Mahashivratri Vrat | 41 Fasting Recipes For Mahashivratri

Mahashivratri means the ‘great night of Bhagwan Shiv (Lord Shiva).’ Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati are worshipped on this spiritually important night. Exclusive food is made and eaten that fall under Mahashivratri Vrat Recipes. Here’s my handmade collection of 41 Fasting Recipes for Mahashivratri. Go ahead, choose your favorite and plan the day.

vector image of black shivlinga with dark pink lotus on top and water splashing all around with a text of mahashivratri listed above the shivlinga

Significance of Mahashivratri

Mahashivratri takes place once a year in the month of Falgun in the Hindu Lunar Calendar. It is one of the most auspicious nights in Hinduism along with Janmashtami which is celebrated as the birth of Lord Krishna. Most Hindus observe a fast on this day.

On this day, devotees perform a special ritual (puja) called ‘Rudrabhishek,’ the completion of which is known to grant their wishes. This puja is also regarded as one of the purest and sacred Hindu rituals.

Mahashivratri is celebrated in the months of February or March depending on the lunar calendar. It is common for Lord Shiva believers and followers to worship him along with Goddess Parvati all year round. This can be a part of Shivratri also referred to as ‘Masik Shivratri,’ which is often confused with Mahashivratri. However, there is a noteworthy difference between the two.

‘Shivratri’ occurs on the 14th night of every lunar month in the Hindu Calendar. Thus, summing up to a total of 12 Shivratris in a year, once every month. On the other hand, Mahashivratri is the most revered one of the 12 Shivratris and occurs once a year. Mahashivratri is also believed to be the day when Bhagwan Shiva and Mata Parvati got married.

According to ancient holy Hindu scriptures, Bhagwan Shiv is credited with blessing us with Yog (Yoga), Meditation, Tantra, Aghora, Dance, Music, Martial Arts etc. All these divine gifts are a way to raise your consciousness and get enlightened or have a samadhi experience.

The ‘Shivlinga’ or the symbolic representation of Lord Shiva represents a state of enlightened consciousness. On Mahashivratri, many devotees pour water on the Shivlinga with a lot of piousness and in a state of no consciousness (no thoughts). They also chant sacred Shiva mantras and indulge in fasting.

The idea is to connect the self with a deeper and higher state of pure mindfulness and inner divinity without any ego. Visiting a Shiva Temple, spending time in remembrance of Mahadev and mediating are also popular activities on this day. Many people believe Mahashivratri to be a great day for charity.

The spiritual practices conducted on the days and nights of Mahashivratri are extremely potent in raising the consciousness and achieving the experience of enlightenment. This year, Mahashivratri falls on March 8, 2024.

Legends of Mahashivratri

The festival of Mahashivratri is associated with many stories and legends. Read on to know some of them.

  1. Many believe that it was this night, when Lord Shiva or Mahadev performed the ‘Tandav’ dance which signifies the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution (going back to the source) of existence.
  2. According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri marks the day when Shiva drank the deadly poison ‘halahala’ during ‘Samudra Manthan’ or churning of the ocean. The ‘Neelkanth Mahadev Temple’ in the North Indian city of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand is associated with this event.
  3. Another popular tale associated with Mahashivratri is that Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati on this day. Meaning, Shiva (consciousness) meeting Shakti (energy).

Mahashivratri Fasting Food (Vrat)

Shiva disciples or devotees observe the Mahashivratri fast (vrat) with great dedication and consume light religious food, which is essentially ‘satvik’ in nature. According to Ayurveda, satvik foods are vegetarian, made without onion, garlic and easy to digest. These are healthier, more nutritious and fresher which are meant to elevate energy, happiness and calmness in humans.

Cereals, lentils and grains are avoided, onion and garlic are not included and rock salt (sendha namak) is used instead of regular salt. To know more about fasting food, you can check this post of Navratri Fasting Rules.

