Pale Bhaji/ Palyachi Bhaji/Sankasthti Special Naivedya thali

Fasting is a big time affair in Maharashtra, as I said many times before. Each deity has a favorite food and luckily each one has a different palate which makes the fasting unique.

One such fasts that pretty much occurs every now and then is the Sankasthi, which is infact a monthly affair and essentially the 4th day of the fortnight - chaturthi. Let me not elaborate on this subject, with half baked knowledge and focus on things I know...

What I know is that each month my mother fasted on this day and many times, we also tagged along. The fasting breaks when the Moon God makes its appearance and whether the moon really made its way from behind the hazy skies or not, we knew it was there, because our panchang- calendar told us the time each time. So if the calendar says the moon will rise at  9:53 PM it was it...we waited till the clock struck 9:53 , ran with the already set plate to pray to God and do our rituals, one aarti, some other things, touching feet of the elders and finally pick the plate. Usually the naivedya thali went to
one of us in a round robin fashion...

Our Naivedya thali was not very elaborate as it was a monthly affair, the menu was practically fixed, yet it had something that drew us towards...probably the simplicity and unadulterated flavors.

Our sankashti thali has the Lord's favorite modaks, one leafy vegetable, varan bhat and my home special was vaalachi usal also known as dalimbi usal.

1 bunch of fresh green leafy vegetable (spinach, fenugreek, gongura, etc)
1 onion finely chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic
2-3 green chillies finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
salt to taste
Oil to cook
1) In a kadhai/ wok, heat some oil
2) Add the crushed or roughy chopped garlic cloves and saute it
3) Add the green chillies and then onion and saute on flame for 2 min
4) Clean the leafy vegetable, pick leaves if using methi, chavli, chuka etc. or remove stems for large leafy vegetables like palak and alu. Chop it roughly and soak in water to clean it . Wash under runnign tap water to remove all dirt.
5) Now add the leafy vegetables to the pan. Saute at high flame until it is wilted. Add salt.
6) Now reduce the flame and let it dry up in the pan.
7) Now add the fresh coconut and coriander and sprinkle on top

Serve hot with rice or chapati.


MySpicyKitchen said…
My mother also doing this since past 3-4 years. She does not make anything special but fasts all day & breeks the fast after seeing the moon.
Kalyani said…
this is new to me - fasting food series - would love to read more about this PRadnya ! altho I dont fast at all, this spinach stir fry is very appetising..
Thais very interesting to read about your fasting rituals.Very nice spread of dishes.
Priya Suresh said…
Wow, wat a beautiful neivedya thali, trust me am not a fasting person at all, but sometimes traditions pull me to do.. Nice to know about ur fastings.
Harini R said…
I didn't know that fasting food can have onion in there. Interesting bhaji.
Srivalli said…
Thanks for sharing your customs Pradnya, made an interesting read to know about different cultures and traditions..Growing up I have seen my mom fasting, though it means she doesn't eat never knew about special fasting food in our homes..later it turned to lighter tiffins for her..Now we don't' let her do..nice menu..
Srividhya said…
Great neivediyam thali. lovely recipes
Sandhiya said…
Wonderful nivedheya thali.. Love each dishes in there..
Pavani said…
Lovely post Pradnya. Your neivedya thali looks awesome.
Archana said…
Me yau? Your thali is beautifully done. Love teh simple comfort of Mom's cooking. Pale bahji is something I cannot get the girls and their father to eat.:(
Suma Gandlur said…
I enjoy these kinds of greens based dishes. And just of curiosity, are onions/garlic allowed in fasting diets?
Gayathri Kumar said…
Nice to know about the fasting Pradnya. You simple thali looks super inviting...
Chef Mireille said…
this simple veg preparation sounds like a great side dish to go with any meal

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