Ashtami Thali | Kanjak Thali is a satvik meal with no onion and no garlic. The meal is prepared on the eighth day of Navratri.
Navratri is a significant festival in India that is celebrated by people across the country.
People worship Goddess Durga and fast for 9 days. I do not fast, but as a kid, I went to eat the Kanjak Thali in many houses. As kids we were excited – no the food did not excite us, it was meeting neighboring girls and the gifts that gave a spark in our eyes. Time flew and when my daughters were born, my father-in-law did Kanjak Puja for them.
Are you wondering what is a Kanjak Puja? Kanjak or Kanya Pooja, where nine girls who have not yet attained puberty are welcomed into the house by first washing their feet and tying moli (red thread) around their wrists. We feed the girls with a set menu and give gifts or money. Each house has its own way to do puja. You can read more on Kanjak Puja.
To be honest, I do not fast or do puja, but I made this Kanjak Thali in memory of my father-in-law. I fed nine girls and followed all the rituals.
The Ashtami Thali | Kanjak Thali is almost the same in every house. Sookhe Kaale Chane, Halwa, and Poori are mandatory. Some families also make Sookhe Aloo. It is a simple satvik meal, but very delicious and divine.
The menu for Ashtami Thali | Kanjak Thali
Sookhe Kale Chane
Please follow the link for the recipe. Once the Aloo is cooked, I have mashed them a little, as this is served to little girls. Mashed potato is easy to handle.
I have already given the links for all the recipes, except Sookhe Kaale Channe. I shall share this recipe today.
Ingredients required to make Sookhe Kale Channe
Black Chickpeas; Remember to soak the chickpeas for a good 6-8 hours. This helps in faster cooking. Use a pressure cooker to boil them.
Ginger Chilly: Cut the chili and ginger into fine matchsticks. You can skip the chili.
Spices: I add basic spices like Dry Mango Powder, Coriander Powder, and a pinch of Turmeric to this channa.
Ghee: I always cook this channa in ghee as it is Prasadam.
How to make Sookhe Kale Chane for Ashtami Thali
Wash and soak the channa overnight or anywhere between 6-8 hours.
Wash the channa again after they have soaked, and pressure cook them with salt to taste. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles, then simmer the flame for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Check if done by pressing a Channa between your index finger and thumb.
Transfer the channa to a pan or Iron wok ( Lohe ki kadhai ). Sprinkle the spices over the channa.
Heat Ghee in a small pan. Add cumin, ginger, and chili. Give a good stir, and pour the ghee over the channa. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes, till the channa is well coated with spices.
Tips and Suggestions to Make Ashtami Thali | Kanjak Thali
- Soak the kala channa overnight, this will cut down the cooking time.
- I have used green chilly, the nonspicy variety. You can skip them too.
- Keep the spice level low as we are feeding young tender girls.
- Don’t miss the dry mango powder it will give a nice tart flavor.
- If you have an iron kadai, use it, channa cooked in it will turn more black and nutritious.
- If making Sookhe Aloo, mash them. It is easy to mix with channa and halwa and make a puri roll.
- Use the boiled channa water as a soup by tempering it. It is very nutritious.
- I like to use Ghee for this meal, it enhances the flavor.
I made a Puja Thali too. I have used the Halwa as the base and made the facial features with Moli. The nose ring is a plastic bangle. A few pearls and stones embellish the thali. Finally, I placed an earthen diya.
Health Benefits of Kala Channa
- As a rich source of iron, Kala Chana can prevent anemia and boost your energy levels.
- Ideal protein source for vegetarians when had in combination with whole grain or whole wheat protein.
- Helps to lose weight.
- Kala Chana is a type of legume loaded with nutrients such as protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
- Enjoy Kala Channa and Gur/jaggery in winter, it is a combo made in heaven to boost energy.
How else can I make Kala Channa?
Other than Pooja, you can make this channa on a regular basis, and adjust the spice level.
Add chopped onion, tomato, and coriander to the boiled channa. Spice it up with chaat masala and drizzle some lemon juice, Enjoy as a salad or chaat.
Make a scrumptious breakfast, Wayanad Style -Kadala Curry with Poori
Enjoy Channa Chevdo, a lip-smacking naashto from Okha.
Enjoy Patna-style Gughni Aloo.
The Punjabi Kale Channe Chawal is yet another delicious combo that is a hit.
Sookhe Kale Channe for Ashtami Thali
- Pressure Cooker
- Pan / Kadai / Wok
- 200 gms Black Chickpeas
- 2-4 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 ‘ Ginger Julienne
- 2-3 Green Chilly optional
- 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Dry Mango Powder
- Pinch Turmeric Powder
- Coriander Leaves for Garnish
- Wash and soak the channa overnight or anywhere between 6-8 hours.
- Wash the channa again after they have soaked, and pressure cook them with salt to taste. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles, then simmer the flame for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally. Check if done by pressing a Channa between your index finger and thumb.
- Transfer the channa to a pan or Iron wok ( Lohe ki kadhai ). Sprinkle the spices over the channa.
- Heat Ghee in a small pan. Add cumin, ginger, and chili. Give a good stir, and pour the ghee over the channa. Mix well and cook for 4-5 minutes, till the channa is well coated with spices.
7 thoughts on “Ashtami Thali | Kanjak Thali”
Ashtami Thali looks divine, and well presented. Sookha channa looks very yummy , the combination of poori , halwa and channa is to die for and you have made it perfectly.
Fantastic Thali Vaishali…so wonderful to read about this festival. Though we do have elaborate rituals for Navrati, this Kanya pooja is not observed this way…I learned about this when hubby visited temples in Northeast..:)..would love to indulge this on a festival occasion!
thjs is something I used to look forward as a child being invited to an Agarwal uncle’s house -. the halwa, poori and esp the chana , not to forge the crisp 5/- note we used to get with it.. the image of the devi with the threads is so cute and captivating !
This thali is one of mine favourite meal for which i have to wait for entire year….. love the color and especially pooja thali…
Oh love this ashtami pooja offering! I will be eagerly waiting to receive parcel from my friends to enjoy the halwa poori
Love the Puja thali decoration vaishali! Brilliant share ❤️
I love this Ashtami Thali and the offerings. The kala chana looks so delicious I am going to try making it.
Love that pooja thali with halwa. And Ashtami thali is tempting. And I can have that sookhe kale chana as a snack all day. Your version is different from mine and I loved your version too, specially biting on ginger. I usually don’t add ginger in mine and use garlic instead.