Everything You Need To Know About Navratri Fasting
navratri 2023

Got a Navratri-Related Query? We Answered 55 Most-Asked Questions!

List of dos and don’ts, yes and nos, everything you need for a fool-proof nine days of fasting has been covered in this review.

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Navratri is a bi-annual, nine day-long festival held to honour Goddess Durga. Some believe it marks the change of seasons, others are of the opinion that Navratri is dedicated to the triumph of good over evil. 

It is also believed one observes fast to eliminate these virtues- kaam (lust), krodh (anger), lobh (greed), moh (attachment), ahankar (ego), darr (fear), irsha (jealousy), jadta (inertia), nafrat (hate), paschataap (guilt).

If you plan on observing fast this Navratri but have some questions in regards to the what, how, and why, this list of questions and answers on Navratri will ensure a hassle-free before, during, and after for you. 

1. Can we eat hing (asafoetida) during fast of navratri?

Most of the spices (masalas) are avoided during navratri fast which includes hing also. People avoid using common salt and use sendha namak instead of this.

2. Is peanut butter allowed during fasting?

Technically, yes! Make sure you’re consuming the unsweetened variant with just peanuts and no emulsifiers, palm oil, additives. It is crucial to check the ingredient list. 

Best Brands Of Peanut Butter

3. Can we eat packed potato chips when fasting?

Making fresh potato chips in less oil is a better alternative to packed potato chips. If you are eating packed potato chips, then it will negate the whole process of detoxification during fasting. 

4. Why do some people not eat haldi (turmeric) during fasting?

Turmeric is a spice that is considered Sattvik in nature but due to its bitter taste and tendency to produce warmth in the body, it is omitted from fasting foods. 

5. Are rasgullas fast-friendly?

Yes. Rasgullas are made using chenna which is derived from milk.

6. Is green tea permitted when fasting?

Yes, fluids are the best way to keep hydrated during fasting which includes green tea also. You can also have lemon water but with sendha namak, coconut water, butter milk etc. 

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7. What about coffee, can it be had when one is observing fast?

Yes. Tea and coffee are allowed.

8. Can we use red chilli powder to prepare fast-friendly dishes? 

This is subjective and varies from household to household. Some homes permit the use of red chilli powder, while some don’t. To avoid any confusion, you can use green chillies and pepper instead. 

9. Cucumbers during fasting. Are they allowed?

Yes. Cucumbers are light and have a high water content which makes them filling and one of the best foods to consume during fasting.

10. Can we consume cumin seeds in the fast of Navratri?

Yes. Cumin is added to sabudana tikki, khichdi, suhang ke chawal etc.

11. What about tofu, can I have it for protein during Navratri fast?

No. Tofu is made using soybean. Legumes and pulses are not allowed during this period. 

12. What about paneer in my main meals when I am observing fast?

Yes! Since paneer is derived from milk, you can consider adding paneer to your fasting diet. 

13. What about whey protein supplements? Can I drink that during the Navratri fast days?

Yes, you can consume whey protein supplements. However, ensure it is unflavored and does not contain any artificial sweeteners or additives. 

14. And cardamom to flavor my tea during fasting, is that permissible?

Yes, you definitely can use cardamom.

15. Are banana chips a fast-friendly snack?

Typically, banana chips are relished during fasting. However, ensure they are seasoned with sendha namak and not regular salt.

16. What about protein bars, can I consume them when observing fast?

There are very few protein bars that are made with fast-friendly ingredients like dates, unflavored whey, and nuts. We recommend scanning the ingredient list before consumption. 

17. Could you suggest a replacement for rice during Navratri fast days?

Samak ke chawal are the most common rice replacement during Navratri. The texture is similar to that of rice and the nutrient-rich profile makes it ideal to satiate appetite. 

18. Sprouted moong for breakfast for Navratri fast days, would that work?

No, all kinds of pulses are avoided during this festival.

19. To sweeten my beverages/meals, can I add jaggery? Is that fast-friendly?

Yes, jaggery can be used during these nine days. 

