As a child Shivratri always held a special place in my heart. The revelry in and around our home on this day was infectious. Some people started chanting mantras early in the morning while others loudly played bhajans on their tape-recorders for others’ benefit. Waking up early and accompanying our parents to the temple was a ritual. So was offering milk, flowers, prasad and belpatra to Shivji. The school holiday on an otherwise stressed March was an added bonus! 🙂
The loads of awesome fasting foods Mom made for us got us most excited though. A true foodie and an outstanding cook, Mom pampered us and our taste buds silly on Shivratri. Everything from sweet to spicy was made in ample quantities for our devouring all day long.
I’m sharing with you today some simple but tasty foods that you can have while fasting, or even when you aren’t. 😉 Digressing slightly from my usual healthy-eating route, this is an eclectic mix of indulgent and natural foods.
Upwas (fasting) Thalipeeth
One of my favourites, upwas thalipeeth is filling and delicious. You can make this using readymade bhajni flour available in the market. Else, you can make your own dough with rajgira flour. Add sabudana, mashed potato, crushed groundnut, finely-chopped coriander and spices. Have it with dahi or coconut chutney.
Sweets are an integral part of fasting. I gorged on Rajgira halwa once a day while I was fasting for Navratri last year. Limiting its intake is prudent since it needs a good quantity of ghee during preparation. It is also quite high in calories. A good helping of dry fruits in it isn’t necessary but, well, advisable. 😀
The most popular fasting recipe, my list would be incomplete without it. I’ve had most fun making it in umpteen numbers of ways. Adding potatoes, coconut slices, green chillies or red chilly powder, crushed groundnut powder or broken groundnuts, etc. the combinations are many. I like it best with dahi and baked potato chips. It can never go wrong!
Chikkis are always stocked in my home since both my kids love them. I feel they’re a better option than chocolates and can be made at home too. Dry fruits, rajgira, groundnuts etc. there are quite a few options. They’re best for light sugar cravings and give you an instant energy kick.
Fruits/ Milk shakes
Not everything has to be laden with calories on a fasting day, right? This is a pleasant time of the year when all fruits from grapes to mangoes are available in the market. Seasonal fruits have good essential nutrients and are a must for our health too. Have a milk shake with high sugar fruits like chikoo, bananas or mangoes and you can skip a meal, no artificial sweeteners required.
Shivratri has assumed another importance for us now because on this very day we booked our flat too. Today we complete three years of its ownership, all because of the blessings of Shivji. As I ready myself to visit the temple today I feel humbled and indebted for the love he unconditionally bestows upon us. After all he’s Bholenath, innocent and simple. Om Namah Shivaay!