The festival of Karwa Chauth is almost here and it’s the time when married women deck up in best of their fineries, decorate their hands with beautiful mehndi designs and observe a day-long nirjala fast from sunrise to moonrise, praying for the long life of their husband. Before the fast begins, mothers-in-law prepare a Sargi Thaal for their bahus to make sure they stay healthy and energised while fasting. It is thus an important ritual. However, it is crucial to include healthy food items in your Sargi Thaal. The pre-fast meal should have hydrating foods and also those that can provide essential nutrients to the body. Protein, fibre, whole grains, fruits, milk are some of the foods you must have in your Sargi platter. (Also read: Karwa Chauth 2023 fasting rules: Dos and don’ts to keep in mind while observing the Karaka Chaturthi vrat)
“Sargi, the pre-fast meal, holds a special place in this tradition. It typically consists of gifts from your mother-in-law. For those observing the fast, selecting a nutritious start to the day that aligns with tradition is crucial. The Sargi platter traditionally features 7, 9, or 11 types of bite-sized food items. If you’re fasting for the first time this year, here’s a list of 7 essential foods to include in your pre-dawn Sargi meal,” says Dietitian and weight loss expert Palki Chopra, Founder of Nutritious Bites.
HEALTHY SARGI ITEMS FOR KARWA CHAUTH
1. Coconut water
It serves as an ideal detoxifying beverage for the day. Not only does it keep you well-hydrated during the ‘nirjala’ fast, but it also helps maintain electrolyte balance, aids digestion, and ensures sustained energy throughout the day.
2. Soaked nuts
Incorporate 5-6 almonds, 1-2 walnuts, and 3-4 raisins for lasting energy. Consider adding soaked seeds like pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, flax seeds, and sunflower seeds, as they are packed with essential nutrients and energy. Soaking them overnight aids in better nutrient absorption by breaking down anti-nutrient phytates found in the seed skins.
3. Wholesome carbohydrate-rich breakfast
Include foods like paranthas, cheelas, or dosas, and enhance their nutritional value by using whole-grain flours. Pair them with your preferred vegetables and include yogurt in your Sargi platter. These fibrous elements will help prevent bloating or acidity during the day. Stuffed rotis with curd or seasonal vegetables are also excellent choices.
4. Homemade paneer cubes
These serve as a healthy protein source that will keep you satiated for an extended period.
5. Fresh and seasonal fruits
Add fruits like pomegranate, orange, and pineapple to prevent dehydration throughout the day. Citrus fruits, with their high-water content, can help compensate for the loss of hydration. It’s advisable to skip tea or coffee in your Sargi, as they can contribute to dehydration.
6. A glass of milk
Opt for a glass of milk or consider having a fresh fruit shake as an alternative.
7. A sweet delight
To honour the tradition of including something sweet, instead of indulging in heavy, sugar-laden sweets from the market, try a spoonful of atta or sooji halwa. You can also substitute ‘sagan ki pheniaa’ with homemade sevai or roasted vermicelli, as they are not deep-fried. This wholesome Sargi platter will offer the necessary sustenance and nutrition for a day of fasting, paying homage to both tradition and well-being.