrat (fast without drinking water) on this day and pray for a blissful married life. Followers worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, seeking their blessings for happiness and prosperity. 

Any festival incomplete without a huge Indian food spread. While the fast is observed throughout the day, it is during the evening that you can relish a nice feast. From sweet to savoury, everything is prepared at home across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan. Here are some delicacies you can enjoy this Hartalika Teej. 

1. Thekua 

A common dessert prepared during Chhath Puja, Thekua is prepared during Teej too. This Khasta of Bihar is a mixture of wheat flour and sugar syrup. The round balls are shaped and deep-fried after adding dessicated coconut and fennel seeds to it. 

2. Panchamrit 

Panchamrit loosely translates into a five ingredient drink for god. The word amrit refers to nectar since the use of honey and sugar makes the holy food is sweet in taste. Milk, curd, sugar, honey and ghee are used to prepare this prasad to be offered to God on several occasions and festivals. 

3. Besan Kadhi 

A yoghurt-based dish, the besan kadhi is a popular savoury during Teej. Besan fritters are prepared and dunked into the curd curry, that can be served with chapatti or rice. 

4. Ghevar 

This disc-shaped Rajasthani delicacy is a must-have during Teej. Soaked in generous amounts of sugar syrup, the sweet cake is really rich and filling. 

5.  Khasta Kachori 

Khasta means crunchy and crispy. One bite in of this moong dal kachori and you wouldn’t be able to stop at one. Though there isn’t any stuffing inside, the flavours of haldi and dhania powder do their job. Have it with pudina or imly chutney. 

6. Gujiya 

Made with maida and stuffed with a sweet khoya mixture, the Gujiyas are rolled into puris first and then given a dumpling shape before frying them. Finally, they are coated with sugar syrup and relished. 

So we’ve set the menu for you today, go ahead and enjoy Teej!