The mention of Navratri and Gujarat flashes visuals of the energetic dandiya events. The folk dance of Garba sits at the centre of the festive extravaganza during this festival in Gujarat. Women and men put their best ethnic fashion foot forward while grooving to the tunes of dandiya beats. But it isn't just about looking good, as people religiously practice the steps much in advance. Incorporating a lot of swirling, jiving, jumping, turning, and swaying, the dance demands oodles of energy from the performers. What is the source of their zeal, zest and vigour? The answer greatly lies in the Navratri special food of this state.

Sugar balls, Image Source: tasteandtellblog

During dandiya soirees, the celebrators often munch on a fistful of roasted peanuts and sugar pearls. It is a typical prasad. There was a time when a tiny sugar ball, almost the size of a marble, used to be eaten. This used to be stuffed with groundnuts. It is a perfect blend of protein from peanuts and glucose sourced from sugar. These tiny balls almost work like today's energy bars, giving the dancers the needed energy to dance through the night.

Fuss-free sweets

Rajkot Peda, Image Source: jcookingodyssey

Apart from these mini-protein sources, a lavish spread of fuss-free sweets often goes along. A few of them would be golis or pellets or variegated bonbons infused with spices such as fennel and cumin seeds with a candy coating. Not to forget an array of pedas that comes along. These simple sweet somethings would keep the performers focused on dancing and replenish their energy in between.

 Sweetening bond

There is a heightened focus on sweets during Navratri in Gujarat. In addition to serving as an energy bar, Gujaratis think sweets symbolise hospitality and compassion. They consider it as essential to offer food to God as prasad. In other words, more warmth is indicated if there are more sweets on a plate served to guests. Thus, the wider the spread of sweets, the greater the love is expressed.

So, now you know how to stay upbeat while grooving to the tunes of dandiya this year!