Navaratri, also spelled Navratri or Navarathri, is a nine nights Hindu festival, celebrated in the autumn every year. It is observed for different reasons and celebrated differently in various parts of the Indian subcontinent. Navratri is a festival that’s dedicated to the nine incarnations of Maa Durga: Sailaputri, Brahmacharini, Andraghanta, Kusamanda, Skandamata, Katyayani, Kalarati, Mahagauri and Siddhidatri. And Kanjak is celebrated on either ashtami or navami (the eighth or ninth day) of Navratri. It’s just another way of paying gratitude to the Supreme Goddess.
What Is Kanjak Puja or Kanya Puja?
Kanjak pūjā, is a Hindu holy day celebrated on the eighth and ninth day of Navaratri festival. Nine young girls representing the nine forms of Goddess Durga are worshiped. Thus, girl-child is the symbol of the pure basic creative force according to this philosophy.
It is a custom to wash the feet of these nine young girls as a mark of respect for the Goddess and then offer new clothes as gifts by the devotee. Kanya puja as a part of Devi worship is to recognize the feminine power vested in the girl child.
To me, Navratri also means the festival of Kanjak Thali- Puri, Kaala Chana, And Halwa which is offered to the little girls on the eighth day (Ashtami) or ninth day (Navami) at many households. Although I am way too old for this Kanjak Puja but obviously not old for having this divine and delicious food. <3
For Kaala Chana
- 1.25 Cup boiled kaala chana
- ½ Tsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tsp coriander powder
- ½ Tsp red chili powder
- ¼ Tsp turmeric powder
- ½ Tsp black salt
- ¼ Tsp garam masala
- Salt as required
- 1 Tbsp oil/ ghee
*Adjust spices according to your taste
- ½ Cup sooji/ rava/ semolina
- ¼ Cup Ghee
- 1.25 Cup milk
- 1/3 Cup sugar or as required
- ¼ Cup cashew nuts
For Poori Recipe Click Here
Learn Step By Step Recipe For Kanjak Puja Thali- Poori, Kaala Chana, And Halwa
For Kaala Chana
Step 1- Heat ghee in a pan and splutter cumin seeds. Keep the flame to low and add the spices (coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, black salt) with 2-3tbsp of water. Stir and saute the spices for 30secs.
Step 2- Add the boiled chana with required salt and sprinkle garam masala. Cover and cook until the water evaporates. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Puri and Halwa
Step 1- Heat ghee in a pan and keep the flame to low. Roast sooji and nuts till they change color to light brown. Keep stirring so that the sooji does not stick to the bottom
Step 2- Meanwhile, in another pan add milk and sugar. Bring it to a boil and then turn off the flame
Step 3- Pour the milk mixture to the sooji mixture slowly. Keep stirring, the mixture will start thickening. Once the water is absorbed, you will get the perfect texture. Turn off the flame and garnish with more nuts. Serve warm or cold with Puri and Kaala Chana
Source of Information- Wikipedia, Kanjak Special-NDTV