The term ‘Janmashtami’ is a combination of ‘janm’, which means birth, and ‘ashtami’, meaning the eighth day of the month
One of the most awaited festivals for the devotees of Lord Krishna, Janmashtami, is just around the corner. Marking the birth of Lord Krishna - the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu - the term ‘Janmashtami’ is a combination of ‘janm’, which means birth, and ‘ashtami’, meaning the eighth day of the month. And thus, every year, this festival falls on the eighth day (ashtami) of Krishna Paksha in Shraavana, according to the Hindu calendar. This year, the day will be celebrated on August 19.
The festival is celebrated with a lot of fervour across the country by Hindus, as devotees also pay a visit to the temples to worship Lord Krishna, sing and dance to his devotional tunes, perform dramas showcasing his life, and so on. People also arrange pujas at their homes and prepare ‘chappan bhog’ for Lord Krishna.
For the unversed, ‘chappan bhog’ is a special prasad prepared for Lord Krishna that consists of 56 vegetarian sweet and savoury food items. Besides everything else, many devotees also observe ritualistic vrat on the day and eat only a single meal a day before Janmashtami. On the fasting day, they take a sankalpa to observe a day-long fast and break it on the next day. Through the day of fasting the devotees consume no grains, instead they take a meal containing fruits, milk and water, called Phalhar. Some devotees even choose to observe a nirjala vrat to please their deity, where they refrain from even taking a sip of water for the whole day. They break their fast by offering bhog to their beloved deity.
Those who are observing the fast are not allowed to consume any cereal. However, non-cereal food such as boiled potatoes, made into a curry without onion, garlic, ginger or turmeric, is a typical Janmashtami vrat meal of the afternoon. Sabudana and kuttu are some ingredients one can consume in a Jamnashtami fast. So kuttu or singhari ka puri, besides sabudana khichdi are some popular dishes consumed by devotees. If you are also someone observing a fast this Janmashtami, we’ve got some recipes to help you plan your vrat.
1. Sabudana Vadas
Sabudana is loaded with good carbs that fuel us with energy to keep going for the whole day. Thus, it makes for a great fasting meal. You can pair these sabudana vada with your morning tea and include it in your vrat-friendly breakfast. These potato and sabudana fritters seem like a perfect festive snack for Janmashtami fasting, don’t it?
2. Sweet Potato Chaat
Shakarkandi and rock salt tossed in with some spices makes for a yummy chaat that can be an excellent mid-day snack. Sweet potato is a vrat-friendly ingredient that is also consumed during navratri fasting.
3. Sabudana Khichdi
Another excellent delicacy for your lunch meal, sabudana khichdi can give you the much-needed energy boost while fasting. This is made with sabudana, peanuts, green chillies, sendha namak, and ghee. It can surely be counted among light and comfortable meals.
4. Sabudana Kheer
Traditional Indian desserts are a huge part of festivities in the country, and Janmashtami is no exception. So, what happens when you are fasting? You can still reap in the goodness of kheer, in a vrat-friendly way. This lovely, delicious festive dessert is made with sabudana, and flavoured with cardamom and saffron. It is wholesome, decadent, and absolutely irresistible.
5. Aloo Paneer Gravy
This no-onion, no-garlic gravy of aloo and paneer is flavoured with tomatoes, chillies, and a handful of spices, besides the goodness of paneer and potatoes. This recipe uses regular salt, you can substitute it with rock salt for a vrat-friendly dish.