Navratri Fasting: What To Eat, And What Not To
Navratri is almost here! Nine days where people get colour coordinated, fast during the day and dance their heart out at night. In case you're also planning to observe fast during this festival, let me brief you about the food items you can and cannot eat during Navratri fasting.
Before I begin with this, let me tell you… There is no hard and fast rule in the fasting, it is quite flexible; it all depends on your will-power. While some people choose to abstain from non-vegetarian food and alcohol, others choose to avoid onion and garlic. Some stick to only milk and fruits; while others have only one meal through the day that too with a restriction on the ingredients used. So, you can opt for the kind of fast that you think you can diligently follow.
It isn't necessary that you observe the fast throughout the nine days; you can observe it for three days too – first fast during any one of the first three days, second fast during any one of the next three days, and last in any one of the final three days.
In case you're opting for the extreme Navratri fast (be it for any number of days), and are confused about what are the food items you can have, and what are the things you need to avoid, here's a checklist:
Foods to be avoided during Navratri fast or vrat:
Alcohol and non-vegetarian food is strictly avoided during this holy period
Onion and garlic
Lentils and legumes
Common salt. Instead, opt for sendha namak or upvaas ka namak
Turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), garam masala and dhania powder (coriander powder) are not allowed
Flours and grains not allowed during Navratri fasting:
Rice and rice flour
Wheat flour or atta
Maida (all purpose flour)
Sooji (rava or semolina)
Besan (chickpea flour or gram flour)
Food items allowed during Navratri fast:
Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, arbi, suran, carrots, cucumber, bottle gourd (lauki) and raw banana can be consumed.
Cumin (jeera), green chillies, black pepper, sendha namak, ajwain
Fruits and fruit juices
Milk products like ghee, cream, malaai, paneer, curd, white butter, khoya and condensed milk. Avoid using the paneer bought from market.
Sugar, jaggery, honey
Coconut, coconut milk
Tamarind (imli), kokam, yogurt and lemon juice can be used as souring agents
Tomato is something that some people choose to avoid during the fast. However, there are others who do include tomatoes in their dishes even during the fast.