This year Sharadiya navaratri begins on 13th october, 2015 and ends on 21th october, 2015. Navaratri literally means nine nights and during this period, Goddess Durga or Shakti or Devi are worshiped in 9 different forms, known as Navdurga through out india.The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami when idols of Goddess Durga are immersed into the water body.

Navratri fasts occur twice a year. First one  ‘Chaitra Navratri‘ celebration is when summer is starting (march-april) and second ‘Sharadiya Navratri’ when winter is starting (oct-nov).Shardiya Navratri is the most popular and significant Navratri of all Navratris. That’s why Shardiya Navratri is also known as Maha Navratri.

In North and Western india, many people keep fast during navratri. Observing fasts during this is considered highly sacred, as it is a popular belief that the pleased deities grant the wishes of their devotees.Navratri fast also ensures the devotee a long prosperous married life.

Navratri fasting rules varies little from community to community. The same fasting rules applies for fasts during the ekadashi, janmashtami and mahashivratri fasts also.

Some people only have milk, fruits and fruit juices for the entire length of fasting.For devotees who observe partial Navratri vrat, the ritual involves breaking fast after evening puja. The devotees are resticted from consuming meat, fish, eggs, alcohol, onions, garlic, dishes made with common salt or any kind of spices.  Apart from tea, coffee and milk, sago ,bhagar and potato cooked with rock salt are extremely popular dishes among devotees observing partial fast. Milk products and dry fruits can also be consumed.


Food allowed for navratri vrat or fasting:


1) Sabudana / Sago /Sagubbiyam - you can make Sabudana Khichidi ,Sabudana Vada,Sabudana Kheer ,Sabudana Ladoos ,Sabudana Thalipeeth

2) Vrat ke chawal / Bhagar / barnyard millet /Samak Rice – you can make pulao, kheer, dalia, idli, dosa, upma .

3) Amaranth / Rajgira flour - you can make Rajgira pooris, Rajgira paratha ,Rajgira Ladoos ,Vrat ka Halwa , thalipeeth.

4) Buckweat / Kuttu flour - you can make Kuttu ki poori ,Dosa, paratha, pakoras, poori, halwa.

5) Singhare ka atta / water chestnut flour – you can make Singhare ki poori, paratha, pakoras, halwa .

6) Arrowroot flour or Paniphal flour – used as a thickener and binding agent


Spices & Herbs allowed for navratri fasting

1. Cumin or Cumin powder / jeera or jeera powder - you can add them to your curry or dishes .
2. Rock salt or Sendha Namak is generally used as a substitute for common salt in the recipes.
3. Coconut can also be used.
4. Peanuts / Groundnuts are used
5. green cardamom /chhoti illaichi, cloves /laung, black peppercorns /saboot kali mirch, cinnamon /dalchini  and nutmeg /jaiphal
6. Green chillies or hari mirch
7. Lemons.
8. Ajwain or carom seeds
9. Red chili powder – some folks include and some don’t
10.Ginger – both fresh as well as dry, including dry ginger powder
11.Sugar, honey, gur or jaggery
12. melon seeds (magaz) can be used
13. Amchur powder /Dry mango powder


Fruits and Vegetables allowed for fasting

 All Fruits are allowed. Vegetables like Dudhi/Laudki/bottolegourd , Aloo /potato, Kaddu/kumhara/pumpkin . Arbi/Kocchai /arum /colocasia, Suran/Jimikanda/Yam, Shakarkhand /sweet potato, Kheera /Cucumber , Kaccha Kela /plantain / raw banana.

Milk Products & Dry Fruits

 Milk, Curd, Paneer, Butter, Ghee, Khoya, Condensed milk, all milk prodcuts and dry fruits are allowed. Almonds,cashews, kismiss ,Fox nuts /Lotus seeds /Makhana etc can be used.


Keep yourself hydrated by drinking a lot of water. Also drink lot of fluids like milk ,coconut water ,sugar cane juice, lemon water ,butter milk , lassi ,green tea and fresh juices. These help you cleanse your toxins.




Foods to be avoided for navratri fast or vrat:

Foods generating lot of heat are generally avoided during navratri fast.

1. onion and garlic are strictly avoided.
2. no lentils (dals) and legumes.
3. common salt / Table salt  is not used and instead rock salt or sendha namak also called as upvaas ka namak is used.
4. Turmeric (haldi), asafoetida (hing), mustard (sarson or rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), garam masala and dhania powder (coriander powder) are not allowed.
5. Alcohol and non-vegetarian food is strictly avoided during this fast.

Flours and grains not allowed for navratri fasting:

1. rice
2. rice flour
3. wheat flour or atta
4. maida (all purpose flour)
5. sooji (rava or semolina)
6. besan (chickpea flour or gram flour)
7. Wheat rava

Disclaimer - I have tried to include everything to best of my knowledge, consulting with family and friends.But as  rules differs in each household and each community so in your home if something is avoided or included do follow that and treat this as a general guidelines.



Wish You all A Very Happy Navaratri !!!



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