Farali Misal – A Recipe for Ekadashi Fasts from Maharashtra

Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - Upwas ka Khana
Farali Misal

In South India, fasts strictly mean virtually no food except Phala-haaram which literally means a fruits-only diet. In my home, I have seen people have only bananas and milk. However, in many parts of Western India, Potato, Sweet Potato, Sabudana, Peanuts etc. are allowed as fasting foods. This has given rise to an entire genre of cuisine called Vrat ka Khana or Upwas ka Khana.

In Maharashtra, Sabudana Khichadi, Sabudana VadaVaraicha Tandul and Shengdanayachi Amti are among some of the preferred food for fasts.

Another popular “fasting” dish that I have found on many a menu in traditional Maharahstrian eateries is Farali Misal. This is a delicious, easy-to-make, spicy potato-peanut based stew topped with some crunchy sweetish farali potato chivda.

The Farali Misal is quite unlike the traditional Kolhapuri Misal so let not the name fool you. 🙂

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Potatoes – 3 Large
  2. Roasted Peanuts – 1 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 4 to 6
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Farali Batata Chivda or Potato Chivda or Batata Salli – 1 Cup
  6. Ghee – 1 tbsp (Vegans can use oil)
  7. Saindha Namak or Regular Salt to Taste
  8. Water


Method

  1. Preparing the Potatoes
  2. Boil the potatoes.
  3. Peel and crush into pieces.
  4. Grind 1/2 cup peanuts into a coarse powder.
  5. Chop the green chillies into small pieces.
  6. In a kadai, heat the ghee.
  7. Add the cumin seeds and green chilli pieces.
    Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - Tempering
  8. Stir-fry for a few seconds till the cumin seeds just start to change colour.
  9. Add the crushed boiled potato and mix well.
    Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - Add Potato
  10. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
  11. Add the peanut powder, crushed peanuts and salt.
    Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - Add Peanuts
  12. Add about 2 cups of water or enough to cover the potatoes.
    Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - Add Water
  13. Simmer till the gravy thickens.
  14. Turn off the heat.
  15. To Serve:
    1. Ensure that the potato-peanut curry is warm.
    2. Divide the potato-peanut curry into four equal portions.
    3. Top each portion with 1/4 cup of Farali Batata Chivda (potato chivda).

Tips

  • You could use ginger-green chilli paste instead of just chopped green chillies.
  • You could add more body to this Farali Misal by using Sabudana Khichadi as the base. In such a case, first add Sabudana Khichadi to the bowl, then the potato-peanut curry and finally the chivda.
  • If you are using Sabudana Khichadi as a base, make sure it uses no rai or mustard seeds (these are a no-no on fasting days). You may also want to reduce the amount of peanuts in the Khichadi as the potato curry has lots of it.

Farali Misal - Vrat ka Khana - Fasting Recipes - 1

Danyachi Amti | Shengdanyachi Amti (A Peanut-based Gravy) – Ashadi Ekadashi Special

Danyachi Amti for Varyache Tandul on Ekadashi
DanyachiAmti

We Indians tend to fast for religious reasons on various auspicious days through the year. One of these is Ekadashi, the 11th day of the waxing or the waning moon. On Ekadashi, ideally Hindus have only fruits, vegetables and milk, and avoid all kinds of grains and beans. In Maharashtra, popular fasting foods include potatoes, Sabudana Khichadi, and Sabudana Vada. Another popular combination is Varayche Tandul or Bhagar (Barnyard Millet) and Danyachi Amti (aka Shengdanyachi Amti), a peanut-based gravy.

I am posting this recipe because tomorrow is Ashadi Ekadashi (aka Dev Shayani Ekadashi), a day that signals the start of the Chaturmasya (the 4-month auspicious period that is particularly important to Lord Vishnu). All the major festivals such as Krishnashtami, Vijaya Dashami, and Diwali fall in this period.

In Maharashtra, Ashadi Ekadashi signals the end of the Pandharpur Waari or Pandharpur Yatra which begins 21 days earlier. Pandharpur is the home of Lord Vitthal (fondly known as Vithoba in Maharashtra). Devotees of Lord Vitthal (also known as Warkaris or those who undertake the Waari) walk from Dehu to Pandharpur and the Waari culminates at Pandharpur on Ashadi Ekadashi. This waari was initiated and propogated by two famous poet-saints of Maharashtra, Sant Tukaram and Sant Dnyaneshwar, who were famous for their role in the bhakti movement.

  • Sant Dnyaneshwar is famous for Dnyaneshwari, a commentary of the Bhagwat Geeta that sought to bring the message enshrined in the Sanskrit text to the common man via the local language Marathi.
  • Sant Tukaram, a devotee of Lord Vitthal, is famous for propagating devotion through his Abhangs (a form of devotional poetry devoted to Lord Vitthal).

Another lovely aspect of Ashadi Ekadashi is the concerts that focus on Abhangs. This year too I will be attending one such concert in Mumbai and I am so looking forward to it.

Do you want to listen to an Abhang? Here are two from two stalwarts.

