My grandmother’s ultimate solution for a sweet craving is halwa. For the uninitiated, halwa is a thick, sweet pudding, made with some kind of flour or sometimes, even fruits and vegetables. Now, my favourite is the basic atte ka halwa that my grandmother makes on Gurupurab. Drenched in oodles of ghee, the crunch of the nuts balances it all. 

However, during Navratri, you need to follow certain guidelines with regards to food. For instance, consuming meat and alcohol is prohibited and those observing fasts are expected to refrain from using table salt and use rock salt (sendha namak) instead. Onion and garlic cannot be used to prepare any dish.  On the other hand, during Durga Puja, which coincides with Navratri, Bengalis relish their non-vegetarian fare like fish curries and mutton kosha. 

Amidst the nine-day long fasts, you are bound to have cravings time and again. If you are in the mood for some quick and easy dessert, then we have some halwa recipes waiting for you. 

1.  Lauki Halwa 

You might frown upon reading this one but you need to try it before you make a face. This lauki or doodhi ka halwa is loaded with nutrition and dry fruits at the same time. Who knows, maybe you fall in love with lauki after this. 

2.  Pumpkin Halwa 

Another vegetable that a lot of kids detest is pumpkin or kaddu. This pumpkin halwa will come in as a surprise for you as the grated vegetable is spruced up with cashews and cardamom. 

3.  Rajgira Halwa 

Since whole wheat is a big no during vrats, rajgira serves as a great alternative to make yummy halwas. Made only with three ingredients, ghee, milk and sugar, this a quick and satiating recipe. 

4.   Badam Halwa 

Almonds are believed to sharpen your memory, right? This badam halwa is not just a vrat-friendly but a perfect winter classic too. 

5.  Kuttu Halwa 

Just like rajgira, kuttu is also commonly used as an alternative flour option during vrats. Use the buckwheat flour and mix it with some singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour) and make the halwa.