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Simple and Satisfying Fasting Recipes

30 September 2010 15 Comments Print article Print article

With Navratri just around the corner, take some time to plan meals for your anusthan. Eating light and easy-to-digest foods during any intense practices helps maintain the subtle energy. With that in mind, see the recipes and list of recommended fasting foods below, which are recommended by Ma to support a successful anusthan. You can either make three fasting meals each day or make two fasting and one regular meal each day. Do whatever works for you. These recipes may ‘fasting’ but they’re simple, satisfying and delicious!

For a full list of fasting foods scroll to the list below.


Stewed Apples: A Simple-To-Make Breakfast or Snack:







Slice apples thin, put in a pot, and cover with water.  Cook until apples are soft.  Add a dash of cardamom, sweetener, and a little ghee before serving


Fasting Potatoes:

Serves 2-4

4 med. potatoes, small diced

2T oil

1 tsp. cumin seed

1tsp salt

1tsp crushed jalapenos

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 T lemon juice

¼ c. chopped cilantro

¼ c. unsalted peanuts, ground until crumbly


Boil potatoes until tender. Set aside.

Heat oil in skillet on med-high. When hot, add cumin seed and potatoes.

Reduce heat to medium-low.

Stir in salt, jalapenos, and lemon juice. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and peanuts and serve.


Spinach Salad:

serves 2-3


1 T oil

1 bunch of spinach, washed and chopped

¾ tsp. salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp. lemon juice


Heat oil in skillet at medium heat

When oil is hot, turn off heat and quickly add all ingredients.

Stir until spinach is wilted.

Remove from heat and serve.


Potato Carrot Soup:

Serves 4-6

6 c. water

4 med. potatoes, peeled and diced

2 med. carrots, diced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 T oil

1tsp cumin seeds

1/4c. chopped cilantro


Cook potatoes and carrots in pressure cooker with 2 cups of water at med-high heat until pressure builds and it starts to whistle. Turn off heat and wait until pressure is completely down.

Puree potatoes and carrots in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.

Add salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer on low for 10 min.

Add remaining water.

Heat oil in a small frying pan. When hot, add cumin seeds and heat until they start to pop. Add cumin seed mixture to the soup and bring it to a boil.

Thin the soup with more water if necessary.

Top with cilantro and serve.


Carrot-Raisin Salad:

Serves 4 – 6

3 cups carrots, shredded

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

pinch of salt

1 tsp. olive oil

1 handful of chopped cilantro or parsley


Combine carrots and raisins.

Cover with boiling water for 5 minutes.

Drain well and combine with the rest of ingredients while still hot.

Let cool and enjoy with a dollop of yogurt.


Quinoa With Potatoes and Carrots:

Serves 4 – 6

5 T oil

1tsp. cumin seeds

1tsp coriander seeds

2 medium carrots, diced

2 medium potatoes, diced

1 cup water

3tsp. salt

1 cup raw Quinoa–cook acc. to pkg. directions and let cool

cilantro, chopped

chopped chili pepper/ optional


In a heavy skillet, heat oil.

Add cumin and coriander seeds.

Add potatoes and carrots stir and add water and salt.

Cook until almost soft then add quinoa and continue to cook on low heat until veggies are cooked through and quinoa is hot.

Removed from heat and stir in lots of fresh chopped cilantro.


Samo Kitchari:

Serves 2-4

2T cooking oil or ghee

1tsp. cumin seeds

4c water

2c. samo (a grain, available at Indian grocery stores)

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced small

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

¼ c. cilantro, chopped


Wash the samo well, 3-4 times in warm water. Drain.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot add cumin seeds. As soon as seeds pop, add water and reduce heat to med-low.

Add samo, potatoes. Sir well and cover, stirring occasionally.

Simmer 10 minutes or until the water is gone and the mixture becomes porridge-like.

Stir in salt, pepper and cilantro. Serve with plain yogurt.

Optional: 1tsp crushed red pepper or 1 jalapeno finely chopped


Fasting Foods List:

Foods such as fruit, nuts, dairy and all root vegetables, except onions of any kind and garlic, make for the ideal diet during this time. Definitely avoid as alcohol, meat, eggs, onion, and garlic as they work against the energy of an anusthan.


