Ramdana Snack for Vrat

During Navratri some of us observe nine days’ fast and are always looking out for some easy to make vrat or upvas (fasting) food. Whole lots of variety of falahar (food for fasting) dishes are made these days. Endless food combinations with lot of creativity can be seen even on fasting days.

However, if you talk about me I believe in doing simple things and don’t prefer too much elaborate cooking during fast. I prefer low-fried and simple eating during fast.

So I came up with this idea of making and storing amaranth (ramdana or rajgira) and dry fruits snack before navratri.  I particularly wanted to avoid using potato in this namkeen because potato is anyways used in lot of other vrat foods.

Rajgira snack for vrat

This type of dry snack is handy when sudden hunger pang strikes on fasting days.  Have a bowl of it with a warm glass of milk or masala chai and you are relieved from sudden hunger.

This amaranth or rajgira snack requires just 1 tsp of ghee and that too without frying. It’s quite healthy and can be had as regular snack as well. In fact, it’s a better option for kids as evening snacks than giving them packet of unhealthy snacks full of fat.

Amaranth is no less than a super-food with lots of health benefits. You may also read my post on ramdana (amaranth) ladoo with jaggery, which is another healthy snack that we can easily include in our daily eating.

All right, so here is the list of ingredients for this easy-to-make ramdana namkeen for vrat.

Ingredients

  • Puffed ramdana (amaranth): 1 cup
  • Roasted almonds: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted cashew: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts: 2 tbsp
  • Roasted makhana (Euryale ferox): 2 tbsp
  • Dry coconut (small pieces): 1 tbsp
  • Raisins: 2 tbsp
  • Few curry leaves
  • Rock salt (optional): 1 tsp
  • Ghee (clarified butter): 1 tsp

Procedure

  • In a heavy bottom skillet, roast almonds, cashews, peanuts, small dry coconut pieces and makhana on low flame. Continue roasting on low flame till they turn golden and crisp.
  • I didn’t used ghee for roasting, however you can if you like. After cooling, cut roasted almonds, cashews and makhana into halves.
  • Heat ghee in a small skillet and temper curry leaves in it. For tempering, heat the ghee very hot, then reduce to medium and then add the curry leaves. You will know tempering is over once leaves get dark and change color.

Normally in vrat food, we use ghee in cooking. I make ghee at home from malai or chhalii formed on the top of milk. You can read my post on how to make ghee in microwave to know the easy process I follow to extract ghee.

  • Let curry leaves cool. After cooling, crush the leaves by hand. Curry leaves makes this snack flavorsome and fragrant.
  • Bring everything together in a bowl and add the tempered curry leaves, rock salt and mix well.

ramdana-vrat-recipe

Store it immediately in air-tight container to maintain its crispiness. This healthy snack stays good for a month.

People observing fast in India abstain from regular salt and have rock salt instead. If you are making it as a regular snack and not as fasting food, then you can add regular salt too.

While tempering curry leaves you can also add green chilies. Since, my daughter is fond of munching this snack, I avoid adding chilly in it. 🙂

ramdana-falahar-recipe

You may also like to read vrat related recipes like easy rabdi, coconut ladoos. I have written about sugar peanut chikki as well as jaggery peanut chikkis.

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How to make ramdana (Amaranth) ladoo?

Ramdana the super seed is called by many names. In most part of India, it’s called Ramdana meaning god’s seed or Rajgira that means royal seed.

In English it’s called Amaranth which is derived from Sanskrit. In Greek, it means immortal.

amranth-ladoo

Is Amaranth a grain or a seed?

Amaranth is actually a seed from its plant and not a grain like wheat or rice. It’s a native crop of America and migrated to India long back and made its place in our fasting foods.

ramdana- seed

Health Benefits of Amaranth

It is full of protein and calcium and that’s why no doubt it’s called by such wonderful names. Rajgira is a good source of amino acids and is rich in iron, magnesium and Vitamin A, B and C too. It contains an amino acid named Lysine which is an important amino acid.

Loaded with various minerals and essential vitamins, ramdana ladoo can be taken by pregnant ladies doing fast. It easy to digest and keeps one satiated for longer period of time, making it perfect choice on fasting days.

How to pop amaranth seeds?

In market these seeds (light in color and weight) are easily available. You can even get popped and ready-to-use versions, but it can be easily popped at home too.

Keep these seeds in sun to get rid of any moisture. Heat a heavy bottom skillet and add one tbsp seeds at a time. Cover the seed with soft muslin cloth, pressing them gently.

pooping-amranth-seeds

Since these are very light they jump while popping, you have to be swift while heating these delicate seeds. If heated for long time they can get burnt.

Once popped, immediately transfer to different vessel. Repeat the process and roast as much required. Popped amaranth seeds look like this – soft and light.

popped-amaranth

Rajgira laddoo

It a simple process. All you need is popped rajgira and jaggery or sugar. You can even read how to make healthy peanut chikki. I usually make jaggery rajgira laddoo and chikkis, therefore sharing process for same.

Take rajgira and jaggery of equal weight. I took 250 gm each rajgira seeds and jaggery.

How to make jaggery syrup for rajgira laddoo?

Put jaggery on heavy bottom skillet on medium heat and add ¼ cup water. Jaggery will melt and start boiling. Let it smear on low heat and keep stirring.

Pour a drop of this syrup in a bowl of water. If the drop maintains its round shape, then it means syrup is ready. If the drop falls flat at bottom of the bowl, then it still needs to be boiled for few more minutes.

Syrup gets ready in approximately 10-15 minutes. Syrup making process is same like in gulab-jamun, jalebi or chandrakala. It’s just that for laddoo syrup’s consistency is kept thick.

Making rajgira ladoo

Once syrup is ready, take it off the flame and pour in popped rajgira (or ramdana) seeds in it. Mix it quickly and syrup will blend evenly throughout.

Now, before making ladoos apply some ghee on palms. This will protect your palms from heat as it’s quite hot at this stage.

To maintain purity of fasting, I use home-made ghee. Post on how to make ghee in microwave can be helpful to you as in this post I have shared easy process that I follow to make ghee at home.

Put a spoon full of it in between your palms and give it round ball shape with gentle hands. Don’t press too much or laddoos will become hard on cooling. You need to be super quick in making laddoos, because on cooling it will be difficult to give them shape.

amaranth-ladoo

You can even make ramadana chikki with this mixture. Just apply some ghee on a big plate and flatten this mixture on plate. Give square impression with knife and cut on cooling.

Store rajgira laddoos in air tight containers to keep them crisp. They remain good even for two months. I make them in large batches to last for a month but they don’t last for too long in my home. 🙂

Have them with milk or munch them on go. Kids are usually found of this laddoos and are good snacks option.

So, don’t forget this wonder food after Ganesh-chaturthi or Navaratri. Include it in your regular dietary plans to benefit from this King’s grain.

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