This year, Govardhan puja will be celebrated on October 26 as according to Hindu mythology, the festival should be celebrated on Pratipada Tithi of Kartik month when Krishna is believed to have defeated Indra. On Govardhan Puja, a preparation of wheat, rice, curry made of gram flour and leafy vegetables is offered to Krishna.
Panchamrit, prepared with curd, milk, honey, sugar, nuts and tulsi leaves too is offered to Krishna and is later offered to the devotees as prasad while Annakutta sabzi, prepared with a range of vegetables is also made for the diety. Move over regular dishes and give the Govardhan Puja bhog a contemporary twist of flavours with the recipes of Apple Butter, Mohanthal (a traditional Gujarati sweet dish) and lemongrass infused pumpkin soup.
For Apple Butter, apples are rehydrated and cooked at a low temperature until most of the water has absorbed, leaving sweet apple syrup that’s a healthy alternative to refined sugar. Try this simple recipe for ‘Apple Butter’ syrup at home and kickstart your day with a healthy snack
Mohanthal is a traditional Gujarati sweet dish made from gram flour, is usually eaten warm and part of the traditional Gujarati thali meal. Lemongrass infused pumpkin soup is vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free where lemongrass is a natural antiseptic and also very refreshing and balances the earthy warm flavours of pumpkin along with spicy ginger beautifully.
1. Apple Butter
2 -3 tablespoons Caramel flavoured syrup
1 cup water
½ teaspoon nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
4 -5 apples (peeled and chopped into cubes)
1 storage jar
In a pan add all the ingredients and cook over low flame. Cook for 30 minutes, ensure that the mixture is of thick consistency. Smear a generous amount of the apple butter on slices of toasted bread and serve.
(Recipe: Chef Ranveer Brar)
1 cup besan – coarse (gram flour)
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp milk
½ cup ghee (clarified butter)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
pinch of cardamom
pinch of saffron
almond and pistachio flakes for garnish
Keep a 10 inch thali greased and ready, kept aside. Mix 1 cup coarse besan, 1 tbsp melted ghee and 1 tbsp milk in a thali, rubbing the mixture between your fingers to create a coarse texture and set aside for 15 minutes.
Melt ½ cup ghee on very low flame in a wide pan. Add the besan mixture and sauté for 10 minutes. In another pot, combine the sugar and water on low flame, and add a pinch of cardamom and saffron.
Once the syrup starts to stick and thicken, add the besan mixture and combine. Pour mixture into greased thali – the mohanthal should be approx. 1 inch height. Garnish with flaked almonds and/or pistachios.
Let the mithai set for some time before cutting the pieces into diamond or square shapes. Best eaten warm or room temperature.
3. Lemongrass infused pumpkin soup
10 ml vegetable oil
5 g ginger, roughly chopped
10 g garlic, roughly chopped
5 g coriander stalks (no leaf) (approx. 4-5 stalks)
3 g Indian lemongrass stalks (approx. 5-7 stalks)
150 ml stock
300 ml water
250 g pumpkin, cubed bite sized
1 tsp salt
4-5 leaves fresh basil
1 tsp red chili flakes
Ingredients for Pumpkin Seed garnish:
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
½ tsp coconut oil
pinch of sugar
pinch of sea salt
pinch of red chili flakes
Tie the lemongrass on a food-safe string and set aside. Tie the coriander stalks in another string and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil on low flame with ginger and garlic, until fragrant and golden.
Add the pumpkin, red chili flakes and stir to coat the pieces. Add the vegetable stock and water, along with the tied stalks, leaving the end of the strings hanging out. Cover the pot and simmer for 25-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
At 15 minutes, add the basil and continue cooking. Once pumpkin cubes are cooked through switch off heat, remove the infusion strings and basil. Allow to cool before blending. Serve warm with garnish as below.
Coat the pumpkin seeds with the ingredients, lay out on baking sheet tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle on top of the soup, just before serving and some extra virgin olive oil drizzle.
(Recipes: Food consultant Kamini Patel)