The month of Sawan is of special importance for the devotees of Shiva. In this month, the kanwariyas make a difficult journey to reach Haridwar, pick up the water of the Ganges and return and offer it at the pagoda of their village. Those who stay in their homes also become pure vegetarian during this period and consider non-vegetarian dishes as taboo. Many people keep fast on Monday and Ekadashi and eat only fruits. We find one very interesting thing about the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food of Sawan, that vegetables are almost invisible in the vegetarian plate and only banana appears occasionally in the non-vegetarian plate. That’s why many such substances tempt and satisfy us with their taste in the vegetarian and fruit diet of Sawan, which most of us use very little.
The things which are commonly seen in vegetarian thali or in fruit plate are made of kotu and water chestnut flour. Both of these cannot be counted among vegetables. The same thing is also applicable for sago and pulses. These are not considered grains and can be eaten and fed on the day of fasting. Pooris are also made from them, vadas as well as khichdi. Only Sabudana Bada and Khichdi are such dishes, which are eaten throughout the year in Maharashtra and its neighboring states, not only in the month of Sawan. Historians of catering believe that Sabudana is made by carving from a Jimikand, which is called terroot in English. However, some people also use Jimikand as a spicy vegetable. It cannot be brought to the community of greens even by pulling and pulling.
Be it dal makhana, sago or kotu or water chestnut flour, their own taste is nothing special. To make it attractive, it is necessary to mix something salty or sweet or sour in it. The problem is that salt is prohibited on most fasting days or it can be used only once. The fasting friends, who spend their lives on the flavours, have found a cure for this too. Salt obtained from the sea is considered prohibited. However, black or pink salt obtained from Himalayan rocks can be used. Rock salt is also kept in this category.
The staunch ritualists do not touch any kind of salt and add sour and sweet substances to make their vegetarian and non-vegetarian food tasty. Gudwali dry ginger is made using dried mango, tamarind, pomegranate seeds, in which fennel, dried dates and red chilies are added. Some fond people also add dry grapes and raisins. We enjoy it a lot by putting big or small potatoes in curd. Asafoetida also has an important place in this type of vegetarianism.
By now it should be clear that the influence of chaat flavors is clearly visible in the vegetarian flavors of Sawan. It is worth remembering that potato may have reached India only five hundred years ago with the overseas Portuguese, but today it has become almost essential for vegetarians. South Indian Brahmins used to avoid onion in dosa and rasam until recently, but they had no complaints about potatoes. In this season, not only fried foods, but also sour-sweet and spicy dishes tempt us. All these are included in the vegetarian flavors of Sawan.