Chaitra Navaratri: Vrat Wale Samak Chawal Pulao Recipe
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Samak chawal, also known as samak rice, becomes a popular staple food during Chaitra Navratri. Despite the name, this food is not a kind of rice. Samak is a kind of millet that translates as "barnyard millet" in English. When on a vrat, or fast, during these holy nine days, rice and wheat are off limits. One of the allowed grains is samak chawal. Its high fibre and complex carb content ensure it digests slowly, keeping you energised and full for longer. Here's a quick and easy recipe for Samak chawal Pulao. It's perfect for vrat or fasting.

Samak rice has several monikers in different regions of India. In Bengal, it is called shyama. Gujrat refers to it as moraiyo, mario, moraiya, and mordhan. In Hindi, it goes by names such as vrat ke chawal, sanwa, samai, samwa, vari rice, swang ke chawal,  samvat, and bhagar. You may hear the term oodalu for barnyard millet in Karnataka. Tamil Nadu calls it kuthiravali, or kuthiraivali, while in Andra Pradesh, it is known as udalu.

There are some similarities between this Samak rice pulao and bansi rava upma, but the former provides far more flavour and nutrition. This dish is so versatile that it may be enjoyed at any time of day, not just during the vrat period.

When preparing this dish, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Be sure to exclusively use vrat-compliant veggies. Onion and garlic should be avoided at all costs.
  • Many cultures and families have different customs regarding fasting or upvas. As a result, you may modify the ingredients and amounts to suit your tastes and dietary preferences.
  • This dish tastes delicious with mint and coriander leaves like mint pulao, but you shouldn't use it during vrat. On other occasions, though, these leaves might be added for flavour.
  • Vegetables such as carrots, beans, pea, cauliflower, and tomato can be added to samak rice after they have been finely diced and served on non-fasting days.
  •  Paneer cubes, dried mint leaves, toasted nut slices, raisins, bay leaves, and curry leaves are all great additions for a new taste profile and some added grit to this meal.
  • Samak rice has a consistency comparable to texture and a flavour reminiscent of broken rice, semolina, suji, broken wheat, or daliya. 
  • Unlike long-grain rice, it tends to stick together when cooked. So don't hope for it to transform into beautiful basmati rice.
  • Cook the Vrat ke chawal pulao just before you want to eat it for the finest flavour. It has a drying effect upon cooling. To reheat, add a tablespoon or two of hot water and stir until hot.

Samak Chawal Pulao For Vrat


  • 120 grams sama rice
  • 100 gm boiled and diced potatoes ( should be firm, not mushy)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves 
  • 4 black peppercorns 
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 green chilli
  • Sendha namak to taste
  • 12 cashew nuts (split and dry roasted or fried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice


  • Wash the samak chawal or barnyard millet and soak it for half an hour. Later, drain the excess water and set it aside.
  • Heat a large saucepan, keeping the flame on medium heat, and pour ghee 
  • As the ghee heats, introduce the cloves, cumin seeds, green cardamoms, black peppercorns, and green cardamom. Give all the condiments a good stir and cook for half a minute
  • Toss in the minced ginger, green chillies and roasted peanuts. Sauté for half a minute. Add the boiled and diced potato and mix well. Cook for roughly 1 minute
  • To the ghee and spices, add the drained sama rice and stir for approximately 3 minutes until the rice is evenly coated. Add 300 ml water, sendha namak, or rock salt to taste, stir, cover, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork. Combine lime juice and fried cashews. If using coriander leaves is allowed, add them now. Toss with a fork to combine, then turn off the hob.

Spoon into a serving dish and serve immediately while still hot.