--> Skip to main content

Ekadasi Food – What can be eaten on Ekadashi?

Ekadasi, or Ekadashi, is an important Upvaas (fast) dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Millions of Hindu devotees observe Ekadasi, which is considered highly auspicious by Lord Vishnu devotees. The traditional approach is to abstain from food completely on the day. But nowadays a complete fast is not possible for many people. Such people consume certain food items on the Ekadasi day and observe only a partial fast.

It is believed that demon Mura found a dwelling place in the rice and Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Ekadasi to annihilate Mura. Therefore devotees who fast on the Ekadashi day avoid food made from grains.

Many devotees due to several reasons – like health and job commitments – observe partial fast on the day. Such people avoid non-vegetarian and food items made from beans, pulses and grains, especially rice. The most preferred Ekadasi fasting food in western parts of India is Sabudana Khichadi with potatoes and ground nut - but no onion and garlic.

Foods Typically Allowed On Ekadashi:

  1. Fruits: All kinds of fruits are allowed.
  2. Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other root vegetables (except onions and garlic) are often permitted.
  3. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts are typically acceptable.
  4. Dairy Products: Milk, yogurt, paneer, and other dairy products are allowed.
  5. Grains and Flours: Some traditions permit the use of non-cereal flours like buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta), water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta), and amaranth flour (rajgira ka atta).
  6. Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls): Often used to make khichdi or kheer.
  7. Pseudocereals: Quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat are usually considered acceptable.
  8. Non-grain Starches: Arrowroot and sago can be consumed.

Foods Typically Avoided On Ekadashi:

  • Grains and Cereals: Rice, wheat, barley, and other grains.
  • Pulses and Legumes: Lentils, beans, and peas.
  • Certain Vegetables: Onions, garlic, and sometimes tomatoes.
  • Meat and Eggs: All non-vegetarian food.
  • Alcohol and Caffeine: Tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages are generally avoided.

Sample Meal Ideas For Ekadashi:

  • Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, a glass of milk, or a smoothie made with permissible ingredients.
  • Lunch: Sabudana khichdi, a dish made with potatoes, peanuts, and spices.
  • Snacks: Roasted nuts, milk-based sweets like kheer made with sabudana.
  • Dinner: A curry made with potatoes and amaranth flour chapatis, or a simple dish of boiled sweet potatoes.

Common Dishes:

  • Sabudana Khichdi: A preparation made from soaked tapioca pearls, peanuts, and potatoes.
  • Aloo Ki Sabzi: A simple potato curry without onions and garlic.
  • Rajgira Puri: Deep-fried bread made from amaranth flour.
  • Singhare Ki Poori: Deep-fried bread made from water chestnut flour.
  • Kuttu Ka Dosa: Pancakes made from buckwheat flour.

Tips for Observing Ekadashi:

  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Keep meals light and simple to maintain the spirit of fasting.
  • Focus on spiritual practices like prayer, meditation, and reading scriptures. 

The golden rule is avoid pulses and grains on Ekadasi.

Drink lots of water and eat fresh and dried fruits.

In Hinduism, Upvaas is meant to bring a person close to Brahman. So forget about the rules and regulations and what you are going to gain from the Ekadashi fast. Spend the day in purifying the mind and body.