When it comes to Hindu festivals, Maha Shivaratri is, well, not as “festive” as the rest. While most festivals call for elaborated gaiety and sophisticated delicacies, Shivaratri is more solemnly celebrated. Observed for one whole day and one whole night, devotees spend the entire day fasting and meditating, and the whole night worshipping.

While some observe nirahar vrat, that is, complete abstinence from food and water, there are those who stick to a light diet of fruits and drink beverages like tea, coffee or milk, avoiding anything made out of rice, wheat, and pulses. They also refrain from eating anything after sunset. But, we know how difficult it is to suppress your hunger when you have to rush to office to attend an urgent meeting and stick to a glass of water after you drained your energy in a brainstorming session. Our sympathies are for you! Hence we bring to you the 3 most popular Shivaratri recipes that you can try without losing the solemnity of fasting. Essentially, these recipes ensure a light diet which will not tempt you to doze off during the night long vigil! Read on to know about these scrumptious recipes which will help you achieve food nirvana and keep your cravings under control! So, keep calm and enjoy a feast while fasting!

Lauki ka Halwa


  1. ½ lit. milk
  2. ½ lauki (bottle gourd), peeled
  3. ¾ cup sugar
  4. 100 gm. khoya (batti)
  5. 1 tsp. elaichi powder
  6. 1 tbsp. dried fruits & nuts (almonds, raisins, cashew)


  • Grate the peeled lauki and put it into a pan with ½ cup water. Bring it to boil and then drain.
  • Boil the milk in a large pan for 20 minutes on medium flame.
  • Add the boiled lauki to the boiled milk and mix well for about 20 minutes or till it comes to a semi-solid state.
  • Grate khoya and add it to the mix.
  • Add sugar and mix until well dissolved.
  • Finally, add dried fruits & nuts and elaichi powder.
  • Serve hot or chilled as preffered.


Ingredients: (makes 8 glasses)

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1½ cups sugar
  3. ¼ cup rose petals, dried or fresh
  4. 1½ lit. water
  5. 1 tbsp. almonds
  6. 1 tbsp. kharbooj/tarbooj seeds, skinned
  7. 1 tsp. peppercorns, whole
  8. ½ tbsp. khuskhus
  9. ½ tbsp. saunf (aniseed)
  10. ½ tsp. elaichi powder or 13-15 whole pods


  • Soak sugar in ½ litre water and keep aside.
  • Wash/clean all other dry ingredients (except elaichi, if you’re using powder) and soak in 2 cups water.
  • Allow each soaked item to stand for at least 2 hours.
  • Grind all soaked ingredients (except sugar) to a very fine paste. Then add in remaining water*.
  • Place a strong muslin strainer over a large deep vessel and press through the muslin with your hand, extracting the liquid into the vessel. (*add in remaining water a little at a time to extract more)
  • Pour back some of the extract and keep pressing. Repeat till the residue becomes dry and husk-like.
  • Add milk and sugar to the extracted liquid. If using elaichi powder, mix it in with the milk.
  • Mix everything well and the chill for an hour or two before serving.

Cashew Nut Barfi

Ingredients: (makes 20 pieces)

  1. 200 ml milk
  2. 250 gm. cashew nuts
  3. 250 gm. sugar


  • Blend together cashews and milk to a very fine paste.
  • Put the paste into a kadai, add sugar, and cook over low flame.
  • Stir till the sugar dissolves and then bring it to boil.
  • Continue stirring over medium flame till it all comes together to a dough-like mixture.
  • Remove from flame, allow it to cool enough to roll on to a greased* surfaced with a greased rolling pin to ¼ cm thickness.
  • Cover with silver foil and cool.
  • Cut into diamond shaped pieces and serve.

*those not allowed to eat fats may use singhara flour to dust surface, pin and dough while rolling.

So there you go – 3 fine recipes for a light diet as you observe the Maha Shivaratri fasting with your family and loved ones. Here’s wishing you a very blessed Shivaratri from us to you!


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