Right now we're in holiday season over here. This time of year is my favorite. It's pretty much one big constant holiday right now until January. Right now a big holiday called Navratri (or Navratra) is going on. It's a special 9 day holiday (Navratra is Sanskrit for 9 days)... but actually the holiday in our area of the country is 10 days... The 10th day is Dusshera (the day the burn the huge statues). You're supposed to fast from any food if you can (most people don't), but if you can't you're supposed to eat special fasting foods.
The ways that people celebrate, fast & do rituals are very different. Generally, this is the thought: For this holiday, you are supposed to eat one meal a day (usually after sunset before your bath). You are supposed to bathe both morning and evening You can have juice, milk & fruit during the day. For this holiday, they are supposed to fast from grains, garlic, onions, eggs or meat (some Hindus do eat meat). Grains are a HUGE part of the meals here. In our area, most people eat bread (roti) with every meal, so going without grains is a BIG deal. What's interesting is that most people make bread out of water chestnut four - crazy hunh? I had no idea you could make flour out of those!
Anyway, I went to my fave South Asian food place called Haldiram's. They had some fun fasting foods. I tried this new one called a "Lachha Tokri"... It's pretty much the same as the Raj Katori but nothing is made from grains... the bowl part is kinda like a hash-brown bowl and the other stuff is some other sort of grain substitute (maybe water chestnut flour - I couldn't figure it out)....
I forgot to take a pic until I had already started eating it... so it looks a little gross, but you can see the inside of it :)
Anyway, I'll have some more interesting food posts to come, I've been remembering to take pics of my food lately :)