Karwa Chauth is a popular Hindu festival in North India, celebrated by married women, who keep fast for whole day and pray for the long life and prosperity of their husbands. Although the fasting is done by not ingesting even a single drop of water all day long, in the evening a sumptuous eating fare is arranged with various delectable dishes served specially to celebrate the occasion. Some of them are badam puri, rabdi, lapsi, dum aloo and broken wheat kheer.
Traditional Karva Chauth Recipes
Traditionally, karwa chauth fasting is done in northern India. At dawn, around 4:30 AM, ladies eat some special Karwa Chauth foods such as ladoo, meethi matthi, gulab jamun or aloo poori. This early morning karwa chauth food is referred to as ‘sargi’. Main course karwa chauth recipes are prepared for the evening when ladies break their fast after worshiping their goddess and moon. Evening karwa chauth food is quite elaborated and lavish including some traditional and regional recipes: Here is a list of recipes especially prepared for this occasion:
- Malpua - It is an Indian style milk based pancake dipped in sugar syrup. This sdeep-fried sweet is typically prepared at almost all Indian festivals especially Teej, Diwali and Karwa Chauth.
- Til ka ladoo - This is a ball-shaped Indian sweet made of til (sesame seeds), jaggery and sugar. This ladoo is traditionally prepared for 'sargi'. Til ka ladoo is considered good in winter months due to heating properties of sesame seeds.
- Badam ka halwa - Another traditional sweet dish made of almond flour. It is quite nourishing and best eaten in winter months. Ghee, sugar and cardamom powder are also added to make the dish even more tasting and rich.
- Bedmi - It is a savory Indian bread generally stuffed with spicy and fried dal mixture. Bedmi is deep-fried and usually in small round shape. Aloo is subzi (potato curry) and kaddu (pumkin) are some of the dishes that are served with bedmi.
- Meethi Matthi - This is the most significant dish at Karwa chauth. Although its a sweet snack eaten on this ocassion, it is also offered to 'goddess' while worshipping. It is a flat, deep-fried snack made of wheat flour and sugar.
- Paneer methi malai - It is one of the most popular savory dish for Karwa chauth. Paneer (cottage cheese), methi (fenugreek leaves) and malai (cream) are the basic ingredeints that are combined to make this curry dish.
- Gulgule - Also called 'pue', this wheat based sweet is extremely popular at Karwa chauth. In some Indian communities, this is the first food a lady eats after breaking the fast. Wheat flour is combined with ghee and sugar syrup to make 'pue'. Fennel and cardamom flavors are especially added to the sweet.
- Broken wheat kheer - Especially made at this occasion, broken wheat kheer is served as dessert.
Customarily, karwa chauth food is served for the entire family in the evening after all the rituals are finished.
Modern Karwa Chauth Recipes
With each passing year, the traditions of making karwa chauth food are. Unlike olden times, ladies prefer to go out with family to have some special karwa chauth food. For restaurateurs, karva chauth is the time to encash the festive mood. Some of the dishes that are now becoming the integral part of Modern day Kawa chauth are listed here:
- Methi poori - Though bedmi is still popular as traditional Karwa chauth food, another deep-fried bread that is quite liked by younger generation is methi poori. This poori does not contain the dal mixture like bedmi, but has fenugreek flavor that tastes best with curries. It is also popular due to ease of making.
- Vermicelli pudding - Vermicelli cooks faster than rice therefore rice pudding is taken over by vermicelli pudding, though ingredeints are relatively similar like milk, sugar and dry fruits. one more reason of the popularity of this pudding in modern times is the resemblance of vermicelli with noodles, the most popular food of young people.
- Aloo tikki - Potato recipes are always the most popular recipes for all occasions, but aloo tikki is the most popular Indian fast food and famous for its spicy chutney served with it. This dish can be easily prepared at home and available at almost all vegetarian eating joints.
- Vegetarian burger and Pizza - With innumerable fast food joints mushrooming everywhere, the demand for burgers and pizza have increased considerably even at the festivals.
According to Indian tradition a married lady break her fast and eat the first bite of special Karva chauth food with the hands of her husband. Although its not a compulsory tradition, the ritual is set to strengthen the marital bond.