New Delhi: While bursting firecracker-filled Ravana effigies may raise a few eyebrows, a city-based recipe developer has a scrumptious method to 'kill' plenty of Ravanas this Dusherra.
"While my daughter was busy playing with her friends, I decided to treat them the 'Little Food Junction' way. Watching the tiny hands sharing, eating and laughing is definitely festivity at its best," says Smita Srivastava who has authored "Fun Food for Fussy Little Eaters."
For an edible Ravana, Srivastava suggests a garlic and white bean dip, poured into a small bowl and placed on a platter.
"Take some salt biscuits and place four on one side of the bowl and five on the other side. Take cheese slice and use a small piece of straw to cut tiny circles. Place those circles as eyes on each biscuit and put crapers on each eye," says Srivastava who frequently shares her recipes on her blog 'Little Food Junction'.
Cut slighter bigger circles and place it as eyes on the dip. Put crapers on these eyes as well and another one as nose. Use radish greens for mustache, Srivastava suggests.
She says that Ravana's body can me made by using red bell pepper and cheese to form a little pattern on the body.
"Use carrot slices for arms and olive pieces as palms. Use a peeler to get some cucumber shaving and place it on the sides to form a little background and with that edible Ravana is ready to be devoured by your kids!" says Srivastava.
But before you start preparing for Dusherra, Chef Surjan Singh Jolly has laid a 'Navratri' platter that offers something different for those who undertake fasts.
"Earlier we thought of going a little contemporary. But since Navratri is very traditional, we didn't want to play with the authenticity of the food," says Chef Jolly, Executive Chef at JW Marriott, Bengaluru.
For a traditional touch the chef has used jaggery instead of sugar and used the best organic ghee. "My friend does different kinds of honey like Eucalyptus honey and others. So we are using those as well," says Chef Jolly.
Apart from usual foods for fasts, the Chef suggests making you need to understand the difference between fleshy fruits and pulpy fruits. Like pear, apricot and green apples are fleshy. Fruits like chichoo are pulpy," says the chef.
"While fleshy fruits adds crunchiness to your chutney, pulpy adds body. Then it binds together well. Chop it like salsa and add ginger and black pepper powder to it. Throw in some chops of mint for some more freshness," he says.
The Chef says that in their hotel, they are also doing various mocktails using fruit juices.
"During Navratras women come in groups, mostly during afternoons and like something different. So we make these fresh drinks using cranberries, oranges and other fruits," says the chef
Vivanta by Taj, Gurgaon is also offering 'Navratra Thali'. It includes dishes like Bhuna ananas ki chaat, Sitafal ki subzi, Faldari kofta, Sabu dane ki khichdi and Singade ki poori.
FunFoods by Dr Oetker has curated no-egg, no-garlic and no-onion recipes for Navratri.
They suggest making 'Shahi Paneer' for fasting people by mixing milk and Dr Oetker FunFoods Tandoori Mayonnaise in a pan, and heating the puree till it boils.
Then paneer is added to the gravy and stirred well before serving. To enrich gravy, they suggest to add 2 table spoon of cashew paste by boil 15 cashews for 15 minutes and grinding it to paste.
Lipton Tea has also prepared some 'upvaas friendly' green tea recipes for a different fasting experience.
One of it is 'Fruity Green Tea Smoothie', which is prepared by pouring boiling water over Lipton Green Tea with Honey Lemon tea bags. After brewing the tea, the tea bags are removed and sugar is stirred in before chilling the brew. The tea, banana and ice cubes are then processed in a blender.