All Root Vegetables: a few examples…

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes
  • Yucca Root
  • Jicama



  • Buckwheat
  • Quinoa
  • Samo (found at Indian grocery store)
  • Rajagaro (found at Indian grocery store)


  • Spinach
  • Cilantro


  • Black pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Green chilis
  • Neem leaves
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt


Nuts (all kinds)


Fruit (all kinds)


  • Milk
  • Butter/ghee
  • Yogurt
  • Sour cream
  • Half & half
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese (with vegetable rennet)
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Cream Cheese


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  • Janaki said:

    Sita Ram.

    This is terrific. Thank you!

    Is Fennel root, the bulb, fasting?

    What about avocodos?

    thank you!

  • sue rama said:

    The understanding of the Shakti team is that all roots, with the exception of those in the onion and garlic families, are fasting foods. So that would include fennel, turnip, celeriac and beets too. I once asked Bapuji about either tomatoes or avocados, saying they were fruits, and his response what that he felt that would be cheating! On the other hand, peanuts, which really are a legume, are considered okay. So the rules are not so clear. Ma said some folks eat bell peppers as fasting foods, but she would not. I just try to follow what I’ve learned so far the best I can.

  • Leela said:

    This is incredibly helpful! I am wondering about sugars/sweeteners. Are agave nectar, honey, and/or maple syrup fasting foods? Thanks for the clarification about tomatoes and avocados. I’ve always wondered about those (along with squash, another fruit). Sita Ram!

  • Krishna said:

    Sita Ram!
    Thank you for great tips&recipes!
    The website for Shakti looks fabulous!

  • sue rama said:

    We always put out honey at DYC VP anusthan retreats, so I think that is okay. I guess we’ll have to ask about agave when Ma and Bapuji are out of anusthan. If someone gets a chance to ask them out in CA, please post the answer here, thanks!

  • satya said:

    Rajagaro, as far as i know, is actually amaranth so you can find it in Whole Foods etc. I am not one who can do well on just fruit/nuts for breakfast so i do make hot cereal. Buckwheat and amaranth can be buzzed in a coffee grinder briefly which makes a course mix to cook as a hot cereal or buzzed longer to get a flour consistentcy. One of my favorite dishes, for fasting days or not, is made from garnet yams. Original recipe is in “Lord Krishna’s Cuisine” by Yamuna Devi. It’s mashed yam mixed with spices, sweetener (optional), ground nuts and flour. You can substitute fasting ingredients easily for the spices and flour. Then you roll the mix into patties and either pan grill in some ghee or bake on a ghee coated cookie sheet. Delicious and high fiber too.

    Sita Ram,

  • vj said:

    Can anyone please advise on which kind of flour is allowed in fasting.
    gram flour, corn flour, etc and what about samolina.
    many thanks

  • sue rama said:

    No flours made from wheat (including semolina), rice, corn, or any kind of dal would be correct for fasting. Although I believe amaranth (known in Indis as Rajgira) flour would be okay, since it is actually made from a a fruit or seed and not a botanical grain, I would want someone else to also confirm this.

  • vj said:

    thanks sue
    for your quick and timely manner.
    can advise if fizzy drinks and chocolates are allowed?
    Its less about taste and more about actually knowing it

  • vj said:

    sorry I actually meant “timely response” rather then timely manner.
    am actually constantly fasting & looking for as much info for fasting food only.
    any website recommendations.

  • sue rama said:

    I remember that an American disciple once told me that chocolate is not a fasting food, but I can’t see why since I just read on wikipedia that it is made from the seed of the cacao tree, and seeds are okay for fasting. After reading that, I would now happily eat it when fasting, but you may want further advice! I cannot see any problem myself with carbonated beverages. But I am definitely not an authority on this!

  • Janaki said:

    Years ago, when I asked Bapuji about chocolate ice cream in India when fasting, he said eat vanilla or strawberry. Also, I have lattes not mochas when fasting. I recall that Bapuji has said that it is not covered scripturally but they don’t eat it, as far as I know, when fasting.

    Buckwheat flour is fasting.

  • vj said:

    thanks everyone for comments. Also I would like to wish everyone “Happy Diwali” on this auspicious occassion.
    I trust we shouldn’t have ice cream or chocolates which has egg as ingredient.

  • NT said:

    Can we eat Quinoa in fast what is hindi name for it

  • sue rama said:

    These pseudo-grains are fine for fasting:

    A great bread:
    equal parts blanched almond flour and tapioca flour with almost equal part water, some salt. Make as a pancake. Batter should be just liquid enough to pour without glopping.

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