Yes, it's that time of the year again and the holy month of Shravan is being celebrated by fasting. While for some it has already started, there are states that start fasting from next week onwards. And, the very first thing that comes to mind when you're fasting is definitely the food. And, more often than not, while fasting, we're confused as to what to eat and what to avoid. However, it mostly depends on households and the region you come from, but here is a Shravan food guide that we've deciphered for you that'll give you basic guideline as to what you can and cannot eat.
Here are some food items that you CAN eat:
Rich in potassium, dietary fibre, vitamin C, and folate, fruits are the best things to consume while you're fasting. Tomato, which is also a fruit is eaten in some regions while avoided during Shravan in others. Seasonal offerings are probably the best way to include fruit in your diet.
2. Dairy Products
Milk, paneer, curd, unsalted butter, buttermilk and lassi are a few milk products you can indulge in while cheese products can totally be avoided.
3. Dry Fruits
Dry fruits are a great way to feel full faster and when added to milk and yogurt, they prove to be a great supplement. Masala Milk < with a heap of almond, cashew, pistachio and walnut powder is a much-loved recipe during the Shravan fasting period. Another way of consuming these nuts is roasting them off with a little bit of Senda Namak, making for a great mid-meal snack. You can also enjoy peanuts in all forms-roasted, toasted or fried!
4. Senda Namak
As opposed to regular salt, Senda Namak is the choice to make when it's Shravan time. If you need to get it from your regular kirana wala, all you have to ask for is, Upvas Ka Namak.
5. Bottle Gourd Or Lauki
While some regions eat this vegetable whole-heartedly during the Shravan period, others completely avoid vegetable that are grown above the soil. Recipes you could make with lauki are Bottle gourd curry and halwa, both of which are delicious to eat while you're fasting.
Potato is not only a versatile vegetable but a great source of comfort too during the times when you're not supposed to eat quite a few things. From fries to chips to boiled and everything in between, sweet potatoes, yams and potatoes can be gorged on in all forms.
Grains like Kuttu, Rajgira, Samo, Singhara and millets can be used to make chapati, thalipeeth or puri to go with a classic potato curry.
No fast is complete without Sabudana, an ideal Shravan delicacy that can be prepared with various forms like Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Kheer, Sabudana papad, Sabudana crispy etc.
Interestingly, moong is the only type of pulse that can be eaten during the Shravan fast while others like Kabuli Chana, all the types of dals and rajma should be avoided.
What to Avoid:
1. Regular Salt
Some people avoid salt entirely during the Shravan period while others use Senda Namak in their food. But, the regular salt, epsom salt, rock salt and pink salts should definitely be avoided.
2. Brinjal and Leafy Vegetables
According to the Puranas, one should avoid the intake of eggplants during the holy month because it considered impure. Leafy Vegetables are avoided during the rainy season mainly because of the bacteria and insects that it hoards.
3. Garlic and Onions
An obvious way to adhere to Saatvik eating is to avoid these two components entirely. Most of us find it hard to eat food without garlic and onion but there are delicious recipes that you can indulge in and you won't even realise that you're missing it.
4. Meat and eggs
Non-vegetarian and eggetarians, keep red meats, white meats and eggs at bay if you're observing the Shravan fast. We have a cure for your meat cravings with this Banana Kebab recipe!
Liquor consumption is considered Taasmasik in nature which broadly means spoiled, stale, tasteless and impure. And, therefore it becomes an obvious no-no during fasts.
6. Red Chilli Powder
Green chillies are used instead of the red chilli powder in order to bring in the spice quotient during the Shravan period. While according to the Hindu mythology, spicy foods should be totally avoided during this period, with differing beliefs the practices were altered, keeping green chillies and black pepper pithing limits.
7. Flours: Rava, Sattu, Wheat and Rice
People often mistake rava and sattu as upvas ingredients but they're completely off limits if you're observing Shravan. Even flours like besan, corn, bajra and jowl shouldn't be eaten.
Be it just plain milk or white chocolate, chocolates are the forbidden fruit for Shravan season. But, let that not stop you from observing this fast as there are a lot of alternatives to your sweet cravings.
Think of her as a delicacy. She could be a red sauce penne pasta or refreshing strawberry smoothie. A little sweet, quite tangy and unapologetic on the palate. Her soul is that of a gastronome, mind of an illustrator and heart of a writer. She uses these ingredients to plate up tasty stories about food at India Food Network as an Associate Editor. Be it her blogs, articles, reviews or food shows; she promises a wholesome affair.