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Maharashtrian Upvas (Fasting) recipes
Last Updated : Jan 11,2018
Best Foods for Fasting
Fasting is a practice that is closely intertwined with Hindu culture. It is a way of enforcing mastery over our senses, focusing on prayers to God rather than sensory pleasures like food. A religious fast is very different from the modern notion of fasting and dieting for detoxification, weight loss, etc. In a religious fast, the fasting principles combine abstinence with religious rituals. By consuming sattvik foods and focusing on God, both our mind and our body get detoxified in an enduring and effective way.
For full benefits, you need to systematically follow the fasting practices. Generally, those on a fast get up early in the morning and take abhyanga bath to purify their body. Women make sure they wash their hair on fasting days. Then, they wear clean clothes and visit a nearby temple of the God whom they are fasting in honour of. For example, if they are fasting on Monday, they visit a Shiva temple; on Tuesday, they go to Ganpati mandir or Durgamata temple; on Thursday, they go to Saibaba mandir or Gurudutt mandir; on Friday, they go to Durgamata or Santoshimata temple; and on Saturday, they will worship at Shanidev or Hanuman temple.
Then, at home, they clean the puja ghar, give a bath to the God’s idol with chandan or utna (a fragrant herb paste), offer fresh flowers and garland, doop or agarbathi and aarthi with ghee or camphor as per their practice. It is also auspicious to do puja with tulsi leaves. It is also customary to make Panchamrut Panchamrut or Trithamrut. Panchamrut consists of five elements like milk, curds, honey, pure cow’s ghee and sugar. A few tulsi leaves may also be added. Many people also break a coconut and offer to God along with sweets, which are later distributed to others as prasad. Some offer fruits as bhog.
Only sattvik foods are to be consumed during a fast. Normally, grains are not consumed. Many fasts also have specific rules. For example, some people observe a no-salt fast on Tuesdays. Likewise, those who fast for Santhoshimata, do not have sour foods. Some people take curds during a fast, while many people especially in South India have curds only when they break the fast and not during the fast. Likewise, some communities do not have coriander and mint while fasting. So, it is best to know the rules of your fast from an elderly person at home or your family priest, and plan your meals accordingly.
Generally, you can start your day with a breakfast of fruits with a hot beverage like tea, coffee or milk. Try the Fresh Fruit Salad with Basil Dressing, Fruit and Nut Milkshake, Masala Milk or South Indian Filter Coffee.
For lunch, you can have some dishes made of kand like Sweet Potato Rabadi, Sweet Potato Khichdi, Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes or Potato Khichdi. Sabudana Khichdi or Sama Pulao with a peanut based accompaniment like peanut curry or chutney makes a sumptuous meal. You can also go for something crunchy like the Potatoes and Buckwheat Pakora. Add some fruits to the meal too.
In the evening, before ending the fast, they perform aarti and offer naivedya or panchpakwaan bhog to the God. This includes some sweet dish like kheer , srikand, basundi or rava sheera. If the fast is for Ganpati, then it is customary to offer modak or ladoos. Delight your favourite deity with delicious offerings like Steamed or Fried Modak, Puris and Mango Shrikhand, Puran Poli, Basundi or Varan Bhaat. When you are short of time, go for something quick and easy like the Rava Sheera. South Indian delicacies like the Paal Payasam are also mouth-watering treats ideal to make for naivedya.
After aarti and naivedya, the fast is broken by eating regular but saatvik food like rice, dal, chapatis and subzis. Some fasts are broken on the same evening while others are ended only the following morning. In South India for example, the Ekadashi fast is broken only the next morning by having a special meal called the Dwadashi Parana, which is cooked without tamarind and raw bananas. It includes amla and sundaikkai (Turkey Berry), simply boiled or prepared as a raita. The meal also includes rice, some subzis, Mor Kuzhambu (a gravy made of curds) and Lemon Rasam.
Perhaps because of the devotion that goes into the cooking or because of our peaceful state of mind and increased concentration during a fast, the faraali dishes always turn out to be awesomely tasty. So tasty that they are often wiped out by friends and family who are not fasting! So make sure you make generous amounts of the fasting food and bhog as well!
