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.,
Recipes for shaaka haara vrata:
The below recipes can be offered as Neivedya and can later be consumed.
Buttermilk - 4 cup(32 oz)
Black pepper - 2 tbsp
salt to taste
Instead of Vegetables: 1.Soak 1/2 cup of toor dal and 1/2 cup of urad
dal for 3-4 hrs.
2. Grind it with salt and pepper coarsely in a food processor. Make it into a thick paste.
3. Make small vadaas(make it kind of bonda shape) and deep fry it until golden yellow. Keep it aside.
Churn the buttermilk and add peeper and salt to taste. Then add the
fried vadaas. No need to heat it. Then pour jeera vaggarini(do not add
hing and turmeric as they are not allowed for vrata)
aamchur powder - 1 tbsp
Cooked toor Dal with water- 2 cups
sugar - 1tsp
roasted sesame seeds powder - 2 tsp
black pepper - 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Heat the vessel with 1 tbsp of ghee. Add cumins and allow it to flutter.
Then add cooked daal and some water(if you want saaru to be watery) and
the remaining ingredients and allow it to boil.
1 cup of Soaked whole Moong beans
1 Tbsps of Black pepper
2 tsp of aamchur powder
1 tbsp of roasted sesame seeds powder
Salt to taste
Cook the soaked moong beans with little amount of water and salt. Once
they get cooked, add the remaining ingredients.
Soaked moong dal - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Mix the above ingredients in the salad bowl. Make cumin(jeera) vaggarini(vagar) and pour it in the salad bowl. Mix it well and serve.
Soaked toor dal - 1/2 cup
soaked urad dal - 1/2 cup
Black pepper - 2 tbsp
salt to taste
1. Grind the soaked dals with salt and pepper coarsely in a food processor. Make it into a thick paste.
3. Make small vadaas(make it kind of bonda shape) and deep fry it until golden yellow.
1 cup of roasted cracked(roasted in a tbsp of ghee)
3/4 cup of Jaggery
3 to 4 cups of whole milk/2% milk
Pour required amount of milk in a non-stick utensil and mix the roasted cracked wheat and allow it to boil. Once the wheat gets cooked in the milk, add jaggery. Allow it to boil for few more minutes and serve.
2 cups of roasted cream of wheat(roasted in a tbsp of ghee)
1 and 3/4 cup of sugar
Approximately 4 cups of whole milk/2% milk
Roast cream of wheat with ghee. Pour required amount of milk and allow it to boil. Once rava gets cooked in the milk add sugar. Allow it to boil and serve.
Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Black Pepper-1 and 1/2- 2 tbsp
Vegetable Oil - 2 tbsp
Urad Dal - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Roasted Sesame seeds powder - 1 tbsp
aamchur powder(dry mango powder) - 1 and 1/2 - 2 tbsp
Heat the pan with oil in it. To the heated oil put cumin seeds. After they are flutter add urad dal. Once the dal become brownish add ground black pepper. Then, add cooked rice. Mix it well. To this add 2 tbsp of aamchur powder and mix it well.
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:
DvidaLa vrata (lentils that
come away in two halves - split urad, toor, masoor, etc)
Vrata Meal (Udupi Cuisine,
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