Navratri is one of the biggest and most important festivals celebrated in India among Hindus. It is celebrated with great ardor twice a year for a stretch of nine days throughout the entire country. Navratri refers to the nine auspicious nights during which Goddess Durga is worshiped and has its origin in Hindu mythology, wherein Goddess Durga is believed to have different incarnations with each female deity signifying a distinct power.
During Navratris many people observe vrat or fast. While Traditionally people used to fast for nine days, now most people observe the festival by eating one time meal after sunset. The auspicious festival of Navratri is characterized by a distinct cuisine especially tailored or those who observe some type of fasting or restrictions on which food items to eat during this period.
As a general rule, people don't drink alcohol or eat non-vegetarian dishes during these auspicious days, and many don't even consume onion and garlic. The Navratri dishes don't make use of cereals like wheat flour, rice etc. and instead use flours made from vegetables. Thus ingredients like Kuttu Ka Atta (Buckwheat Flour), Singhare Ka Atta (Water Chestnut Flour), Rajgira Ka Atta (Amaranth Flour), Samvat ke Chawal (Barnyard Millet) and Sabudana (Sago) along with vegetables which vary from region to region, Makkhana (fox nuts or lotus seeds), milk, yoghurt, nuts are used for Navratri dishes. The choice of spices is also limited to the basic ones and instead of common salt, Sendha Namak or Rock salt is used as it is believed to be un-processed. Legumes and lentils are also avoided in these foods. Many see the vrat as a means of detoxifying their bodies.
Eating healthy and nourishing foods becomes really important during festival season marked with fast during day times and it has given rise to a plethora of Navratri dishes which add to the joy of these festivities and also provide a refreshing change along with a balanced and nourishing diet.
Check out this collection of Navratri fasting Recipes which can be easily made at home.
A Collection of easy Navratri Vrat Recipes
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