While prayers and vigils go on throughout the night of Maha Sivaratri, which also makes the festival special is its characteristic fasting or the Maha Shivaratri fast. People observe the Mahashivratri fast to mark their devotion to Lord Shiva. However, not many can pull off this tough form of fasting, hence the majority of the devotees observe a fast where they can have fruits, milk and certain vegetables and non-grain items. If you are planning to observe a Shivaratri fast this year here are some foods that you can still have while on fast.
There is no bar on potato-based dishes, provided it has no onion, garlic, ginger or turmeric. It is permitted to have rock salt during the fast. You can have potatoes in the form of a plain soothing curry also known as Aloo kadhi and aloo tikki, aloo pakoda, aloo khichdi, sweet potato chaat, and aloo ka halwa too.
Non-cereal dishes made of sabudana, buckwheat or ragi are permitted during the fast. Sabudana khichdi, sabudana pakora, sabudana vada, kuttu singhare ki puri are some popular dishes consumed by devotees across the world on this special day.
Milk-Based Beverages and Desserts
It is said that Lord Shiva is very fond of milk. Each year Shiva devotees offer milk to the Shiva lingam. Milk is also consumed widely during the fast. You can have thandai, almond milk, makhane ki kheer, sabudana kheer during fasting.
Pakodas and Vadas
For snacks, try aloo pakoda, raw banana vadas, singhada flour pakoda too. Make sure it is not made in spices that are not permissible to consume during fasting. As far as spices are concerned, experts say that one may use cumin or cumin powder, black pepper powder, green cardamom, cinnamon, ajwain, black peppercorn.
Fruits and Dry Fruits
As mentioned earlier, devotees who can’t observe the nirjala fast, take a meal containing fruits, milk, and water, called Phallar. ‘Phal’ means fruits in Hindi/Sanskrit. Fruits are an integral part of every puja or fasting and Sivaratri is no different. You can have fruit chaats, fruit salads, and fruit milkshakes. In addition to fruits, you can also munch on a wide variety of dry fruits. Almonds, walnuts, dates, cashews, raisins and dried apricots all make for good munching options.