While fasting is a pivotal aspect of many auspicious days in Hindu traditions, it is predominantly done in an effort to keep healthy. With Maha Shivratri around the corner, prepare for your vrat to avoid any untoward incidents.
A strict Maha Shivratri fast means avoiding all food and drink. However, some people may choose to eat soaked peanuts, fruits, milk and dairy foods, honey, sabudana or coconut water. Iodized salt is completely avoided and all foods are made using rock salt or Sendha Namak.
Fasting is a great way to give your body a break while cleansing it from the inside and reducing inflammation. “The Shivratri vrat, kept in the honour of Lord Shiva is for the mind and the body. Abstaining from junk, grains and cereal gives the body gets a break from hard to digest foods while meditation and spiritual practices help you achieve purity of mind. By limiting salt during the day, you can reduce bloating and water retention,” says Anushka Bhoj, Holistic Nutritionist. “
Intermittent fasting has become popular in recent years, with people following it for a variety of reasons, including increased lifespan, changes in human growth hormone, gene expression, and a reduced risk of illness.
Garima Goyal, Dietitian says “Science has backed the concept and health benefits of the age-old tradition of fasting. While we fast, our bodies can go under mild stress, which can eventually make the body cells stronger by increasing their ability to cope.”
Fasting is beneficial in weight loss, increase cognitive performance and decreases in risk of metabolic diseases. It has proven to prevent chronic diseases and even control blood sugar.
When easing in and out of the process of fasting, ensure you don’t start with a heavy meal and give your body time to get used to the process of digestion. Avoid trans fats, fried foods, refined sugar and processed foods when breaking the fast.
To make fasting an enjoyable part of life, it’s important the food is good for your health and your palate.
Hemp hurigadale tambittu by Chef Ravish Mishra, The Westin Goa
l 1 cup split chickpeas l½ cup desiccated coconut l½ cup grated jaggery l½ cup ghee l 1 tbsp poppy seeds l 2 piece of cardamom l 2m gms hemp seed l 5 gms dried hemp leaves
*Roast chana dal.
*Grind cardamom and dal into a fine powder.
*Roast the poppy seeds until they splutter.
*Roast the coconut until crisp and let it cool. Grind into a coarse powder.
*Heat the ghee in a thick pan and stir in the jaggery.
*Keep stirring on medium flame until it dissolves, forming bubbles.
*Add the coconut, followed by the poppy seeds. Stir.
*Add the powdered dal mix into the pan and switch off the flame.
*Mix in the hemp seeds and leaves.
*Add more ghee if you feel the mixture is too dry.
*Take small portions of the mixture and form ladoos.
*Roll in chopped dry fruits and serve with thandai.
Farali dosa by Chef Sahil Sharma of Fairmont Jaipur
Ingredients for Farali dosa:
1 cup barnyard millet l½ cup sago l water l 2 tbsp curd l½ tsp salt For spicy chutney: l½ cup coconut grated l 1 chilli l 1 inch ginger l½ cup coriander l 1 tbsp lemon juice l½ tsp salt l½ cup water
Ingredients for spicy chutney:
l½ cup coconut grated l 1 chilli l 1 inch ginger l½ cup coriander l 1 tbsp lemon juice l½ tsp salt l½ cup water
To make the chutney:
*in a small mixing jar take coconut, chilli, ginger, salt, coriander and lemon juice.
*Blend to smooth paste and it is ready.
To make dosa:
*Soak millet and sago for five hours.
*Drain water and transfer to a mixing bowl.
*Blend to a paste and add water as required.
*Add curd and salt to the batter and mix well.
*Cover and rest for four hours or until fermented.
*Heat non-stick pan, ladle batter and spread evenly.
*Cook on medium flame until dosa is cooked.
Kuttu Ka Dahi Bhalla by Chef Ashok Bandaru, Shangri-La Bengaluru
300 gm buckwheat flour l 75 gm boiled potato l 10 gm green chillies l 10 gm coriander leaves l 100 ml curd l 3 gm black pepper powder l 5 gm cumin powder l 30 gm sugar l 1 gm pomegranate seeds l Oil for frying l Salt
*Mix buckwheat flour, boiled potato, green chillies, coriander and salt.
*Scoop small portions of the mixture into hot oil.
*Deep fry the bhallas till golden brown and soak in cold water.
*Whisk curd, sugar, black pepper and cumin powder till it reaches a smooth consistency.
*Squeeze the excess water from the bhallas and place it in a bowl along with the sweetened curd.
*Garnish with fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds. Serve cold.