The rules of fasting may differ from person to person, but majorly people fast completely or cook the unique dishes from Mahashivratri vrat recipes and have just one meal in a day. Some people who don’t fast make sure to prepare meals that have no onion, no garlic.

If you are also planning to fast or keep a vrat on this special day, then this collection of fasting recipes for Mahashivratri will definitely help you in deciding the menu.

Fasting Recipes for Mahashivratri

This collection of 41 Fasting Recipes for Mahashivratri is divided into the following categories:

  1. Breakfast or Snacks
  2. Lunch and Dinner (Main course)
  3. Sweets or Desserts
  4. Beverages

The one meal that you choose to consume on Mahashivratri is completely your choice. I preferably have some fruits on this day, which is followed by one light meal for dinner. In addition to this, I do meditate and chant Shiva mantras as well, and try to be awake the whole night.


Make sure to use edible and food grade rock salt in place of regular salt or black salt in the recipes listed below. You can also skip the ground spices or add fewer spices.

Do take into consideration your age, body and health factors while planning to fast. Drinking enough water or fresh fruit juices to keep the body hydrated is always advisable.

I am also sharing a special Thandai recipe in section below which can be consumed after the Mahashivratri fast is over.

1. Breakfast or Snacks

closeup photo of sabudana khichdi in a cream plate.
Moderate 25 minutes

Sabudana Khichdi Recipe

Sabudana Khichdi is a delicious preparation of tapioca pearls (sago) made with potatoes, peanuts, a few spices and usually had during Hindu fasting days like Navratri, Ekadashi, Mahashivratri. It is also a gluten-free recipe. Make the best non-sticky Sabudana ki Khichdi with my recipe.
closeup shot of a stack of sabudana vada on top of each other in a white plate with red chilli sauce in a white bowl
Moderate 5 hours 30 minutes

Sabudana Vada Recipe

Sabudana Vada is a popular savory deep fried snack made during Hindu fasting days, featuring tapioca pearls (sago), potatoes, peanuts and herbs. They are naturally gluten-free and vegan. This fool proof sabudana vada recipe gives you a super delicious crispy vada with a soft and light interior.
sama ke chawal ki idli recipe, vrat ki idli recipe
Moderate 9 hours 10 minutes

Sama Chawal Idli | Vrat Ki Idli | Vari Rice Idli

Sama Chawal Idli or Vrat Ki Idli is a unique variation to the South Indian Idli. These are made without the regular rice and lentils, but with Sama also known as Barnyard Millet in English. Thus, a perfect choice of dish for your vrats or fasts and even on regular days. A vegan, gluten free and quite a nutritious recipe.
farali pattice recipe
Moderate 1 hour

Farali Pattice

Farali pattice is an easy snack of crispy and tasty patties made with potatoes and stuffed with a sweet filling of coconut, nuts and raisins. This dish is from the Gujarati cuisine that is made during fast or upvas.
closeup shot of fruit chaat garnished with mint sprigs in white bowls
Easy 30 minutes

Fruit Chaat

This Delhi style tasty fruit chaat is spiced, savory, sweet and tangy. Fruit chaat is made of a mix of fresh seasonal fruits and tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
sabudana thalipeeth recipe
Moderate 8 hours 30 minutes

Sabudana Thalipeeth

Sabudana thalipeeth are crisp and soft pancakes made with tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes, ground peanuts and spices. They are also called as Upvasache Thalipeeth in Marathi language and can also be referred to as Sabudana roti.
sabudana tikki recipe, sabudana cutlet recipe
Easy 5 hours 20 minutes

Sabudana Tikki | Sabudana Cutlet

Sabudana tikki also known as sabudana cutlet are pan-fried thin patties made with tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes and spices. These crispy patties make for a delicious snack that will get over in no time.

