Cultural diversity is the true essence of India. Navratri, the nine-day festival, is devoted to
Goddess Durga’s nine manifestations to remember the triumph of good over evil. Although
the festival is centered on a common religious belief, it is observed differently across the
nation through varied approaches to seeking blessings, ways of worship, rituals & traditions,
and ultimately, a vibrant and diversified culinary culture.
Fasting is a crucial part of the Navratri preparations, and devotees avoid eating
non-vegetarian food. Many households refrain from consuming onion and garlic and commit
to a complete sattvic diet. They follow a simple meal with no or minimal spices and
emphasize consuming forgotten grains like buckwheat, finger millet, water chestnut flour,
etc. Today numerous people tend to explore multiple dietary options during these 9 days
deserting the age-old puja food that’s dished out in the kitchen year after year. It is not
necessary to limit ‘vrat ka khana’ to solely fruits and a bland, watery diet. The Food Affairs
brings delights from all communities, each with its unique specialties that are worthwhile to
try. Here is a quick guide.
1. ORANGE GINGER BASIL MOJITO
The complementing flavours of orange and basil in a mojito make the mocktail incredibly
reviving and tasty. Although it may sound unusual to substitute fresh basil for fresh mint, it is
a delightful treat for the taste buds!
2. ROSE SORBET
During the fasting days, rose sorbet, created by freezing a mixture of rose syrup and lime
juice, is a sweet and nourishing refreshing drink that has a soulful taste.
3. GHEE-ROASTED SHAKERKAND
Ghee-baked sweet potatoes have a deliciously buttery flavour. A little sprinkle of cinnamon
is the perfect finishing ingredient to bring out its natural sweetness without adding more
sugar. This is an assured dish that will quickly be among your favourites!
4. SABUDANA THALIPEETH
Sabudana thalipeeth are simply crispy, soft pancakes. If one wants to stay away from
deep-fried snacks, this is an excellent replacement for sabudana vada. It is a light snack
that can be eaten with vrat wale aloo or Dahi aloo to make a substantial dinner when
prepared on vrat.
5. ALOO LACHA TIKKI
Aloo Lachha Tikki is a fasting meal made from grated potatoes that may be quickly
prepared for lunch, snacks, or dinner. These shallow-fried bakes, known for the tanginess
provided by lemon and chilies, taste best when served hot with a bowl of coriander and
sweet date chutney to enhance the flavour.
6. SITAFAL BASUNDI
Sitaphal Basundi, made from ripe custard apple pulp, is the perfect way to end a meal when
you’re fasting. The cardamom sprinkle completely elevates the flavour of this dish. This is
one of the vrat recipes that satisfies sweet cravings like no other.
Fasting is an integral and significant part of Indian culture. While fasting, particularly on holy
days, is believed to offer numerous benefits for the health of the body, mind, and spirit.
Some of the aforementioned recipes would undoubtedly add great taste while retaining the
simplicity and piety of fasting cuisine, making it a joyful and healthful mealtime.