Navratri is here & so is the delicious Navratri Food
Voila, The biggest festival of Hindus is here and so does the Navratri Food. It is that time of the year when you just want to have a lot of fun in pandals and let everything loose. It is that time of festivities when you can find people around you fasting and putting restrictions to their diets.
There are religious and scientific reasons behind the Navratra fasts & Navratri Food will give you a healthy detoxified body. If you do it the right way, fasting detoxifies your body. Sattvic food keeps the mind and soul clean. The fasting ritual associated with Navratras might not seem fancy like the Paleo diet, but the main intention is to detoxify the body.
You don’t believe this? Just think about the Navratra thali. You might look at people who are fasting and wonder why they’re depriving themselves of good food. Take a closer look at that Navratri Food. The food covers every category of nutrition you can think of.
The Navratra fast is totally a perfect mix of scientific and religious rituals in that one diet. The ritual is supposed to be followed for nine days. This tradition has been around since the time of Puranas. Navratri was first mentioned in the Markandeya Purana. It described how the nine forms of the Goddess Durga are worshipped on those nine days.
Historical significance of the Navratra fasting
Hindus believe that the world is filled with distractions. Distractions keep a man away from taking the path of spirituality. So, one must work to put limitations on oneself to focus on the mind. Fasting is one way of focusing.
It is also a great way of observing self discipline. It motivates the body and mind to survive the hardships of the world and resist all temptations. Ancient Hindus believed that gratification of the senses involves eating tamasic or rich food. To starve means to elevate them to contemplation. This is done through consumption of sattvic food.
Science behind the religious ritual of Navratri food
When there is a major season change, our bodies become more susceptible to diseases. A good diet is important to improve our immune power. So the ancient Indians started the new seasons with a diet that would help them cope up with the seasonal changes. The diet itself is backed by ayurveda, which explains that tamasic food items shouldn’t be eaten frequently. They harm the body eventually. But, sattvik food is recommended for this season, being extremely healthy.
You might think that ayurveda doesn’t cure the body as fast as allopathy does. While that is true to an extent, ayurvedic prescriptions do the same job naturally. Ayurveda allows your body to get habituated to the changes that are needed in the long run. If we carefully notice, the components of the sattvik diet are pretty similar to the recommendations that modern dieticians and nutritionists
Significance of Sattvic Navratri food
It is believed and proven that tamasic food can bring out laziness whereas rajasic food can induce restlessness. Sattvic food can make you feel energetic. Sattvic food is organic and wholesome. It promotes strength, intelligence and courage. Vedas say that the sattvic food not only meets your physical requirements of carbs, proteins and fats. It also keeps you healthy mentally and physically.
What kind of ingredients can be included in the food
Consume the conventional flours and grains that are a part of the Navratri diet – buckwheat (kuttu) flour, water chestnut (singhara) flour, amaranth (rajgira) flour, and millet (saame) flour.
Do you know? All these are gluten-free, and recommended as healthy wheat flour alternatives all over the globe.
Some other ingredients you may use during your fast include rock salt, pumpkin, potatoes, groundnut oil, ginger etc.
The whole structure of the Navratri vrat or fast is based on the idea of a healthy lifestyle. It functions as one of the best detox programmes of followed properly. If you only end up eating potatoes, sago (sabudana) fritters, and other deep fried items like pakoras and
vadas, you will do as much destruction as the tamasic food items would do.
Instead, go for a nutritious and balanced diet. Include a little of every dish you can rustle up in your Navratra thlai. This makes sure that you absorb all the goodness from the sattvik ingredients.
Interesting dishes you can try during your fast
Kuttu Ki Puri
Boil and mash some potatoes. Add in the salt, kuttu atta and potatoes. Knead into a pliable dough and make small balls out of it. Roll them into puris and fry.
Kaddu (pumpkin) Raita
Grate the kaddu. Boil and let it cool down. Mix the kaddu with beaten curd and temper it. Serve it chilled.
Sabudana (sago) Khichdi
Soak sabudana overnight. Wash it under under running water to get rid of extra starch. Marinate it with spices and cook with tempering.
Khus Khus Aloo
Khus Khus Aloo is also known as Aloo posto in Bengal. For this, grind some khus khus seeds (poppy seeds) with water. Lightly brown boiled potatoes in a pan, add the posto mix, some chillies and other spices. Serve hot.
Kachche Kele Ki tikki(Raw banana tikki)
Boil and mash raw bananas. Add some sendha namak, chilli powder and chaat masala. Deep fry them. Additionally, you can also bake them for a healthier alternative. Season with salt and spices. A tasty vrat snack is ready.
Lauki ka halwa
Shred and parboil the lauki(bottle gourd). Heat some ghee in a pan. Add the lauki and stir till it’s completely cooked. Add sugar (you can use jaggery for a healthier option) and cook till the sugar melts. When the halwa thickens, it is done and ready to serve.
As the name suggests, fruit chaat is an assortment of cut seasonal fruits. This is a no cook dish. Dice fruits of your choice. Sprinkle some chaat masala and black salt on them. Relish! An easy yet flavourful navratra snack is ready.
All theses delicious dishes, what else can we ask for? A navratra platter is a perfect combination nutrients. It has everything from starters to desserts. After all, good food is just what we need to make the festivities better & Navratri Food is on top of the charts.
Tips and guidelines for a successful navratra fast:
- Rock salt (sendha namak) is the only salt you can using during Navratri. It is not only beneficial for your blood pressure but also helps in better mineral absorption than common salt. The amount of salt should be appropriate.
- Do not fill your stomach with fried snacks. The vrat platter has some interesting and delicious fried snacks. Don’t go overboard with them.
- You can instead roast, boil or bake the meal. This will help you balance the aftermath of fried snacks you might eat.
- Kuttu flour is a combination of proteins and carbs. Including kuttu flour in your meal during this time is a great idea.
- When you feel like eating fried snacks specially made for fasts, control yourself and gobble up some fresh fruits or roasted nuts as your mid-day snacks.
- Eat in small quantities but do not starve yourself.
- Have foods brimming with micronutrients, phytochemicals (disease fighting foods) and antioxidants.
- Include alternate foods for some variety.
- Make sure all of your food is cooked healthily to ensure nutrition.
- Break your fast with fluids such as vegetable juice, fruit juice, milk, coconut water etc.
- Make sure you plan a major meal that includes alternate grains. Cook this in minimal oil, and try to have it before sunset.
- If you feel all this food will make you heavy, you can cut down the intake. Replace ?rd of your platter with fruit chaat. This will make you feel light. It’ll deliver the required nutrients to your body. It does not let you feel weak at the same time.
Happy Navratri 🙂
Balance your everyday diet pattern with controlled eating ,as done during a fast. Practise this on a regular, long-term basis, it will prove to be healthy. It not just helps in keeping your weight in control. It also promotes digestion, prevents diseases and improves energy. This practice improves your metabolism. Moreover, it promotes a feeling of well-being. Diet like this will help you shed many kilos. It will also boost your energy! So what are you waiting for? This Navratras, detoxify your body with the Navratra fast while getting Durga maa’s blessings.
Happy Navratras from the Fitso team!
Stay happy, Stay Fitso
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