Finally, those special nine days have come that come only twice a year. Celebrated as one of the biggest festivals, Sharad Navratara (Winter Navratara) showcases nine colors in these nine days with different goddesses being worshipped on different days.
With fun and craze, it also brings some basic rules for fasting. So here is the list of what to eat and what not:-
Before we discuss what not to eat, let us discuss what the various options are:-
1. Vegetables: - potatoes, sweet potato (shakarkandi), arbi (colocasia taro roots), kachalu, suran/ jimkand/ yam (regular yam as well as purple yam) and raw banana, raw or semi ripe papaya can fit into your fasting diet plan.
2. Fruits and Dry Fruits: - All the fruits and dry fruits can find a place in your plate.
3. Flours and cereals: - People generally don’t eat usual flours and grains, such as wheat flour, and normal rice and pulses. You have alternatives as kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour), singhare ka atta (water chestnut flour), rajgira ka atta (amaranth flour), rajgira (amaranth), sama ke chawal ka atta (barnyard millet flour), vrat ke chawal (barnyard millet) and arrowroot flour or paniphal flour.
4. Milk products: - Fasting can lead to insufficiency of nutrients in your body so as supplement, milk and all milk products such as curd, cottage cheese (Paneer), homemade butter etc will be there.
5. Spices: - As we all know, normal salt is prohibited during fasting, rock salt (sendha namak) is used as its substitute. Apart from that, also, cumin or cumin powder, black pepper powder, green cardamom, cloves, black peppercorns, dry pomegranate seeds, cinnamon, ajwain and nutmeg are very well there. Some people also take coriander, curry leaves, mint leaves, black salt, red chili powder, dry mango powder and chaat masala and some people don’t eat them during navratri fasting.
Apart from them, there are several other options available in the form of sabudana, makhana, coconut, coconut milk, cucmber, sugar, jaggery, honey, ginger, green chilli, lemons, tamarind, lemon juice, kokum, melon seeds, peanuts etc.
After, we have discussed what to eat, it is mandatory to tell you what not to take if you are fasting:-
1. No onions, no garlic.
2. Say no to legumes including all the pulses, rice, rice flour, wheat flour, maize, gram flour, sooji etc.
3. As discussed above, no common salt is allowed during your fast.
4. Coffee, soya refined oil, flaxseeds, oats, corn, corn flour, corn starch are not allowed.
5. Last but not the least, take a break from alcohol, non-vegetarian food, smoking, aerated drinks and eggs.