2. Lunch and Dinner Fasting Recipes for Mahashivratri

sama chawal khichdi
1 hour 35 minutes

sama chawal khichdi

Samvat rice khichdi recipe – savory porridge made with barnyard millet and potatoes.
vrat ke chawal ka pulao, samvat pulao recipe
Moderate 45 minutes

Samak Rice Pulao (Barnyard Millet Recipe)

Samak Rice Pulao is a simple, healthy and tasty pulao made during Hindu fasting days like Navratri and Ekadashi. Also known as samak/sama/samvat/samo/bhagar and Barnyard Millet in English, this is a popular ingredient used in dishes that are made during the religious fasting days in India.
buckwheat khichdi recipe, kuttu ki khichdi recipe
Moderate 30 minutes

Kuttu ki Khichdi | Buckwheat Khichdi

Buckwheat Khichdi is easy to prepare khichdi with buckwheat groats (kuttu), potatoes and peanuts for Navratri fasting. Wholesome super food.
rajgira paratha recipe, rajgira roti recipe for fasting
Moderate 40 minutes

Rajgira Roti | Amaranth Paratha

Rajgira roti or rajgira paratha is a healthy gluten-free flatbread made with rajgira atta or amaranth flour for Hindu fasting days.
rajgira ki poori recipe, amaranth poori recipe
Moderate 50 minutes

Rajgira Puri | Amaranth Puri

Rajgira Poori or Amaranth Poori are deep fried puffy breads made from amaranth flour, boiled mashed potatoes and edible rock salt. It also happens to be naturally gluten-free and vegan. Amaranth flour or seeds are usually eaten during the Hindu fasting or vrat season in India.
kuttu ka paratha recipe, vrat ka paratha recipe
Moderate 40 minutes

Kuttu ka Paratha

Kuttu ki roti or paratha are gluten free flatbreads made with buckwheat flour and mashed potatoes. These healthy flatbreads are usually made during the Navratri fasting period in India.
30 minutes

Kuttu ki Poori

Kuttu ke atte ki puri are crisp and tasty Indian fry bread made with buckwheat flour for religious fasting or vrat.
rajgira paratha recipe, rajgira roti recipe for fasting
Moderate 40 minutes

Rajgira Roti | Amaranth Paratha

Rajgira roti or rajgira paratha is a healthy gluten-free flatbread made with rajgira atta or amaranth flour for Hindu fasting days.

3. Curries and Sides

vrat wale aloo recipe, vrat ke aloo recipe
Easy 30 minutes

Vrat Wale Aloo | Vrat ke aloo

Vrat wale aloo is a fasting dish made with potatoes, tomatoes, spices and herbs.
kaddu ki sabzi served on a white bowl placed on a white tray.
Moderate 35 minutes

Kaddu ki Sabji (Easy Pumpkin Recipe)

Kaddu ki sabji is an easy and delicious vegan pumpkin recipe made with yellow pumpkin, whole spices and herbs. This is a satvik recipe made without onions and garlic.
aloo sabzi recipe, aloo tamatar ki sabzi recipe
Moderate 30 minutes

Easy Aloo ki Sabji | Satvik Aloo Tamatar Ki Sabji

Aloo ki Sabji or Aloo Tamatar Ki Sabji is an easy to make lightly spiced gravy featuring potatoes, tomatoes, a few spices and herbs. A satvik recipe made without onion and garlic.
vrat ki kadhi recipe, rajgira kadhi recipe, farali kadhi recipe
Moderate 15 minutes

Vrat ki Kadhi | Rajgira Kadhi for Fasting | Farali Kadhi

Easy and quick to prepare rajgira kadhi for Navratri fasting or upwas.

