Navratri 2023: 8 Vrat Ingredients To Stock Your Fasting Kitchen

The festive season in India is about to commence and things will kick off on the 15th of October with Navratri, a 9-day celebration of Goddess Durga and her avatars. During this time people across the country will be gearing up for a week of celebration, Garba, Dandiya, pandal hopping and spending time with their loved ones. But it’s also a time of religious fasting, a culinary cleanse where devotees abstain from any harmful foods and follow a Sattvic diet which is believed to purify the body.

During this period, cooking at home can become a bit complicated because all the staples of Indian cuisine such as rice, atta and even regular table salt are off-limits. So it’s important to stock up in advance to make sure you have access to plenty of delicious, healthy and vrat-friendly meals to choose from. 

Here are 8 ingredients that should be in your Navratri pantry:

Sendha Namak (Rock Salt): 

A staple of the season, sendha namak is a pure mineral salt, devoid of any extra impurities. It’s believed that regular salt produces heat in the body and that sendha namak cools the body from within. It's used during fasts due to its distinct purity and is gentler on the body than regular salt.

Kuttu Flour (Buckwheat Flour): 

India has a multitude of indigenous grains that don’t always get the attention they deserve. Kuttu flour in particular is usually only seen around fasting times. High in nutrients and easy to digest, serves as a great source of energy. It's a staple during Navratri and can be used to make delectable dishes like paranthas that will fuel you through even the most rigorous garba session.

Singhara Flour (Water Chestnut Flour): 

Flour shows up in so many ways in Indian food, from crusty samosas to soft chapatis, so of course, when fasting days roll around, finding replacements is high on the list of priorities. Singhara flour, derived from water chestnuts, is gluten-free and packed with essential minerals. It's a versatile option for making puris, chapatis, and sweets.

Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls):

No Navratri menu quite feels complete without sabudana khichdi, so of course, Sabudana needs to be on your shopping list! Sabudana is a quick source of energy and a common choice during fasts. These pearls are used to prepare delicious dishes like sabudana khichdi and vadas.

Makhana (Fox Nuts): 

Snacking can also be a challenge during Navratri, and most fast food and processed foods aren’t encouraged in a vrat diet. Makhana on the other hand is low in calories and high in protein, making it an ideal vrat snack. These crunchy water lily seeds can be roasted till they pop like popcorn and then seasoned as per your preference.


There’s no bad time to have potatoes, but during Navratri, they become especially important. High carb and dense with fibre, potatoes can make you feel full for longer and sustain you during fasting. They are used to create various dishes like vrat-friendly aloo curry or tikkis.

Fresh Fruits: 

The most pure and natural option for any snack break, fresh fruits are a must during Navratri. Not only are they a fundamental part of most offerings, they also offer natural sugars and a dose of vitamins. Opt for bananas, apples, and pomegranates to keep you energised.