Navratri, or 'Nine Nights', is one of the most sacred periods in the Hindi calendar. Dedicated to 'Shakti', the festival of Navratri is celebrated with pomp and show across the country. In the eastern part of the country, the festival is observed as 'Durga Pujo'. The festival honours Maa Durga and her victory over the egoistic asura, Mahisasura. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. In the western part of India, Garba Raas is organized. Everyone - regardless of age, gender, caste, religion - come together in reverence of the goddess, who signifies the ultimate 'shakti'. In the north, along with celebrating the nine forms of Maa Durga, Ramlila is organised enacting the Ramayana - the killing of Ravana's ego, thus the victory of good over evil.
Many people, especially ladies, observe strict fasting during the Navratri. They don’t consume any grains and pulses and follow a ‘falahari’ diet or fruit-based diet. While making fasting food at home is fairly easy as one overlooks the preparations, getting Navratri foods can be a bit of a hassle while travelling.
Worry not. These days many hotels and restaurants provide meals for those who are fasting. Here are our top picks for falahari items when in Mumbai:
Known for serving its dishes in copper plates, Soam offers an array of delicious meals for those observing a fast. From chaats, to South Indian dishes to even complete meals - Soam has it all covered. It also serves falhari chutneys to go with faraali vadas, faraali dal dhokli, faraali dosa etc.
Located in the lively Tardeo area, Swati provides authentic traditional varieties of food. Originated in 1963, the restaurant has been going on since - and has visitors from far, just for food. Its second branch is located at Nariman Point.
Basically a sweet shop, the place offers a wide variety of foods which can be readily consumed during Navratri. It has specially curated ‘Farali Mini Meals’ and ‘Fasting Foods’ in their menu. Located near Girgaum Chowpatty, you can enjoy the cool breeze as you munch on the food. A small place but it definitely serves delicious food.
Providing a complete course of food, it is reminiscent of the home-cooked meal. Maharaja Bhog offers the ultimate platter of dishes in an all-you-can-eat thali system. Serving over 30 varieties of food, it hosts a special thali over the period of nine days for the auspicious occasion of Navratri. ‘The Upvas Thali’ has dishes like sabudana khichadi, fariyali pattice, rajgira puri, shrikhand, dry fruits etc. It is considered one of the best fasting thali. Several outlets are available across the city.
These places are great to visit for those who are fasting. They provide filling meals and is also a break from the monotonous home food. Do visit these places this Navaratri. Let us know your experience in the comments below!