Navratri Recipes: Navratri Fasting Recipes | A Collection Of The Best Navratri Fast Foods
Navratri or Navratras mark the Indian festival in honour of goddess Durga. Navratri is observed over a period of nine nights and ten days. The word ‘Nav’ stands for nine and ‘ratris’ means nights. Devotees observe a Navratri fast eating only Navratri recipes for 9 days.
This Navratri, Yummefy brings you the most popular and sought after collection of Navratri special food recipes from our kitchen to make your fasting phase smooth and enjoyable.
Why do we celebrate Navratri? | Significance and rituals
Before we go on to share our Navratri recipes, let us tell you the significance of Navratri. For starters, here’s a fun fact – there are actually four Navratri that fall during one calendar year. But the most important one of them, Sharada Navaratri, is observed by most to honour Goddess Durga's victory over evil, where each night one of the nine forms of Goddess Durga is worshipped. Sharada Navaratri is usually observed during the autumn months of September or October.
In North India, Navratri is observed with the organization of Ramlila events across every region where the story of Ramayana is performed on stage. The tenth day, called Dussehra is marked by burning of the effigy of Ravana, the demon god along with his brothers Kumbhkaran and Meghnath. This effigy-burning ritual marks the victory of good over evil.
In Eastern India, West Bengal and neighbouring country of Nepal, Navratri is celebrated as Durga Puja with much fervour.
The state of Gujarat celebrates Navratri with much gusto. Here, apart from fasting, Garba, a traditional folk dance is performed in traditional colourful attire. Sometimes, the dance rituals involve the use of playful sticks or dandiya where the hand and foot movements of the dancers are coordinated. Likewise, the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana etc. have their own Navratri rituals too.
Navratri food | What to eat and what to avoid during Navratri
It is customary for those observing Navratri to fast and only eat specific Navratri recipes. The uninitiated often ask - What can you eat during Navratri fast? Special grain-free ingredients for fasting such as kuttu (buckwheat flour), singhada (water chestnut flour), potatoes, sabudana (made from tapioca), millets such as sama ke chawal, and all kinds of fruit are traditionally used by the fasting devotees during Navratri to prepare easy Navratri recipes. These days, however, amaranth or rajgira and quinoa are also used in Navratri food recipes. These Navratri special food recipes are made sans onion or garlic. Rice, wheat, and lentils are not eaten during this period. However, milk and nuts can be consumed. Those observing a fast during this period only use rock salt (sendha namak) instead of regular salt.
Can we eat rice in Navratri fast?
Rice is not eaten during Navratri as it is a grain and is not allowed as an ingredient for Navratri recipes. You can find a substitute for rice below.
Navratri recipes for 9 days
When you are on a grain-free fast for nine days, you should ensure variety in your diet so you get all the nutrition and energy needed. Having an assortment of Navratri recipes on the table also makes sure the food on your plate is always interesting.
Start your day with a power-packed breakfast of Sabudana Khichdi which is textured, nutty, slightly spicy and is full of protein. Of our many favourite Navratri vrat food recipes Sabudana Khichdi Recipe stands out as it can be prepped in minutes and keeps you full for quite a while. Hop over to our Navratri recipe videos which detail the process step-by-step.
Navratri fasts are more about abstaining from certain foods rather than going hungry all day. While many spend their days eating fruit to keep hunger pangs at bay, in case you crave a filling dish, you should try healthy Navratri food recipes such as our Sabudana Tikki recipe which has boiled potatoes and sabudana as the main ingredients along with chillies and spices, and freshly chopped coriander. These tikkis are soft and crunchy at the same time. Enjoy them with some fresh hari chutney made with sendha namak instead of regular salt.
Aloo Tikki and Paneer Tikki are also prepared and eaten during Navratri. Aloo chaat made with boiled, diced, and shallow-fried potatoes (till golden and crispy) is a great option too. Sprinkle the fried potatoes with some cumin powder, sendha namak, kala namak, amchur, and lots of lemon juice. Kuttu ke pakode can be made by preparing a thick batter of kuttu flour mixed with spices, sendha namak, and deep frying them. You could also make them with a mix of kuttu and singhada flours.
Meal times, whether lunch or dinner, can be challenging during a fast. We make it simpler for you with our crowd-pleasing Dahi Wale Aloo. This healthy Navratri food recipe is tangy with the use of yogurt, and has zingy ginger, aromatic curry leaves, and spices as well. Dahi Wale Aloo is so delicious you will not notice the missing onion and garlic. You can serve this along with some vrat ki puris. Singhara puri recipe, kuttu poori recipe, and rajgira puri recipe are the ones we recommend. The Aloo Kashmiri Mirch recipe is another commonly made Navratri recipe.
If you’re a rice lover, we recommend nourishing Vrat ke Chawal made from sama or samak rice, a perfect (and allowed) rice substitute; also commonly known as barnyard millet. Our Vrat ke Chawal recipe is packed with myriad flavours such as peppercorns and green cardamom pods and spices such as ginger and chilli. This amazingly simple recipe also packs in the taste and texture of peanuts and cashew nuts making it simply irresistible.
Depending on the tradition in your home, you may choose to do the ‘kanjak’ or the puja of nine girls who are considered to be the manifestation of goddess Durga. The girls from the neighbourhood are fed puri, chana, and halwa as part of the ritual of ten on Ashtami. Our delicious Sukha Kala Chana Masala recipe is just apt for the occasion. Delicious and protein-packed kala chana are cooked in a spicy and flavourful masala and freshly fried hot puris are its true match.
Banana Lassi Recipe
Combine milk, yogurt, and fruit for this awesome banana lassi to make a perfect Navratri recipe for breakfast. Place two ripe bananas in a blender or food processor. Add 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, 240 ml yogurt (1 cup), ice cubes, and 120 ml milk (about ½ cup). Run the blender till the banana lassi is smooth. Check consistency and add up to another 120 ml water (½ cup) to get the consistency you desire. Blend for another few seconds. Pour into two tall glasses and serve after sprinkling with chopped pistachios; garnish with a sprig of mint.
Besides snacks which take care of little cravings throughout the day, many Navratri recipes
for dessert can also be prepared. These could include Malpua recipe made with singhada flour and Badam Kulfi made using milk, sugar, almonds, and natural flavouring such as saffron and cardamom.
When we talk about aromatic desserts our Kesar Shrikhand recipe or Saffron Shrikhand is clear winner. Creamy, creamy, sweet, subtly aromatic, and bearing the goodness of yogurt, this is one recipe everybody ought to try.
Makhana kheer recipe is among the easy Navratri food recipes prepared during these days using milk, sugar, and nutritious fox nuts or makhanas along with aromatic spices. Kaddu Halwa recipe made from pumpkin, sugar, and ghee is delicious and healthy too! But creamy, sweet, and flavourful, Millet Kheer is a great gluten-free choice and is one of our favourite Navratri fast food recipes. If needed, it can be also made lactose-free by replacing regular milk with coconut or almond milk.
If you like coconut, there is nothing like adding Coconut Ladoo to your list of easy Navratri recipes. Prepared with coconut, milk, sugar, saffron, and ghee, these ladoos are simply divine. With just a handful of ingredients, the nariyal ke ladoo can be prepped easily. They have long been the chosen traditional offering on many auspicious occasions across India. So why not make them a part of your festive treats too?
And finally Badam Halwa is a rich and decadent dessert which has the goodness of almonds. It is made in ghee and uses a lot of almonds; thus a small helping goes a long way during Navratri fasting days.
Armed with this collection of the best Navratri fast foods and step by step Navratri recipe videos, your fasting period will be a breeze.