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Fasting? Here's what you can eat

rediff Get Ahead bureau | October 05, 2005

As the year draws to a close, India celebrates a host of festivals.

Leading the festive brigade is Navratri, or the nine nights dedicated to the mother goddess who also represents Shakti or power.

Beginning with the first day of the Hindu month of Ashwin and ending with Dusshera or Vijayadashmi, the festival of Navratri celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Gujaratis celebrate Navratri with pomp and splendour. They hold art and culture festivals in public pandals, erected specially for the festival. Music and dance performances, plays, get-togethers and feasts are held long into the night. Business almost comes to a standstill.

In Gujarat, the power of the goddess is symbolised during Navratri by painted earthen pots called the ghata. These painted or decorated earthen pots are either filled with water, or have a lamp within, to symbolise the power of the goddess.

Guests and family are offered an array of delicious dishes during these nine days.

There is no typical Navratri feast in Gujarat. All kinds of sweets and savouries are served to guests.

During these nine days, many people in north India and in Gujarat keep a fast for the nine days.

Here are some delicious vrat (fast) recipes from Gujarat:

Rajgira Parathas


1 kg rajgira flour

1/4 kg potatoes

3 tsp ginger-chilli paste

4-5 tsp lime juice

Salt to taste


Boil potatoes, peel and mash them.

Add the mashed potatoes to the rajgira flour.

Add ginger-chilli paste, salt and water and knead it into smooth dough.

Roll into thick parathas.

Roast the parathas with ghee or butter. Serve hot.

Variation: You can substitute the rajgira flour with singhara flour

Kacche Kele Ki Sabzi (Raw Banana Curry)


2 raw bananas

1 stalk curry leaves

1 tsp dhania (coriander) leaves, finely chopped

1 green chilli, slit lengthwise

1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds

1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder

1/2 tsp arrowroot powder

1 tbsp curd

1 tsp lime juice

Salt to taste

1 tbsp oil


Fill a bowl with water. Add 1 tsp salt.

Peel and chop bananas.

Drop the pieces immediately in the salted water, else they will discolour

Boil water in another vessel.

Add the banana to the boiling water.

Add a pinch of turmeric.

Boil the pieces till they are tender but not mushy.

Drain and keep aside to cool a little.

Sprinkle curds, turmeric and salt over the banana pieces. Mix gently.

Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add cumin and curry leaves. Allow to splutter.

Add banana pieces, stirring gently.

Add cup water, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle arrowroot powder and lemon juice. Stir to make sure it blends in properly.

image Doodhi halwa


1 kg doodhi or bottle gourd

4 tbsp ghee

1 litre milk

100 gms mixed dry fruits (optional)

150 gms sugar


Wash, peel and grate the gourd.

Heat ghee in a kadhai.

Add the grated gourd to the ghee and cook till the gourd becomes translucent and soft.

Add milk and sugar and mix well.

Cook on a medium flame for about half-an-hour till the mixture becomes thick.

Remove from flame and garnish with dry fruits. Refrigerate for four to five hours and serve chilled.

Share your favourite recipes with us.

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: fastin!!!

wat rubbish is it!!! we never eat anything made which has salt we dont even touch it rather n more over u add ginger n ...

Posted by Kim

Sub: fasting all a myth

Is this this type of fasting the best way we can show god that we show our love& respect for all the hard times tht ...

Posted by andy

Sub: Fasting

you dont eat anything in fast.dont fool God.

Posted by amber


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