Vat Purnima Vrat, also known as Vat Savitri Vrat, is a ritual fast observed by married Hindu women across North and Western India. The Vat Savitri-special dishes are offered first to the gods as a Bhog, and then consumed by devotees as Prasad. From Bargada and Thekua to Sheera and Dhirde, here are the key Vat Purnima Vrat 2023 dishes to have.
India is a diverse land with plenty of festivals that celebrate the power of Mother Nature and women, and one such festival is the Vat Purnima or Vat Savitri Vrat. Legends from Hindu mythology explain that Savitri, on learning that her husband, Satyavan, is destined to die, undertakes a fast to protect him. When Satyavan dies under a vat or banyan tree and Lord Yama comes to claim him, Savitri follows him all the way to hell to claim her husband back, alive and well. The story is one of resilience in the face of adversity and death, and inspires the following of the Vat Purnima Vrat even today.
Vat Purnima Vrat, today, is celebrated by married Hindu women across India. The ritual fast for Vat Purnima Vrat is usually done by women from North Indian states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and the regions around Nepal, as well as Western Indian states like Maharashtra, Goa and Gujarat. Vat Purnima Vrat is celebrated on the full moon or Purnima during the three days of Jyeshtha, the month in the Hindu calendar which usually falls in May-June every year.
In 2023, Vat Purnima Vrat will begin on June 3, 2023 according to the Drik Panchang. The Purnima Tithi will end at 1:41PM on June 4, 2023. As this fast is ritually followed by married women for the wellbeing of their husbands, women are expected to not only observe the fast but also tie a ceremonial sacred thread around a banyan tree and listen to the story of Savitri. A Bhog or Prasad is also prepared using rice, pulses, seasonal fruits and regional sattvik recipes to mark the occasion.
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Wondering what are some dishes that are prepared for the Vat Savitri Vrat Bhog? Here are some Vat Purnima Vrat Bhog dishes that are prepared across India.
Also known as Vat Savitri prasad, Bargada is a traditional and compulsory Vat Purnima Vrat Bhog dish is prepared across North India on this day. A dough is prepared with wheat flour, cardamom, ghee and molten jaggery. Occasionally, dry fruits are also added to the dough. The Bargada dough is then divided into small, equal-sized balls, which are deep fried and served as a Bhog to appease the gods.
A must for every Purnima throughout the year, Kheer is a compulsory Vat Purnima Vrat Bhog dish. The Vat Purnima Kheer is usually white in colour to represent the colour of the full moon and signifies purity. So, this Kheer is packed with rich milk, rice, cardamom, dry fruits and sugar, and is usually offered to the full moon before being consumed by devotees as Prasad.
You might associate Thekua with only Chhath Puja in Bihar and UP, but the fact is that it is also prepared as a Vat Purnima Vrat Bhog dish by women of the region. While Bargada is round in shape, Thekua is also made with a similar dough and deep-fried—but is usually given pretty shapes using traditional moulds.
In the state of Maharashtra, Shingada Sheera is especially prepared as a Vat Purnima Bhog dish. Also known as Farali Singhara Halwa in Gujarat, this sweet dish is prepared with water chestnut flour, ghee, sugar or jaggery, cardamom and dry fruits. Packed with protein, this Bhog dish is a must-have on Vat Savitri Vrat.
Because Vat Purnima Vrat usually takes place during summers, mangoes are easily available across India. This is why Aam Murabba is especially made for this ritual fast as a Bhog dish, especially in UP and Bihar. Grated raw mangoes are cooked with jaggery and aromatic spices like cardamom to make this sweet dish that falls technically between a chutney and a pickle.
Also known as Farali Cheela in North India, Upwas Dhirde is a special dish prepared during Vat Purnima Vrat. A Bhajni flour, which is a mix of Rajgira and Samak, two ancient and sattvik grains, is used to make this easy Dhirde. Seasoned with green chillies, cumin seeds and sendha namak, the batter is prepared with a mix of water and yoghurt, and then fried with ghee on a tawa.