Try Our Other Maharashtrian Recipes…
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54 Maharashtrian Bhaji Recipes
24 Maharashtrian Chutneys Pickles Recipes
33 Maharashtrian Mithai Recipes
40 Maharashtrian Rotis Polis Recipes
15 Maharashtrian Snacks Nashta Recipes
29 Maharashtrian Varan Amti Kalvan Recipes
26 May 16
Potato Khichdi , Faraal Aloo Khichdi by Tarla Dalal
A satiating and tasty khichdi made without any cereals or pulses – can you believe it? Well, here is a unique khichdi made with potato as the base. Perked up with crushed peanuts, green chillies and lemon juice, this lip-smacking Potato Khichdi has a pleasing combination of spiciness and tanginess t ....
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Rajgira Paneer Paratha ( Faraal Recipe) by Tarla Dalal
A sumptuous recipe that is sure to satiate you even on a fasting day! Here, wholesome rajgira parathas are stuffed with a succulent mixture of grated paneer perked up with green chillies, lemon juice and coriander. What makes this Rajgira Paneer Paratha very appealing is that the rotis are made of a ....
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Upvaas Thalipeeth ( Faraal Recipe) by Tarla Dalal
A satiating thalipeeth made of rajgira flour is the perfect food to have on a fasting day. Perked up with grated potatoes and crushed peanuts, not to forget some lemon juice and green chilli paste, the Upvaas Thalipeeth is a real treat to your palate too. Remember to season your thalipeeth with rock ....
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Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Shakarkand Snack by Tarla Dalal
Sweet potatoes, which are naturally gifted with a pleasant taste and mouth-feel, are ideal to serve as a snack! While there are many ways to enjoy this yummy veggie, the Oven Roasted Sweet Potatoes are especially tasty and aromatic.
Here, the sweet potatoes are cut, laced with spices and roasted ....
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16 Nov 17
Sabudana Kheer, Indian Dessert for Fasting by Tarla Dalal
The Sabudana Kheer is a tasty and satiating dessert
, ideal to have on fasting days.
Made of sabudana cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar, this kheer has a very rich taste and interesting mouth-feel. As it kee ....
17 Oct 16
Varan Bhaat, Maharashtrian Varan Bhaat by Tarla Dalal
Varan Bhaat is a famous Maharashtrian
dish of steaming hot rice topped with ghee and lentil curry. The toovar dal is prepared in a simple and homely manner that will appeal to everybody.
Onions, tomatoes, green chillies and spices add to the flavour o ....
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Rava Sheera, Sooji Ka Halwa, How To Make Sooji Halwa by Tarla Dalal
A wonderful dessert that can be prepared in minutes. It does not require much advance preparation, and can be whipped up even at short notice. Rava sheera is traditional, yet modern in its simplicity, making it a sheer delight.
Sheera makes a traditional and delightful combination with
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Potato Wafers, Farali Potato Chips Recipe, Fasting Recipe by Tarla Dalal
This faraali version of Potato Wafers is much, much tastier than regular wafers, because it is perked up with rock salt and black pepper.
These two ingredients add a lot of zest to the Potato Wafers, making it a real treat to the palate. The irresistible crunch of Potato Wafers now comes toget ....
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Sanwa Dosa Recipe, Crispy Varai Dosa by Tarla Dalal
Sanwa Dosa is a crispy, flavour-packed dosa just like the Rava Dosa, one of South India’s most famous snacks. Once cooked, it is difficult to differentiate between Sanwa Dosa and Rava Dosa!
This is good because you get the same taste with a better grain, and also it can be had on fasting days. A ....
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Sabudana Khichdi, Upvas, Faraal, Fasting Sago Khichdi Recipe by Tarla Dalal
Sabudana Khichdi is a perfect food for those on a fast – but generally wiped off by others in the family who are not on a fast also, because it is so irresistibly tasty!
The chewy texture and starchy taste of sago is so beautifully complemented by the nutty flavour of coarsely powdered peanuts ....
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Potatoes and Buckwheat Pakora, Kuttu ki Vrat Pakodi by Tarla Dalal
Sometimes, when vrats coincide with festivals, there is a lot of work to do and there are lots of visitors too, so you cannot go on a total fast. You need something tasty to serve your guests and also to keep you energised.
Recipes like the Potatoes and Buckwheat Pakora, which are absolutely exc ....
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