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Two of the many days in a woman’s lifetime where she shines the brightest is her ‘wedding day’ and ‘Karwa Chauth’. In India, festivals are an extraordinary affair and the ladies of the house leave no stone unturned to be the shining star in all these celebrations. Karwa Chauth is a festival which is very auspicious to an Indian woman because she undertakes a fast for the long life of her husband and only breaks it after worshipping the chaand. Nowadays, even men have started to reciprocate the same ritual and love so as to pray for the longevity of their wives. Wearing bright red salwar kameez or sarees, bangles and sindoor, is the classic Karwa Chauth attire for a bharatiya naari. Neither a bite of food nor a sip of water is allowed whilst you’re fasting on this day. I’ve always found this day very special because it is more like a celebration of the pure love and bond between couples.  

Why is Karwa Chauth celebrated?

Karwa Chauth is an imperative festival in Northern India. The ladies started to fast for their husbands because at that time, most of the men were soldiers and military men. The husbands would leave their wives and children behind and go off to war. The women, in turn, prayed for their lambi umar and safety by swearing off eating or drinking anything for the entire day. ‘Karwa’ means an earthen pot and this occasion coincides with the Rabi crop season, so the women used to fill these pots with wheat grains and pray to God for a good yield of the season.

Another popular theory behind the inception of this festival was feminine bond and friendship. Due to the concept of bal vivah in many villages in earlier times, girls were married at the age of 13 or 14 years, while being too young to understand the concept of marriage. They used to feel alone and depressed managing the house on their own. To better the situation, these women of the villages started to celebrate Karwa Chauth as a grand affair. They used to befriend each other and exchange gifts amongst them like lipsticks, bangles, sindoor, etc. The festival for females was more like a means to connect, enjoy and spend some good time together.

Being a Punjabi, Karwa Chauth is a big deal at my home and I have grown up seeing my mother fasting for my father. And now, all these years I’ve been married to Alyona, she has fasted for me without fail. Even last year, when we were travelling, Karwa Chauth happened to be on a day when we were on a flight. I asked Alyona to skip the fast because it was a long flight with no proper arrangement to break the fast. Even then, Alyona kept her vrat and broke it on board. It was quite a memorable day for us!

Kehte hain dil ka raasta pet se hokar jaata hai! To shower my love and care for my wife, I prepare a 4-course meal, every year for her. This year, I am sharing my special Karwa Chauth menu for you so that you can share the same love with your partner like I do.

Black Grape Pani Puri

Who doesn’t love pani puri? I always try to experiment and try new things when it comes to pani puri. For this day, I am going to prepare this grape juice flavoured pani. My wife is definitely going to love this one, you should try it too.

Chole Bhature

Chole Bhature is a constant at any Punjabi household and my foodie family loves it too. Alyona avoids onion and garlic on this day, so I prepare this Jain version of for her. Garmagaram bhature, chatpate chole along with dher saara pyaar is what I make to bring a smile on my woman’s face.

Dahi Bhalle

This one’s optional for you but a must in my menu because there’s no balle balle without ‘Dahi Bhalle’ at my home. This recipe is super easy to prepare, delish and can be the perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Chana Dal Halwa

The perfect end to any meal is a desi sweet and every year my pick is a mazedaar burfi, a rassedaar rasmalai or any halwa. This year I’m making this decadent halwa with chana dal. You too try it or if you want to prepare something else, check out my website for more interesting sweets.

Happy fasting and feasting! 


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.