Navratri is a Hindu festival which actually happens four times in a year. But only two of them - Chaitra Navratri and Sharad Navratri - are celebrated widely across the country. During Chaitra Navratri people fast and follow certain food rules.
Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March and April), while Sharad Navratri is celebrated in the month of autumn (October to November) with full zeal.
Chaitra Navratri marks the transition from spring to summer, and Sharad Navratri marks the beginning of winter.
During Chaitra Navratri, people fast and delicious preparations are made like sabudana vada, sabudana khichdi, singhade ka halwa, and so on.
During this time, your immunity also tends to get low and your body becomes more prone to sickness. By following a clean diet while fasting will fortify yourself from within.
Read on to know the Chaitra Navratri food rules while fasting.
1. Flours And Grains
During the Chaitra Navratri fast, you can't consume grains like wheat and rice. You can eat other alternatives like buckwheat flour, and water chestnut flour. You can also have amaranth flour. Instead of rice, you could consume barnyard millet, which is used to make khichdi, dhoklas or kheer.
2. Spices And Herbs
While on a Navratri fast, you need to refrain from using the normal salt. Instead go for rock salt, as it is a highly crystalline salt which is made by evaporating sea water and does not contain high amounts of sodium.
You can use spices like cinnamon, clove, green cardamom, cumin powder, black pepper powder, etc.
During fast, one can consume all kinds of fresh fruits and dry fruits. This is the best time to enjoy the seasonal fruits such as mangoes, watermelon, apples and muskmelon. For all the nine days during Navratri, some people only eat fruits and milk.
Some turn to a vegetarian diet for these nine days. Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potato, yam, lemons, raw pumpkin and ripe pumpkin are given more preferences. You can also consume spinach, tomato, bottle gourd, cucumber and carrots.
5. Milk Products
Consuming milk and other dairy products like curd and paneer can be eaten during fasting. White butter, ghee, malai and other milk preparations can also be consumed. Buttermilk and lassi are great drinks to have during Navratri.
6. Cooking Oil
During fasting, avoid cooking in refined oil or seed-based oils. Refined oils like vegetable oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, etc., should not be consumed. Instead, cook your food in desi ghee or peanut oil.
7. Other Food Options
You could try including other food options like makhanas, coconuts, coconut milk preparations, tamarind chutney, peanuts and melon seeds.
List Of Foods To Avoid During Chaitra Navratri
- Prepare foods without onion or garlic.
- Keep away from legumes and lentils.
- Strictly avoid non-vegetarian foods like eggs, chicken, mutton, lamb, beef
- Avoid alcohol, aerated drinks and smoking.
- Avoid including cornflour, all purpose flour, rice flour, gram flour and semolina.
- Turmeric, mustard, fenugreek seeds and garam masala are also not allowed to be had during fasting.
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