Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad is a quick and easy meal that packs tons of flavors and is so simple, yet so tasty. Pair it with sweet semolina pudding and deep-fried pooris to make a lip-smacking meal!!
It’s again this time of the year when Navratri (festival of nine nights) is coming to an end and every household is prepping up for Ashtami or Navmi pujan. The eighth day of Navratri is celebrated as Durga Ashtami which also marks the end of fasting period for several devotees. On this day, devotees offer prayers to Goddess Durga and perform Kanchike or Kanjak. Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
Kanjak means young girls within the age of birth – 9 years of age and these girls are ceremonially worshiped. This puja also referred to as Kanjak Pujan or Kanya pujan ( worshiping a girl child) and is celebrated either on Ashtami (the 8th day) or on Navmi (the 9th day) of Navratri .
Every family follows their own tradition as some worship ashtami and some do puja on Navami. North Indian families cook Ashtami prasad which mainly consist of dried Kala chana (black chickpeas), Sooji halwa and puri – a delicious and favorite KANJAK food.
How Kanjak Pujan is done! Kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
People welcome young girls in their house.
- Wash their young feet,
- Apply kumkum on their forehead and
- Tie roli (a sacred thread) on their little hands.
- Perform the young girl’s aarti, touch their feet and seek their blessings.
- Then the girls are made to sit in a row and
- Later they are served kala chana – Ashtami Prasad
- When they are done eating and ready to leave people shower them gifts in form of money or toys.
Now on to the recipe!
Soak kale chole overnight. In the morning pressure cook for 8-9 whistles (it may take longer for some). Once chickpeas are thoroughly boiled and soft (as shown in the pic below) cook them in oil and mild spices.
From here on the recipe is straightforward and needs no fancy ingredients. Just the regular spices and a couple of tablespoons of oil and there you go – delicious and tasty sookhe kale chane are ready.
Feel free to add/delete spices to your liking. Adding a teaspoon of amchur (mango powder) will add some tanginess to this chana recipe. Since this prasad is consumed mostly by young girls I have skipped adding green chilies and cilantro but feel free to experiment.
Black chickpeas are extremely healthy as they are low in fat and high in dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s a great addition to your daily diet and it can be a fairly versatile recipe.
If not using it as a prasad then add some chopped onions, green chilies, chopped cilantro, chaat masala and some sev and munch it as an evening snack with your tea.. yum yum yum…. This is what we relished as children and now my kids do the same with leftover Ashtami prasad 🙂
If you happen to make these then either drop me a line below or share your yum pictures with me on Facebook. Would love to see your creation!