  1. The first is Lakshmi Vallabha by Kumar Gandharva.
  2. The second is Majhe Maher Pandhari by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Roasted and Skinned Peanuts – 3/4 Cup
  2. Water – 1.5 Cups
  3. Kokum – 4
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli – 2
  6. Grated Jaggery or Sugar – 1 tsp
  7. Ghee or Oil – 1 tsp
  8. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Grind the peanuts to a coarse paste with 1 cup water.
  2. Heat the ghee.
  3. Add the cumin seeds and wait till they splutter.
  4. Add split red chillies and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  5. Add kokum and 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Let the water simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the jaggery and mix well till the jaggery has dissolved.
  8. Add the peanut paste and salt.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Bring to a gentle simmer and turn off the heat.
  11. Serve warm with Sabudana Khichadi or Varyache Tandul.

Tips

  • If you want to roast your own peanuts:
    • Heat a wok or kadhai.
    • Add the peanuts and dry-roast over low heat till the peanuts start to pop.
    • Let the peanuts cool.
    • Rub the peanuts between your palms or using a cloth to skin them.

Shendanyachi Amti or Danyachi Amti for Varyache Tandul on Ekadashi

      • Shendanyachi Amti or Danyachi Amti

Shinghare ki Puri (Deep Fried Flat Bread with Water Chestnut Flour)

Shingare ki Puri
Shingare ki Puri

My sister-in-law, Bhavna, fasts all 9 days of Navaratri. She eats only once a day and that too food that does not involve any grain (dhaan). And she does not like Sabudana, so stuff like Sabudana Khichadi or Sabudana Wada are out.

What she prefers is roti or puri made with Rajgira Atta (Amaranth Flour) or Shinghada Atta (Water Chestnut Flour). This is the recipe for Shinghade ki Puri (or Shingare ki Puri).

Makes: 6 Small Puris

Ingredients

  1. Shinghada Atta – 1 Cup
  2. Potato – 1 Small
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1/4 tsp
  4. Sendha Namak or Rock Salt – To Taste
  5. Oil for Deep Frying
  6. Water for Kneading the Dough

Method

  1. Boil the potato.
  2. Peel and mash the potato to a smooth paste consistency.
  3. Mix together the potato, red chilli powder, sendha namak, and shinghada atta.
  4. Add 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
  5. Add water as required and knead into a firm dough.
  6. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
  8. Roll each portion into a small puri about 2.5″ in diameter.
  9. In a wok or kadhai, heat about 1 cup oil.
  10. Fry each puri till it is golden brown.
  11. Serve hot with aloo ki sabzi, paneer ki sabzi, or dahiwale arbi.

Tips

  • Ensure that the dough is firm or the puris will absorb a lot of oil.

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana Khichadi
Sabudana Khichadi

In Maharashtra, Sabudana Khichadi is a favourite fasting food. I guess the carb kick it provides (sabudana + potato) is a great to assuage hunger pangs. While I do not eat it on the days I fast, I often like to have Sabudana Khichadi for breakfast on other days. There is something about this simple dish that not only satisfies hunger but also gives me a feeling of well-being. 🙂

Want more recipe for Vrat ka Khana? Do try my recipes for Farali Misal, Low-Oil Sabudana Vada, Dahi Sabudana, Sabudana Thalipeeth, Dahi Alu, and Sabudana Kheer.

Ingredients

  1. Sabudana/Saggu Biyyam/Sago – 1 Cup
  2. Potato – 1 Medium
  3. Peanuts – 4 tbsp
  4. Green Chillies – 2
  5. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 4 or 5
  8. Sugar – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  9. Salt to Taste

Method

  1. Dissolve 1 tsp salt in 3 cups water.
  2. Soak sabudana in salt water for about 1 hour.
  3. Using a colander, drain the water out of the sabudana.
  4. Let sabudana drain for 3 to 4 hours.
  5. Boil the potato.
  6. Peel, and cut into medium-sized cubes.
  7. Dry roast the peanuts.
  8. Peel and pound into a coarse powder.
  9. In a heavy-bottomed kadai/wok, heat the ghee.
  10. Add cumin seeds and fry for about a minute.
  11. Add sliced green chillies, curry leaves, and potato pieces.
  12. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  13. Turn the heat to low.
  14. Mix the roasted peanut powder, sugar, and drained sabudana.
  15. Add the sabudana to the kadai and mix well.
  16. Add salt as required and mix well.
  17. Over low to medium heat, cook for about 5 minutes till the sabudana just starts to turn translucent.
  18. Serve hot.

Tips

  • I soak sabudana in salt water so that the sabudana soaks some of the salt and it adds to the taste.
  • Do not soak sabudana for too long and do let the sabudana drain completely. If not, you will have a lumpy, icky mess on your hands. 🙁

Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup – Vrat ka Khana

Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup

I love Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup. It is a simple, yet wholesome dessert that makes great use of the sweet potato.

In parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, this dish is classified as Vrat ka Khana or a dish eaten on fasting days.

How to Make Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup

Ingredients

  1. Sweet Potato – 2 Medium Sized
  2. Grated Jaggery – 1/3 to 1/2 Cup
  3. Cardamom – 2
  4. Water – 1 Cup

Method

  1. Boil 1 cup water.
  2. Scrub and clean the sweet potato thoroughly.
  3. Cut into 3/4″ discs.
  4. Add the sweet potato discs to the boiling water.
  5. Cook covered till the sweet boiled is “al dente.”
  6. Add the sugar/jaggery and crushed cardamom.
  7. Cook over low heat till the sweet potato is cooked and just starts to turn transparent.
  8. Serve the Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup warm.

Tips

  • I do not peel the sweet potato, but you could.
  • Though you can make this dish with sugar, it tastes best with jaggery syrup.

Sweet Potato in Jaggery Syrup - Fasting Recipe