Chaitra Navratri 2023: Date, Meaning, Puja Timings and Vrat Recipes

Navratri is a nine-day Hindu festival celebrated in many states of the country. There are total four Navratri in a year. Sharad Navratri generally falls sometime in September or October. Chaitra Navratri is usually celebrated in March-April. Chaitra Navratri is celebrated in the month of Chaitra, which marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year. This Navratri takes place during Shukla Paksha in the month of Chaitra. This year, Chaitra Navratri begins on March 22 (Wednesday) and continues till March 30 (Tuesday). People often observe a special fast or ‘vrat’ during this period. For more details and vrat food recipes, see below.

Chaitra Navratri 2023: Muhurat and Puja Timings

This year the Pratipada Tithi of Chaitra begins at 22.52 on 21 March 2023, and it ends at 8:20 PM next day, March 22, 2023. According to Udaya Tithi, Navratri will begin on March 22, 2023.

The auspicious time for Ghata Sthapana or Kalash Sthapana will be from 06.29 to 07.39 on 22 March 2023. Total duration: 1 hour and 10 minutes

When is Ram Navami this year?

The 9th day of Chaitra Navratri also marks the birth of Lord Rama. Therefore, Ram Navami will be celebrated on March 30, 2023.
Also read: Navratri: Why Haldi (Turmeric) Omitted from Vrat Foods? Here are the facts

Meaning of Chaitra Navratri

The nine manifestations of Durga are worshiped during Chaitra Navratri. As a sign of devotion, people undertake vrat (fast) on all nine days or the first and last day. This ritualistic fast has certain rules that devotees must observe. Many of them strictly follow a Sattvik diet. This means that they do not consume foods with onions, garlic, eggs, meat and alcohol. Others may choose to observe a phallar fast, consuming only fruits, vegetables, milk, and water while abstaining from grains, cereals, and legumes. Those on a nirjala fast do not even drink water during their vrat.
Also read: How to Make Vrat-Friendly Sabudana-Aloo Kurkure at Home (Recipe Video Inside)

Chaitra Navratri 2023: 5 Recipes of Vrat Foods | 5 Vrat Recipes for Navratri 2023

If you observe a Navratri vrat, there are specific restrictions on your diet. This makes it important to choose light and energy-boosting foods that can be easily prepared. Here is a list of some vrat-friendly foods:

1. Sabudana

Sabudana or fairy pearls are one of the most popular food items during Navratri. Sabdana can be prepared in many different ways. It is said to improve digestion and help keep energy levels up. You can prepare a simple sabudana khichdi (recipe here) and pair it with dahi. You can make classic sabudana vadas (recipe here) or even a vrat version of sabudana chutney balls (recipe here). Remember to use rock salt instead of regular salt.

Chaitra Navratri 2023: Sabudana is one of the best foods for vrat. Photo credit: iStock

2. Vratwale Aloo

This potato dish is specially made during Navratri as it contains only simple spices. Certain spices are not allowed during vrat and this gravy recipe makes sure of that. Along with aloo, you need tomatoes, green chillies and coriander leaves for this dish. Click here for the full recipe.

3. Kuttu Cheela

Kuttu or buckwheat is also a great vrat-friendly ingredient. You can use it to make many dishes. A quick option is a kuttu cheela made using buckwheat flour (kuttu atta). It is full of healthy carbohydrates that keep you full for longer. You can pair it with tamarind chutney for some extra flavor. Click here for recipes for cheela and chutney. For another tasty dish made with kuttu atta, check out this kuttu puri recipe. You can pair it with vratwale aloo!

4. Vratwala Chawal Dhokla

This vrat-friendly dhokla can be had in the evening. It is easy to make and full of flavour. This dhokla contains samvat chawal, a special type of rice commonly used during Navratri. The batter for the dhokla is made with this rice, rock salt, chilli paste, ginger paste and dahi. Here is the full recipe. Samvat chawal can also be used to prepare other dishes like dosas. Click here to know more.

5. Makhana Kheer

Looking for a crazy sweet dish? Then this makhana kheer is a must try. Instead of rice, makhana (foxnuts) is the central ingredient in this dish. It is flavored with cardamom and dry fruits. It is a light yet healthy delicacy that you can have after your meals. Click here for the full recipe.

Chaitra Navratri is less than 10 days away. You can start preparing yourself today. Try these recipes for yourself and see!
Also read: Chaitra Navratri: 5 Dessert Recipes to Try This Lent Season