We celebrate Navratri twice in a year. The first one is Chaitra Navratri which occurs in Chaitra month (As per Hindu calendar), generally in the month of March & April, then another one that is Shardiya Navratri occurs in month of September & October, in terms of Hindu calendar it falls on Ashwin month. In India it is a festive season that goes till nine days and people from the corner of the nation show optimum passion and zeal to celebrate this festival.
The devotees of Maa Shakti observes ritual fast of nine days. People especially women set up small idols of Maa Durga and establish “Kalash” for nine days at home. Either they go to temple for worship of Goddess Shakti or perform Pooja rituals at home. Ladies prepare exclusive Navratri Pooja Thali to perform pooja ritual during nine days worship of Maa Durga. Special Navratri Vrat Thali is prepared for devotees who observe fast during Navratri and this thali contains food items eatable on fast.
The Goddess of power is worshiped with plenty of rituals and to perform these rituals many little things are required. Navratri Pooja Thali includes all pooja essential such as flowers, roil, vermillion, sacred water (water of river Ganga), Prasad or bhog material such as sweets, fruits or dry fruits. Once these pooja essentials are collected, you only need to arrange a superbly adorned pooja thali. Women decorate this Pooja Thali with best possible ways using stones, stickers, beads and flower in order to give an artistic appearance to the pooja ceremony. You can opt for thali made of silver, brass or steel. Navratri Pooja thali can be adorned under a theme or pattern you like most. It can be adorned featuring spiritual symbols such as Swastika and Om. Floral decoration is also a good choice to embellish Pooja Thali for Navratri.
During the Navratri fest various food outlets, restaurants, and hotels offers special thali for Navratri. This Vrat Thali can also be prepared at home by including only satvik food in the thali as it is mandatory for devotes who observe ritual fast during Navratri that they would eat only satvik food. Although, there are limited options for satviak foods are available, these days, many renowned cookery experts, cooks and chefs have come up with various recipes beyond these limited food items for vrat. These exclusive foods for vrat are Jeera Aaloo, sabudane ki kheer, Lauki ka Halwa, Makhane ki Kheers, Sabudana Tikki, Dahi Pudine wale Aaloo, Kuttu ka Paratha, Aloo Papad, Pudina Rayta, Sago Papad, Palak Paneer, Shakarkand ki Chaat, Sookhi Arbi and a lot more. Choosing few food items among these you can also prepare Navratri Pooja Tyhali at home.