Chaitra Navratri 2023: 9-Day Bhog Ideas For Fasting
Image Credit: Aloo Ki Kadhi | Image Credit:

This year’s Chaitra Navaratri will begin on March 22 and continue till March 30. Navaratri is literally translated to ‘nine nights’ and is observed to honour Goddess Durga. During these nine days, devotees worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga. In Chaitra Navaratri, devotees worship nine different incarnations of the deity that each symbolize specific powers. Nine incarnations include Shailputri, Brahmacharini, Chandraghanta, Kushmanda, Skanda Mata, Katyayani, Kaalratri, Mahagauri, and Siddhidatri.

During these nine days, the people observe fasts. Fasting is a way to show your gratitude toward the goddess. Most people give up non-vegetarian food, while many others skip onions and garlic from their meals. Some people may decide to fast only on the first and last days.

Generally, light foods like kuttu atta, singhara atta, fresh vegetables, milk, yogurt, and makhana are suggested as they are easy to digest. Instead of normal salt, rock salt, or sendha namak, is added to the meal during these nine auspicious days.

Devotees may often get confused as to what to eat during these nine days. There are special bhog recipes that can be added to your meal. The bhog recipes hail both from South India as well as North India. Take a look at nine bhog recipes for the auspicious nine days:

1. Sabudana Khichdi: This non-sticky Maharashtrian-style khichdi is made with sabudana. The delicious dish of tapioca pearls (sago) is made with potatoes, peanuts, and a few spices. It is a gluten-free recipe. Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates, which give most of the energy during fasting.

2. Rajgira Paratha:  It is one of the recipes used during fasting days. It is a healthy gluten-free flatbread made of rajgira atta or amaranth flour. During the kneading process, boiled potatoes are combined with other ingredients such as green chili paste, cumin powder, and rock salt. You can also add some chopped coriander and ginger paste.

3. Kuttu Ka Dosa: Move beyond kuttu pooris and try something different. If you like dosas, make crisp dosas with kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour) and fillings like potato and other seasonal vegetables. Pair it with mint and coconut chutney.

4. Aloo Ki Kadhi: The main ingredients are potatoes, chillies, and singhare ka atta. This healthy and tasty kadhi is a great lunch dish for the Navaratri festival. Soak in the delicious, tasty kadhi with potato cubes dipped in it.

5. Arbi Fry: Arbi, or Colocasia, is one of the simple and easy recipes for the fasting season. It is believed that arbi, yam, and sweet potatoes are better alternatives to potatoes when fasting. This arbi fry can be served hot or warm and eaten as a snack or with Rajgira paratha and green chutney or curd. After pressure cooking the arbi, they are tempered in ajwain and then seasoned with crushed black pepper, cumin powder, and green chillies.

6. Kele Ka Kofta: Kele Ka Kofta, or banana kofta, are crisp, spiced, pan-fried patties made with raw, unripe green bananas. One of the vrat recipes, kele ka kofta, is made by pressure cooking the bananas until they soften. Smash the bananas and add Indian spices like chopped ginger, green chillies, crushed black pepper, cumin powder, chopped cashews, and crushed peanuts. The bananas are made into kofta shapes and pan-fried in oil.

7. Singhare Ke Atte Ka Samosa: What can be the most fascinating teatime snack during vrat days? It is Singhare Ke Atte Ka Samosa. Made with fasting ingredients like chestnut flour, sendha namak, and a filling of spiced chironji, the samsosa can be best served with coriander chutney.

8. Makhane Ki Kheer: It is a sweet dessert pudding made with makhane (foxnuts), milk, ghee, sugar, and dry fruits. It is an easy and popular recipe that is often made during Navaratri. Makhana is considered to be healthier than popcorn or any other ready-to-eat cornflake cereals. The milk is thickened, and the powdered makhana is mixed in it and made into kheer.

9. Banana Walnut Lassi: Charge up your vrat days with this nourishing drink. This lassi is made with the goodness of yogurt, banana, honey, and walnuts. Drink this healthy lassi and keep yourself energized throughout the day.