Navratri 2023: 7 Delicious Fasting Recipes for Upvas Vrat
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Navratri, a vibrant and spiritually significant Hindu festival, spans nine nights of devotion and celebration from 15th October to 23rd October. It's a time when devotees across India and beyond come together to honour the divine feminine energy, symbolised by the goddess Durga, through rituals, dance, and fasting. Among the various customs observed during Navratri, fasting, or "Upvas Vrat," holds a special place. 

During this period, individuals abstain from consuming grains, lentils, and non-vegetarian foods as an act of penance and devotion. However, Navratri fasting doesn't have to equate to dull and mundane meals. Instead, it can be a culinary exploration filled with delicious dishes that cater to both the spiritual and gastronomic senses. 

Let’s embark on a flavourful journey, presenting seven mouthwatering dishes that are not only suitable for Navratri fasting but also promise to transform your Upvas Vrat into a delightful and indulgent experience. From Sabudana Khichdi to Sabudana Kheer, these recipes offer a spectrum of tastes and textures that will make your fasting period during Navratri a celebration of both faith and food.

1. Sabudana Khichdi:

Sabudana (tapioca pearls) is a quintessential ingredient during Navratri fasting. Sabudana Khichdi is a popular dish made with soaked sabudana, roasted peanuts, and spices. It's light, flavourful, and provides the necessary energy for fasting. To make it, soak sabudana overnight, and then stir-fry with cumin seeds, crushed peanuts, green chilies, and curry leaves. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with yoghurt or cucumber raita for a satisfying meal.

2. Rajgira Paratha:

Rajgira, also known as amaranth flour, is another staple ingredient for Navratri fasting. Rajgira Paratha is a nutritious and filling option. Mix rajgira flour with boiled and mashed potatoes, rock salt, and a hint of green chilli to form a dough. Roll out into parathas and cook on a hot griddle with ghee. These parathas are rich in essential nutrients and fibre, making them an excellent choice for your Upvas Vrat.

3. Singhara Aloo Tikki:

Singhara (water chestnut) flour is commonly used during Navratri fasting. Singhara Aloo Tikki is a crispy and savoury snack made by combining singhara flour with boiled and mashed potatoes, green chilies, and a touch of sendha namak (rock salt). Shape the mixture into small tikkis and shallow-fry until golden brown. Serve with mint chutney for a delightful treat.

4. Kuttu (Buckwheat) Pancakes:

Kuttu (buckwheat) pancakes are a wholesome and versatile choice for Navratri fasting. Combine kuttu flour with grated potatoes, sendha namak (rock salt), green chilies, and a pinch of cumin seeds. Make thin pancakes on a hot griddle using ghee. These savoury pancakes can be enjoyed with yoghurt or aloo (potato) sabzi, making them a filling and delicious meal option during your fasts.

5. Sama Rice Pulao:

Sama rice, also known as barnyard millet, is a nutritious grain suitable for fasting. Sama Rice Pulao is a one-pot dish that's easy to prepare and delicious. Sauté sama rice with ghee, cumin seeds, and diced vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and peas. Add sendha namak, black pepper, and water, and let it cook until the rice is fluffy and aromatic. Garnish with roasted cashews and fresh cilantro for added flavour.

6. Singhara Aloo Tikki:

Singhara Aloo Tikki, a crispy and savoury snack, is an ideal addition to your Navratri fasting menu. Combine singhara (water chestnut) flour with boiled and mashed potatoes, green chilies, and sendha namak (rock salt). Shape the mixture into small tikkis and shallow-fry until golden brown. Serve with mint chutney for a delightful treat.

7. Sabudana Kheer:

Sabudana Kheer, a delightful dessert, is a perfect way to end your day of fasting during Navratri. Instead of regular rice, use soaked sabudana pearls and cook them in milk until the mixture thickens. Sweeten with jaggery or honey, and add cardamom powder and chopped nuts for flavour. Sabudana Kheer is a comforting and indulgent treat that satisfies your sweet cravings while staying true to your fasting traditions.

Fasting during Navratri doesn't mean compromising on taste and flavour. These seven dishes, from Sabudana Khichdi to Coconut Ladoo, offer a variety of flavours and textures to make your Upvas Vrat a delicious and satisfying experience. With the right ingredients and a little creativity, you can enjoy a wide range of mouthwatering dishes while observing your fasts during this auspicious festival.