Chaitra Navratri 2024: 7 Foods You Can Eat During Your Fasting

Navratri is a major Hindu festival that is celebrated four times a year, although Chaitra Navratri and Sharadiya Navratri are the most widely observed. Falling in the crux between spring and summer, Chaitra Navratri is celebrated for nine days, during which the body and mind is prepared for the summer season through a cleansing diet. Fasting is observed by devotees as a means of cleansing and spiritual discipline. Often, the fast entails giving up food and keeping vigil throughout the night. This self-control exercise is thought to cleanse the body and mind, encouraging devotion and spiritual development.

Grain and pulses are not allowed during the Navratri fast because they are tamasic (characterised by lethargy) and can interfere with spiritual and meditation practices. Following the ascetic traditions of Navratri, fasting entails ingesting Satvik (pure) foods such as fruits, milk, and root vegetables in order to enhance the spiritual experience and foster mental clarity.

Here is discussed all the types of food can be taken while fasting during Chaitra Navratri:

1. Shabudana Khichdi: 

During Navratri, Sabudana Khichdi is a traditional food for fasting that has a distinct texture and delicious taste. It is made with peanuts, soaked tapioca pearls, and mild spices, giving it a fluffy, airy texture. It tastes like a well-balanced nutmeal with a touch of heat. Sabudana Khichdi is a simple food to digest and gives you energy all through the fast. Since tapioca pearls are devoid of grains and are regarded as Satvik (pure), they fit the dietary guidelines for the fast. This dish is a tasty and nutritious choice for those keeping fast.

Video Credit: YouTube/ Hebbars Kitchen

2. Makhana Kheer: 

A delicious treat that is consumed during fasting in Navratri is makhana kheer. It has a rich, creamy flavour and is made with milk, sugar, cardamom, and saffron, as well as fox nuts (makhana). The makhana gives a distinct texture that contrasts with the kheer's smoothness by being crunchy. The makhana is prepared by first frying it in ghee until golden, and then boiling it in milk that has been sweetened until it thickens. Makhana is a highly esteemed component for fasting, seen as pure and Satvik, which makes it a perfect option for celebrations of Navratri.

3. Fruit Salad: 

A fruit salad blends the natural sweetness and different textures of different fruits, making it a refreshing and Sattvik alternative. It is made by cutting fruits, such as berries, apples, and bananas. Apple crispness and banana creaminess combine to make for a delicious combination. Fruit salad is eaten during the fast because it is pure and follows the Sattvic diet. Fruits are thought to be light, readily absorbed, and beneficial for meditation. They also help to sustain energy levels during the fast and help in the spiritual journey.

4. Dry Fruits: 

During the Navratri fast, many consume dry fruits because they have a rich, sweet flavour and a variety of textures. Dates, raisins, cashews, and almonds are some of these nutrient-dense snacks. To concentrate flavours and nutrients, fresh fruits are dried before being prepared. Dry fruits help throughout the fasting phase by supplying vital vitamins and minerals and long-lasting energy. Dates' natural sugars provide you a short energy boost, and nuts give you satiety. During this holy observance, its ingestion promotes mental clarity and spiritual focus in accordance with the principles of a Sattvik diet.

5. Shabudana Kheer: 

The delicious fasting food sabudana kheer has a soothing texture and a creamy taste. The preparation involves simmering tapioca pearls in milk until they soften and turn transparent. This cardamom-flavoured and sugar-sweetened kheer is a fragrant and flavourful treat. During the Navratri fast, consuming Sabudana Kheer promotes purity and lightness, which gives Sattvik beliefs. Because they are readily digested, tapioca pearls are dedicated to Lord Shiva as it offers continuous energy during the fast.

6. Root Vegetables: 

Because they are Sattvik in nature, root vegetables including sweet potatoes, potatoes, and yams are preferred during the Navratri fast. When cooked with few spices, these veggies have a subtle, nourishing flavour. The way they are cooked affects their texture, which can range from soft to somewhat firm. Boiling or roasting brings out their inherent sweetness. In keeping with the Sattvik ideals of simplicity and purity, these root vegetables offer prolonged energy, vital nutrients, and effortless digestion during the fast, promoting a clear and concentrated mind for spiritual activities on this auspicious day.

7. Dairy Products: 

During the Navratri fast, dairy products come in a variety of flavours and textures. Paneer, or cottage cheese, gives a chewy and robust texture, while milk and yoghurt offer a creamy and nutritious ingredient. Ghee intensifies taste and richness. These dairy products are easily absorbed, which is consistent with fasting guidelines. Devotees say eating dairy products throughout the fast promotes a calm and concentrated state of mind that is ideal for meditation and other spiritual activities. It also helps to maintain energy levels and satiety while adhering to Sattvik (clean) dietary rules.