Paryushan Mahaprav: 7 Dishes To Eat During The Fasting Period
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Paryushan Mahaprav or Paryushan, as it is commonly known, is a traditional spiritual practice originating in Jainism – an ancient Indian religion that emphasizes non-violence (ahimsa), non-possessiveness, and spiritual development. This period is dedicated by the community to engage in acts of self-introspection, fasting, and seeking forgiveness. Typically lasting eight to ten days, with varying duration based on the Jain tradition, it falls in the months of August to September according to the Gregorian calendar.

Many Jains choose to fast during Paryushana, with some observe complete fasting for various lengths of time, while others opt for partial fasting. Jains also spend time studying the sacred scriptures, reflecting on their beliefs, and engaging in meditation. One of the central themes of Paryushana is seeking forgiveness and reconciling with others where Jains engage in acts of repentance and request forgiveness for any harm they may have caused to others. They also emphasize acts of charity and giving during this period, providing support to the less fortunate.

During Paryushana Mahaparva, Jains traditionally practice strict vegetarianism and adhere to specific dietary guidelines. The food is meant to be simple, with care taken to ensure the absence of green or root vegetables in the diet. Along with this, eating before sunrise or sunset is also common practice, with some people also opting to consume no more than boiled water for the said period of time. However, if you are observing fast, here are seven dishes that can be prepared for Paryushana while adhering to dietary guidelines.

Sabudana Khichdi

Made with tapioca pearls, cooked with spices, sabudana khichdi is a popular fasting dish in India and ideal to eat during the period of fasting. Swap the potatoes for chopped raw banana, if needed. You could also add bulk to the khichdi by using dried peanuts that are crushed using a mortar and pestle for extra nuttiness.

Moong Dal Chilla

Lentil crepes made from ground moong dal, seasoned with spices, herbs, and served with chutney – the moong dal chilla is nutritious and packed with protein. Since most ingredients are off limits, it is important to add nutritional value to your diet using dishes that incorporate lentils and vegetables for a balanced diet.

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Paneer Tikka

Marinated and grilled cubes of paneer with spices and vegetables like bell peppers and tomatoes, the paneer tikka can also be made without the addition of onions, garlic and ginger to suit a Jain palette. Amp up the quantity of dry spices and add innovative flavours like crushed curry leaves and lemon juice for some extra zing.


This popular red kidney bean recipe cooked in a flavourful tomato-based gravy is rich in protein and can be served with rice or roti. Add some cubed paneer for some richness and cook the rajma in a gravy made with homemade spice blends. Enjoy when warm and don’t forget to add an extra dollop of ghee.

Corn Sabzi

Whether you make a dry preparation using the stir fry technique or one with a gravy, this corn sabzi is the perfect excuse to eat more corn during the monsoons. Rich in fibre and minerals, the corn sabzi can be enjoyed with rice, rotis, puris and more. Make it spicy and tangy to compliment the sweetness of the corn and balance in flavour.

Sprouts Curry

Another protein-packed savoury preparation, this sprouts curry is rich in minerals like iron and manganese, ideal to eat with rotis or rice. Add vegetables like bottle gourd, pumpkin or monsoon greens and corn for some extra texture and flavour as well as added nutrition. This sprouts curry can also be made as a dry preparation and eaten as a healthy snack.