4. Sweets or Desserts Recipes

sabudana kheer recipe
Moderate 35 minutes

Sabudana Kheer | How to make Sabudana Kheer

Sabudana Kheer is a sweet, creamy pudding made with tapioca pearls or sago pearls (called sabudana in Hindi), milk, sugar, nuts and flavored with cardamom & saffron. Sabudana Kheer is also a popular pick as fasting food during the Hindu Navratri festival. It is simple and easy to make, and tastes absolutely delicious.
makhane ki kheer served in a black bowl with a spoon kept on it.
Moderate 35 minutes

Makhane ki Kheer

Makhane ki kheer is a sweet dessert pudding made with Makhana (foxnuts), milk, ghee, sugar and dry fruits. This is an easy and popular sweet that is often made during Hindu fasting days.
rajgira kheer recipe, amaranth kheer recipe
20 minutes

Rajgira Kheer

Rajgira kheer is a simple easy dessert pudding made with amaranth grains. Navratri recipe.
pumpkin kheer recipe, kaddu ki kheer recipe
Moderate 40 minutes

Kaddu ki Kheer (Pumpkin Payasam)

Sweet, creamy, and warmly spiced, this Kaddu ki Kheer (also known as Pumpkin Kheer or Pumpkin Payasam) is a flavorsome, easy-to-prepare traditional sweet dish for the Navratri Festival. This tasty pudding like dessert is made with pumpkin, whole milk, ghee, sugar and nuts.
lauki kheer recipe, dudhi kheer recipe
30 minutes

lauki ki kheer

Delicious kheer made with bottle gourd or opo squash.
paneer kheer recipe
Easy 25 minutes

Paneer Kheer

Paneer kheer recipe is a quick and easy Indian cottage cheese kheer for the festive season. Ready in less than 25 minutes.
dry fruit ladoo placed on a white plate on a yellow napkin
Easy 20 minutes

Easy Dry Fruits Laddu Recipe

Easy Dry fruits laddu recipe without any added sugar or fats like ghee or oil. Packed with nutrients, good fats and fibre, these energy balls are made with dates, figs and various nuts. Dry fruit laddu recipe gets done quickly and comes together under 20 minutes.
dry fruit barfi recipe
Moderate 25 minutes

Dry Fruit Barfi | Date Rolls | Dry Fruit Halwa

Sweet, chewy, and irresistible, this Dry Fruit Burfi (also referred to as Dry Fruit Halwa or Date Rolls) is a simple, quick and easy sweet you can make during Diwali or any festive season. My simple vegan recipe for Dry Fruit Barfi is made without any added sugar, making it a totally guilt-free treat!
sweet potato halwa garnished with fried cashews, rose petals and served on a white colored plate.
Moderate 40 minutes

Sweet Potato Halwa (Shakarkandi ka Halwa)

Sweet Potato Halwa also called Shakarkandi ka Halwa in Hindi is a delicious Indian sweet made with boiled and mashed sweet potatoes and scented with cardamom, saffron.
ash gourd halwa recipe, kashi halwa recipe, white pumpkin halwa recipe
Moderate 40 minutes

Kashi Halwa | Dumroot Halwa | Ash Gourd Halwa

Kashi Halwa also called Dumroot Halwa is a unique, tasty and rich halwa made from ash gourd or white pumpkin, sugar, nuts, ghee, raisins and flavored with saffron.
top shot of shrikhand with chopped pistachios on a dark green serving tray
Easy 15 minutes

Shrikhand Recipe (2 Ways)

Shrikhand is a delicious and simple dessert recipe made with thick yogurt flavored with sugar, saffron and cardamom. Get two ways of making shrikhand recipe with hung curd as well as greek yogurt.
sabudana payasam recipe, javvarisi payasam recipe, sago payasam recipe
Moderate 30 minutes

Javvarisi Payasam | Saggubiyyam Payasam | Sago Payasam

Javvarisi Payasam also referred to as Saggubiyyam Payasam or Sago Payasam is a sweet creamy pudding made with sago(tapioca pearls), milk, ghee, sugar, raisins and cashews. The recipe is super easy and a great way of using tapioca pearls in a dessert form. It is also gluten-free.

