Despite not being of Indian origin, potatoes are considered to be pure, sattvik and the perfect addition to Navratri dishes. From Pharali Aloo Chaat and Aloo Tikkis to Aloo Halwa and Aloo Kheer, these dishes made with potatoes are must-have during this Navratri. Here are all the sattvik potato dishes you need to know about.
Potatoes are a staple during every fast in India for at least three centuries now, whether it’s Navratri, Shivratri, Shravan or Ekadashi fasts. Despite not being of Indian origin, potatoes have made their way into this integral ritualistic system of vrats in Hinduism. In fact, so popular are potatoes during fasts that ask any Indian and they’d tell you straight up that it is the most-consumed food during these vrats! The notion that potatoes aren’t Ayurvedically prescribed for vrats, or that it is technically a foreign-origin food, lay forgotten because potatoes are now considered to not only be pure and sattvik, but also nutritious during fasts.
The benefits of eating potatoes during vrats are many. A rich source of carbohydrates, potatoes are filling. Potatoes also have trace amounts of plant proteins. But more valuable than that is the fact that potatoes are packed with vitamins A and B6, antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids, and minerals like potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin and folate. So, potatoes aren’t just delicious but also help keep your electrolyte balance right, while keeping the body pumped with essential nutrients. What more could you need during fasts?
However, there is a word of caution about potatoes that any health expert will give you—too much consumption of potatoes, especially fried potatoes, can increase the fat content of your body and lead to weight gain. So, all your vrat dishes with potatoes need to be cooked with minimum frying—or should be air-fried if you’ve got one of those brilliant machines.
Jeera Aloo is definitely one of the easiest vrat recipes prepared with potatoes. Simply tempered with plenty of cumin seeds and green chillies—and often curry leaves and asafoetida too—these potatoes make for a delicious accompaniment to everything from buckwheat rotis to puris. Many people tend to add turmeric powder to Jeera Aloo, but this ingredient is best skipped during Navratri and other vrats.
Potatoes have a very neutral flavour which is neither sweet nor savoury. This makes potatoes an easy dish to prepare in sweet Aloo Halwa form. All you need to do is mash some boiled potatoes and cook them with ghee, jaggery or sugar and add plenty of dry fruits. This sattvik vrat dish comes from the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Also known as Pharali or Phalahari Aloo Tikki, this Navratri recipe makes for quite the snack to satiate your hunger pangs with. The recipe is very simple too. All you need are mashed potatoes mixed with ginger, chillies, cumin, black pepper and coriander leaves. Make flat tikkis with these mashed potatoes and shallow fry them in a bit of ghee.
This typical Delhi chaat always tastes celebrates the taste of potatoes, but during fasts like Navratri and Shravan, quite a few ingredients are cut off. Sattvik Aloo Chaat is usually prepared by coating cubed potatoes in singhare ka atta, frying them in ghee, and adding sattvik chaat ingredients like curd, peanuts, cumin powder, etc.
Prepared simply with potatoes, mild spices and curd, Dahi Aloo is a gravy-based vrat dish that can be paired with rotis and puris made of buckwheat, water chestnut, amaranth, etc. You can also add some cashew paste to the dish to make it rich and festive. Vratwale Dahi Aloo, despite looking rich, also has the capacity to keep your gut healthy during Navratri.
While onions are a big no-no during Navratri, tomatoes are considered to be a sattvik fruit. Rasedar Aloo, which means potatoes in a thin gravy, is predominantly made with tomatoes. The potatoes are fried in ghee and spices, then tomato puree is added and cooked till a beautiful red, yet sattvik gravy is formed. While many people choose to add turmeric powder to the recipe, you can skip it.
Just like in the case of Aloo Halwa, it’s important to remember that potatoes have a neutral flavour. To make Aloo Kheer, you need to boil milk, add grated potatoes to it, stir until potatoes are cooked, then add sugar and dry fruits. This sweet dish made of potatoes isn’t just healthy and sattvik, but also very easy to prepare.
Kuttu Aloo Cheela
If there is a staple apart from potatoes that is used extensively during vrats like Navratri, it’s kuttu or buckwheat. So, a dish that brings both together is quite natural. Kuttu Aloo Cheela is a simple sattvik pancake that’s prepared by making a batter with buckwheat flour, grated potatoes, chopped chillies, etc. The recipe is not only delicious but a healthy snack option during fasts.
Think khichdi and your mind might immediately go towards rice, which is not allowed during Navratri. But this Aloo Khichdi is 100 per cent sattvik, and more of a mashed potatoes dish than what you might think of as khichdi. Aloo Khichdi is made with boiled and mashed potatoes, spiced with crushed peanuts, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies.
While frying potatoes isn’t the healthiest option out there, you can easily make Aloo Chips as a snack by baking or air-frying round cuts of the veggie. In fact, many people choose to buy Aloo Chips during Navratri, which are bound to be fried. Making simple Aloo Chips at home is definitely a better option during this Navratri.