Ancient Hindu scriptures encourage people to fast on certain days and certain months. These fasts are not total abstinence from food. The scriptures mention certain food items and ingredients that can be consumed while one is fasting. Originally, only fruit and dairy products were permitted during fasts. But with time, different ingredients were added to the permissible fasting food category. The reason behind the fasting is to cleanse one’s body of the toxins that accumulate over a period of time. Fruits, dairy products, and water cleanse the toxins and result in a healthier body and sharper mind.
Fun Fact:¬ In The Hounds of Baskerville, Sherlock Holmes to Dr. Watson “I haven’t eaten anything for 2 days so that my mind can focus on the murder and not on a mundane thing like digesting food”.¬ It’s elementary, Watson
With the advancement of science and society, a whole new array of ingredients emerged. These ingredients are now used in innovative ways to prepare previously unthinkable fasting food dishes. We can all argue about the legitimacy of these new food dishes until the cows come home. But the point is that these new dishes are widely eaten¬†and accepted as permissible fasting food. So, what are these new dishes that have gained popularity due to their innovative nature and delicious taste?
Term Alert:¬ Farali¬ is the word for permissible fasting food. For example,¬ farali¬ sandwich¬ is a sandwich prepared with permissible ingredients that can be eaten during fasts
Term Alert 2:¬ Lari¬ is a humble street-food cart
6 new fasting food dishes
The first three items on the list can be found in Bhuj at¬ Khavda Farali Kachori Wada lari¬ outside Indirabai High School
1 Farali Dabeli
Dabeli is native to my home region of Kutch and it is the iconic dish of my region. No wonder someone had to prepare a farali version of it. Usually, a dabeli is a white flour bun filled with spiced mashed potatoes. But, white flour cannot be eaten during fasts. Necessity calls for innovation. Now you get a bun of¬ singoda¬†(water chestnut)¬†and rajgara¬ (amaranth)¬ flour, both permissible ingredients. And, good ol’ potatoes were always allowed. So, there you have it a farali dabeli. I didn’t particularly like it. Therefore, I will give it a thumbs-down
Fun Fact:¬ The origin of the word amaranth is Sanskrit, ‘Amar + anth’ and it means, ‚Äėdeathless‚Äô
2 Farali Dahi-Wada
Another popular¬†fast-food dish is Dahi-Wada. It is widely consumed all over India as a snack. Farali dahi-wada is¬†just as delicious as the regular version. I loved the flavor of the spiced dahi (yogurt) and the softness of the wada. I give it a thumbs-up¬ as a new fasting food dish
3 Farali Samosa
Now now, I never thought of finding farali samosa because the very essence of the samosa is its crispy outer layer made of chickpea flour. How do you retain the same crispiness but with permissible ingredients and not chickpea flour? Ask Thacker-bhai at Khavda Farali Kachori Wada¬ when you go to try this delicious snack at his¬ lari.¬ I give it a¬ thumbs-up.¬ Although, I feel that the tamarind chutney served with it can be improved
4 Farali Bhel
Another popular snack item that has a farali version. Farali Bhel is a cocktail of farali chevdas with mint and tamarind chutneys. In Bhuj you can find this at multiple locations near bus-station, Jubilee ground, and Bhanushali nagar. I tasted it at Umarshi Farali Bhelwala lari outside Modern Talkies. I don’t fancy it since it tastes nowhere near the original. Hence,¬ thumbs-down
5 Farali . . . .¬ wait for it . . . .
Mio amico Italiano¬ eat your heart out because we make the pizza dough from the most unimaginable flour combination of water chestnut and amaranth. The red tomato sauce is topped with capsicum (bell-pepper), pineapple, tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of red-chilli flakes,¬ delizioso. In Bhuj, the farali pizza served at¬ Shankar Pizza (Chathi Bari Ring Road) is a solid thumbs-up.¬ It tasted better than some of the regular pizzas I have had in town
6 Farali Burger
If we can put our Italian brothers to shame, how can we forget our American cousins?¬†Yes, a farali burger. Go figure! The bun is made of water chestnut and amaranth flour while the stuffing is mashed potatoes with delicious spices, tingling sauces, and melted cheese. The farali burger at JD’s Faralis near¬†Hamisar Lake is finger-licking delicious. Two¬ Thumbs-up¬ to one of the best new fasting food item. They also serve Farali Pizza and Farali Frankie
Bonus: Fresh and crisp chilly-potato and banana chips served in front of R.K. Pan Vala near Accord Hospital, Bhanushali Nagar. These chips are tastier, crispier, and fresher than the plastic packed stale chips that we buy from stores and supermarkets. Definitely, a must try.