20. I crave ice-creams and chocolates, can I consume those? Or is that against Navratri Upvas rules?

It is advised to not consume store-bought desserts. You can prepare a fruit-based ice cream at home. Add some peanut butter to dates for a chocolate-tasting dessert. 

21. Is lauki allowed during Navratri?

Yes! Infact lauki or bottle gourd is highly consumed during the March-April Navratri due to seasonal availability. You can use it to make koftas, kheer, barfis, raitas or opt for a simple sabzi too.

Some Tips For A Feast-Like Fast

22. How to stay adequately hydrated when fasting during weather change?

It is essential to not chug large amounts of water in a go. You can consume fruits that have high water content like melons, apples, grapes, and oranges. 

Milk and yogurt also have substantial water content.

23. What are the components of a Navratri Thali?

There is kuttu ki poori, aloo sabzi, kaddu sabzi, raita, samak chawal pulao, and a paneer dish. Often a dessert like makhana kheer or petha.

tastiest navratri thali review - top pick

24. Which is the best Navratri Thali in Delhi NCR?

We tried four Navratri Thalis in Delhi NCR and found Sagar Ratna Navratri Thali to possess the tastiest flavors and maximum variety. 

25. I wish to have additive-free curd, how can I set thick curd at home?

Using a clay pot, adding a whole green chilli, setting curd in a casserole, using full cream milk are a few of our recommended methods. You can check out the details here

26. I feel lethargic after a few days of Navratri fast, any tips to prevent this?

You must ensure your meals are balanced and there is some activity. Meals and snacks should have all macro and micronutrients in proportion and light stretching and walking are recommended. Also, stay hydrated. 

27. There’s office/class, how do I adhere to Navratri Upvas fasting rules?

You can pack your meals/snacks in lunch boxes. Makhanas, fruits and nuts are quick, convenient options you can opt for. 

28. How do I manage my blood sugar levels on days I am observing fast?

Consulting your diabetes educator/counselor or nutritionist is recommended as they are in the best position to advise you. However, keep check of your carbohydrate intake and adjust dosage of insulin accordingly. 

29. Mango drinks like Frooti and Maaza. Can we consume them?

Although there are no restrictions on fruits, most fruit-based packaged drinks contain preservatives or additives that might not be suitable to consume during a fast.

30. Please suggest some unusual snacks.

A list of some unusual snacks that you might like:

– Arbi ke chips

– Sabudana and peanut thalipeeth

– Bhein ke chips (lotus stem)

– Kuttu ki papdi chaat

– Badaam cutlet

– Walnut and paneer tikki

– Samak ki kheer

– Kaddu ki tikki

– Sesame potatoes

– Anjeer and paneer balls

– Sweet potato patties

– Makhana and badam chaat

snackadoodle appearance

The Feast After The Fast

31. How do I break my Navratri fast?

Fresh fruits, salads are great ways to break the fast. The first meal after breaking the fast should not be processed. 

32. What should my first meal after Navratri fast comprise?

Initially, stick to home cooked meals that are not loaded with spices or oils. Gradually, you can move back to your everyday diet. Stay hydrated, it is crucial.

33. Can I eat fast food after nine days of fasting?

Yes, you can but not instantly. After your body has become accustomed to proper home cooked meals, you can consume fast food. 

34. I do not have an appetite after observing Navratri fast. What should I do?

This is quite common. Start with liquids (lemon water with salt and sugar) and do not force feed.

Prepping For The Nine Days

35. Is a fruit only diet sufficient during Navratri fast?

Not really, you need to add some type of fat and protein via nuts, dairy-based products like lassi or chaas. 

seasonal fruits kept in a fruit basket

36. How many times can I eat during these nine days?

This is subjective. While some consume once a day, others might have two full meals or none at all. You must consult elders at home for this.

