Mahashivratri will be celebrated on 1st March this year. It is an important religious festival for the Hindus which is celebrated in the honour of Lord Shiva. Mahashivratri can be referred to as 'Great night of Shiva' and it falls in the sacred month of Phagun as per the Hindu calendar.
People who celebrate the festival not only chant prayers and sing hymns but also observe a fast which is referred to as 'Mahashivratri Vrat'. Many people even observe 'Nirjala vrat' in which they have to stay without food and water. It is one of the toughest fasts and very few can observe it for the entire day.
Pregnant women, sick people and children are advised not to keep fasts. The people who have decided to do so, we have a list of healthy foods you can enjoy during your fast.
The people fasting on the occasion of Mahashivratri can enjoy various dishes made out of potatoes. Potatoes is an evergreen ingredient which can be cooked in various ways. Make sure not to use garlic, onion or turmeric while preparing the dishes and use rock salt only.
You can have various dishes without having to use the above mentioned ingredients like aloo tikki, aloo pakoda, aloo chaat, aloo curry, aloo halwa, etc
Tapioca pearls commonly referred to as sabudana by Indians is another option for a variety of healthy and tasty dishes. You can enjoy dishes like sabudana khicdi, kheer, tikki, chaat, roti, etc.
The best part about consuming sabudana during fast is that it keeps you full for longer since its loaded with nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.
Buckwheat flour is eaten a lot by the Indians who observe fast regularly and they refer to it as 'kuttu'. Kuttu is not only ideal for fasting recipes but also a healthy option. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, protein and is gluten free.
The flour also helps keep blood pressure and diabetes in control. It also contains traces of minerals like zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, etc. You can eat kuttu ki puris and rotis with aloo curry.
Makhanas are another favourite snack to be consumed during vrats. They are easy to prepare, carry around and last longer when prepared once. You can roast the makhanas in ghee and add a pinch of rock salt for taste.
It is great for mid-day hunger pangs even if you are at work. Makhanas are considered to be high in calcium, low in saturated fats and sodium. It also contains magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese which makes it a healthier snack option.
Fruits and Dry Fruits
There is another group of people who practice Phallar vrat, meaning that they do not consume salty or snackable foods but only consume milk, fruits, nuts and water. The word phallar comes from the sanskrit word phal which means fruits.
Fruits have always been an integral part of Hindu religious festivals and Shivaratri is no different. You can eat a bowl of different fruits as fruit salad and dry fruits as snacks. Consult your doctor to ask for fruits you can eat if you suffer from diabetes or other health conditions.