Recipes for Chaaturmaasya Vrata

On this page I'll include the dishes that are traditionally offered to God during chaaturmaasya. My friend Smt.Girija Achaar, helped with these recipes.
I got the information about Chaaturmaasya vrata from Shri Raghunatha Rao's posting in Dvaita list. To know more about Chaaturmaasya one can also check The greatness of ChaturmAsya posting sent by Shri Keshav Bhat. The chaaturmaasya begins in AshaaDa Krishna paksha maasa, followed by ShraavaNA maasa, Bhaadrapada maasa and ends in Aashweyuja maasa. In each of the above mentioned maasa (month), one has to follow the below mentioned Vratas.

This page was modified to suit the needs of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and other information related to Chaturmasya is to be found at the following pages compiled with gratitiude to the members of the Madhwa line and Sri Vaishnava line for all the help and references and useful links.

As per the name there are four Vratas to be followed in Chaaturmaasya, viz.,

  1. Shaaka Haara Vrata (leafy veges)
  2. Dadhi Vrata (yogurt)
  3. Ksheera Vrata (milk)
  4. DvidaLa vrata (lentils that come away in two halves - split urad, toor, masoor, etc)

Shaaka Haara
In this vrata, which begins from Aashada Shudda Dwadashi to Sharavana Shuddha Dashami, one should not offer Vegetables, Plaintain, Coconut , fruits as Neivedya or Hastodaka to God and also he should not eat.
The following things are NOT used in this month:

Recipes for shaaka haara vrata:
The below recipes can be offered as Neivedya and can later be consumed.

One can also eat the dishes like Idli, dosa, chapati, poori and so on., which does not contain the above mentioned things.

Dadhi vrata
In this vrata, which begins from Shraavana Shudda dasahmi to bhadrapada Shuddha Dashami, one should not yogurt as Neivedya or Hastodaka to God and also he should not eat.

The following things are NOT used in this month:

Recipes for Dadhi vrata:
  • Ksheera Vrata (milk)



    DvidaLa vrata (lentils that come away in two halves - split urad, toor, masoor, etc)


    Vrata Meal  (Udupi Cuisine, page 22.)

    Just as there is a putakaayana in every Ramayana, ( a sub-story within a story) there is a specialised cooking called Vrata meal within the Udupi cuisine.

    Every year during chaaturmasya, (four monsoon months starting with Ashada Ekadashi and ending with Kartika Ekadashi), four Vratas (religious observances) - Shaka Vrata, Dadhi Vrata, Ksheera Vrata and Dwidala Vrata (Bahubeeja Vrata) - are observed.

    During these months (July to October), certain restrictions are imposed on the food to be consumed.

    This is strictly adhered to by the orthodox Brahmins.

    The restrictions are imposed for reasons of health, keeping in mind the climatic changes. In these months, the use of the certain vegetables, spices and cereals is forbidden.

    During Dadhi Vrata, curd is disallowed as it produces phlegm. But, buttermilk is allowed. During Ksheer Vrata, milk is prohibited. Barring these, normal food can be consumed, during these two Vratas.

    The flavour, taste and smell of food prepared during Shaka and Dwidala Vratas are entirely different. In these two Vratas certain green vegetables and pulses are prohibited.

    These Vrata specialities may not be as palatable as normal Udupi cuisine, but it is argued that since they are healthy, these rules must be followed, not only in everyday cooking, but also in ceremonial meals. It is better to follow this discipline, to keep up meaningful traditions, culture and heritage.

    Due to lack of culinary experts, well versed in Vrata, style of cooking, this speciality cuisine is slowly fading out from the memory of people.

    In glamour of modernity, the traditional style of cooking is fading out, except in some very othodox houses or in the Madhwa Maths.

    Speciality of Vrata preperations (Udupi Cuisine, page 23.)

    Vrata specialities are light food, as they are not spicy. During monsoon, the power of digestion is considerably low. In order to facilitate easy digestion, vegetables which are suitable to the climate are recommended.

    During Shaka Vrata and Dwidala Vrata, cashew nut, cardamom, asafoetida and saffron are forbidden. In Dwidala Vrata, tumeric and ginger are allowed, while in Shaka Vrata, they are not allowed.

    During Shaka Vrata, only rice, wheat, green gram, green gramdal, black gramdal, cumin, mustard and pepper are acceptable. Other pulses, green chillies, spices and leafy vegetables like spinach, which have arrived from across the ghats, are not permitted. Among fruits, only mango is permitted.

    During Dwidala Vrata, banana, yam, sambrani, sweet potato, pepper, cumin and sesame (til-since it is offered to the deceased ancestors is permitted) are permitted. Green vegetables, leafy vegetables, pulses, tamarind, lemon and all fruits except plantains, dates, mangoes and dried dates are forbidden.

    When Shaka Vrata commences, the monsoon is very active and leafy vegetables tend to rot. Because of lack of sunlight, the vegetables fall a prey to insects and worms, which may endanger health. Hence the restriction on green vegetables and leafy vegetables during the Vrata.

    However, one or two leafy vegetables like ondelga (brahmi) and ponnanganni are exempted because of their antiseptic or medicinal properties.

    The restrictions of Shaka Vrata continue till Dwidala Vrata commences. During Dwidala Vrata, tubers like yam and sweet potato that draw the essence of soil are recommended, as they are both nutritious and very platable.

    That our ancestors who followed these restrictions very strictly, were of sound health, goes to prove that their beliefs were truly scientific.