Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ashtami prashad - Kaale Chhole, Poori & Atte Ka Halwa

Happy Durga Ashtami everyone! I am bringing to you the typical halwa, poori-chhole that is cooked early morning for the Ashtami pooja at my home and most other North Indian households. After nine days of Navratri and following a strict no non-vegetarian, no onion-garlic diet we conclude it on the eighth day called Ashtami by offering this prasad to Maa Durga the Goddess first and later feasting on this yummy authentic North Indian food for the rest of the day.

We try out the poori or fluffy deep-fried bread in so many ways in the same day. First we eat the hot, bubbling and fluffy poori straight out of the wok with spicy dry kaale chhole or black-brown chickpeas. Then hot and velvety atte ka halwa or wholewheat sweet pudding is slathered on top of the soft poori and devoured slowly taking in the taste of halwa and poori in every bite.

We eat such a packed breakfast of poori, chhole and halwa that lunch is skipped and then by 4 pm when the hunger again strikes, we go looking for some leftover pooris from the morning in the roti ka dabba or hot case and then eat them with aam ka achaar or raw mango pickle, washing it down with a cup of kadak chai.

So now you know what is on the menu in every North Indian house when it is Ashtami or Navmi! Nothing else is cooked afterwards as this dish is repeated in several combinations throughout the day. Dinner is mostly the leftover chhole with steamed rice or fresh phulkas or chapatti.

Kaale Chhole

The Kaale Chhole or  Sookhe Kaale Chane or Black Chickpeas (Dry) is a recipe from Punjab. These are super easy and since it is onion-garlic free it requires less chopping of veggies and if the chhole is pressure cooked in advance the tadka or tempering for this recipe can be prepared in under 30 minSince this is prasad for Ashtami pooja so no onion, no garlic is added. But still its yummy. :-) See the step-by-step recipe for Kaale Chhole here. 


Learn how to make fluffy poori from the step-by-step recipe provided here. For poori, I always prepare the dough well in advance. If I have to make it early in the morning I prepare the dough in the night and store it in fridge. I find it easier to handle the dough which has take its time to rest.


Being a sweet dish, halwa is made on special occasions or festivals in most Indian households using different kinds of flour like suji (semolina) or atta (wholewheat flour) or mixing the two. When the bride comes to her new home after marriage, she is expected to make a signature halwa dish and that is the way she makes it into the hearts of her in-laws. :-)

It is fairly easy but still you need to be careful and keep stirring while roasting the flour in the ghee so that no lumps are formed. For the Atte Ka Halwa recipe click here!

Hope you all had a divine Ashtami. Happy Ashtami/Kanjak/Vishu to all those celebrating! :-)

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