37. Some interesting onion and garlic-free recipes please?

Paneer gravy, matar sabzi are two onion and garlic-free recipes that are prepared during Navratri. If you are not observing fast, but plan to avoid onion and garlic, you can use a blend of spices to create devouring dishes. For more aloo-based no-onion and no-garlic recipe ideas, click here

38. I have intense dessert cravings, how do I tackle them during Navratri fast?

Dates make for a vegan, fast-friendly dessert. You can try one of these recipes too. 

medjool dates for natural sweetness

39. Can you suggest some cooking/pantry staples for Navratri?

If you plan on fasting as per salt diet, you would need kuttu atta, samak chawal, sago, amaranth, fox nut flour. To add flavor, you can use rock salt, kali mirch, jeera, cardamom, amchoor, and cloves. Milk products like milk, curd, paneer, cream, ghee can be consumed. All fruits and nuts are permitted. For vegetables, you can go for potatoes, arbi, sweet potato, raw banana, kaddu, raw papaya, cucumber, and ginger. Ghee and peanut oil are ideal to be used during these nine days. 

40. Some packaged/ready-to-eat foods that are fast-friendly?

Although there are many RTE foods that claim to be fast-friendly, we suggest that you scan the label before consumption. Depending on your rules and regulations set by the elders and keeping religious sentiments in mind, we suggest looking at the ingredient list thoroughly. There could be additives, cooking oils or masalas that might be restricted during Navratri for you.

Stay On Top Of Your Health, Internal and External

41. How do I ensure a good workout when I am observing fast? 

Do not train intensely, keep the sessions lighter, as you may be consuming fewer calories. Stick to short, 30-minute workouts. These can include walking, stretching, and yoga.

42. I feel lightheaded during fasting. How do I prevent that?

This maybe because your diet is not balanced or you are dehydrated. Ensure decent water intake with micronutrients from fresh, unprocessed foods.

43. As a diabetic, what are some things I must know during the fast of Navratri?

Your meals must be balanced. Keep track of your sugar levels throughout the day and try to prevent fluctuations. 

44. Since eating changes during fasting, how do I keep my micronutrient intake in check?

Consume fresh fruits and nuts, this would be sufficient. 

The How To’s

45. How can I make crisp kaddu pakodas for Navratri?

To make crisp pakodas:

  1. Make sure you slice the pumpkin thinly.
  2. Use ice cold water to make the batter or refrigerate it. Colder batters equal crispier pakodas.
  3. You can also add soda water to make crispy pakodas.

46. Quick five-minute recipes you need to try.

The date and peanut butter Snickers, Rajgira Kheer, banana milkshake, dry fruit shake are quick recipes you can try this festive season. 

47. Four-ingredient dishes that make fasting easier.

It is summer time and milkshakes, smoothie bowls, kheers will be your best friends. 

Take fruits and nuts of choice, blitz them with milk, and jaggery as per taste- voila! Reduce the quantity of milk and you have a smoothie. 

48. I have raw bananas, how do I use them?

Raw banana pakodas, raw banana koftas in tomato gravy, raw banana and coconut kachori, Kalan curry are a few ways to use raw bananas. 

49. What salt and sugar must I consume during fasting?

Sendha namak and jaggery are recommended. 

dry inspection of the organic jaggery powder brands

50. How can I use makhane as snacks?

You can roast them in ghee and season with salt and pepper. You could also dip them in melted jaggery, sprinkle some sendha namak and that’s as good as caramel popcorn. 

51. Some tips for a successful Navratri vrat, please?

Try to keep yourself occupied. If not, you will be thinking about food constantly. Try sipping on water if you feel hungry. Have high volume foods like fruits. 

52. Is Navratri not in the month of October usually?

Yes, there are two Navratris, Chaitra and Sharad. 

53. What is the difference between Chaitra and Sharad Navratri?

Chaitra Navratri marks the beginning of summers in March/April while Sharad Navratri marks the commencement of winters in September/October. 

54. What is the significance of Navratri?

These nine days are dedicated to Goddess Durga and her nine avatars, it celebrates the victory of good over evil. 

55. How can I make softer kuttu rotis? 

It takes a whole lot of practice and some easy tricks to make this a seamless process. Here are 5 hacks to help make this process easier. 


From when Navratri starts to breaking your fast, and everything in between, anything you’d ponder over during these nine days has been covered in this post. 

Got more questions? Feel free to use the comment box below. 

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