5. Beverage Recipes

pomegranate juice recipe
Moderate 15 minutes

Fresh Pomegranate Juice (Anar Juice)

Sweet, tart and vibrantly refreshing, my homemade fresh Pomegranate Juice recipe will change your life for the better this summer. Also known as Anar Juice, this healthy beverage is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants to help restore your body after a day in the sun.
watermelon juice in four glasses or a dark blue table
Easy 20 minutes

Watermelon Juice Recipe (3 Ways)

Refreshing, healthy and cooling Watermelon Juice to quench your thirst on a hot summery day. Learn to make three different versions of this healthy, all natural drink recipe.
muskmelon juice or cantaloupe juice in two tall clear glasses on an orange piece of fabric.
Easy 15 minutes

Muskmelon Juice (Cantaloupe Juice)

This easy recipe for making Musk Melon Juice (a.k.a. Cantaloupe Juice) for a sweet, refreshing warm-weather beverage that you're sure to love.
pear juice recipe
Easy 10 minutes

Pear Juice

Refreshing and energizing pear juice recipe to beat the summer heat.
mango juice in a glass topped with chia seeds
Easy 10 minutes

Mango Juice Recipe (Homemade and Easy)

The best homemade mango juice recipe uses organic alphonso mangoes for a terrifically sweet, nectar-like drink that's perfect for enjoying by the glassful or including in any number of juice-based beverage recipes.
fresh pineapple juice served in two glasses and garnished with fresh pineapple pieces
Moderate 15 minutes

Pineapple Juice Recipe

This pineapple juice is a refreshing juice made from fresh pineapple and flavored with black salt and roasted cumin powder.
sweet lassi topped with crushed cardamom powder and saffron in two tall glasses
Easy 10 minutes

Lassi Recipe (3 Delicious Variations)

Lassi is a cooling, refreshing, probiotic drink perfect for the warm summer months made essentially with curd or yogurt, fragrant spices and sugar or salt. Popular in Punjab and North India, there are many variations of this sweet lassi recipe. Find three easy, energizing and flavorful lassi recipe variations.
closeup shot of shikanji in a glass with mint leaves
Easy 5 minutes

Nimbu Pani Recipe | Shikanji (Indian Lemonade)

Nimbu Pani and Shikanji are the Indian versions of lemonade or limeade made with fresh lemon juice, water, sugar, salt and optionally a few ground spices.
thandai recipe garnished with rose petals in two glass jars with a small glass jar of milk in the background on a bright blue board
Moderate 1 hour 30 minutes

Thandai Recipe – Traditional Holi Recipe

Thandai is a traditional and popular North Indian drink, made during the Holi festival. A typical Thandai recipe is made with a powder or paste of nuts & seeds like almonds, pistachios, poppy seeds, melon seeds with fragrant spices like green cardamom, fennel seeds, black pepper, saffron and hints of rose. This Thandai powder or paste is further mixed with milk to make the refreshing and cooling Thandai drink.
closeup shot of mango lassi with mint sprigs filled in a glass on a red and white checkered cloth
Easy 15 minutes

Mango Lassi Recipe

Mango Lassi, an all time Indian favorite summer drink is a creamy, thick, refreshing and delicious variation of lassi. Make this easy Mango Lassi recipe in less than 15 minutes with ripe mangoes, yogurt and your choice of flavorings – cardamom, saffron or rose water.

This Mahashivratri Vrat post from the archives first published in February 2020 has been updated and republished on February 2023.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Happy Mahashivaratri. Jai Jai Shiv Shankar… Har Har Mahadev… Bam Bam Bholenath 🙏

  2. Hello dassana ji
    Another legend is (lord shiva was always there he is anadi and ananth ) , but he first appeared as an infinite, unending, transcendental jyotirlinga today at ‘nishit kaal’ at 12 am ( zero hour ) as a sthambha with unimaginable light. It is also called as kaal bhairav swaroop in the form of linga. Everything is both from him and everything will submerge into him at the time of pralaya.
    Happy shivratri to you

    1. Hi Chandana, thank a lot for this super info. I was not aware about this. Wish a Happy Mahashivratri festival to you.