Janmashtami Recipes


doodh peda peacock decoration

 Recipes to celebrate Janmashtami which celebrates the birth of Krishna. These are prasaid ideas and fasting or vrat (upvas) friendly recipes!

Janmashtami is a Hindu festival celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna, who is believed to be the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. Devotees observe fasting, sing devotional songs, and visit temples on this day. 

It is celebrated on September 6 in 2023 and dahi handi celebrations on September 7.

Often milk based recipes are prepared.

These are just a few examples of the dishes prepared for Janmashtami. The specific dishes and customs may vary from one region to another within India, and individual families may have their own traditions and preferences for this auspicious day.

Sabudana tikki in a plate with coriander chutney.

Janmashtami Recipes

The types of dishes prepared for Janmashtami can vary by region and personal preference, but here are some common dishes that are often prepared for the festival:

    Makhan Misri

This is a simple dish made by churning yogurt (curd) to make fresh butter (makhan) and then mixing it with sugar (misri). It is offered to Lord Krishna as he is famously known for his love of butter.

    Panjiri

Panjiri is a sweet and nutritious dish made with whole wheat flour, ghee (clarified butter), sugar, and various nuts and seeds. It is a popular Janmashtami delicacy.

 Peda

Doodh peda or milk peda with peacock feater decoration.

Peda is a traditional Indian sweet made from milk and flavored with cardamom. It is often offered as prasad (offering) during Janmashtami celebrations.

milk peda

Doodh Peda (Milk Peda) Recipe

Doodh (milk) pedas are popular Indian sweets that take only 5 ingredients. They are made of sugar, milk and given a slight flavor with cardamom. Popular for Indian festivals and gift giving. Ready under 30 minutes.
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Kesar Pedas on a steel tray.

Yummy and Easy Kesar Peda

Easy Kesar Peda recipe! Makes delicious bites of kesar peda with notes of cardamom that melt in your mouth! Pedas are a popular traditional Indian sweet.
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Ricotta cheese peda on a fluted white plate.

Ricotta Cheese Peda

Delicious bites of ricotta cheese peda with notes of cardamom that melt in your mouth! Made with 5 ingredients. Pedas are a popular traditional Indian sweet.
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Three mango pedas in a fluted white plate.

Mango Peda

Make delicious mango pedas that melt in your mouth using mango pulp!  Pedas are a popular traditional Indian sweet.
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    Kheer

Sabudana kheer is perfect if you are fasting. If not fasting, rice kheer or vermicelli kheer is a common dessert prepared during Janmashtami. It is a sweet, creamy rice or vermicelli pudding made with milk and sugar.

Sabudana kheer in a blue bowl garnished with almond slices and rose petals.

4 Ingredient Creamy Sabudana Kheer Recipe

A simple sabudana kheer recipe that is delicious and upvas/vrat friendly!Tapioca pearls are cooked with milk, sugar and cardamom powder for this Indian sweet.
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15 Minute Vermicelli Kheer – Meethi Seviyan Kheer

Vermicelli kheer or seviyan kheer is a delicious sweet milk based dessert with notes of cardamom and roasted nuts
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Snacks

Various snacks like pakoras (deep-fried fritters), samosas, and potato chips are also prepared and offered during Janmashtami. These snacks are made with ingredients that are allowed during fasting.

Sabudana tikki in a plate with coriander chutney.

Crispy Sabudana Aloo Tikki- Shallow Fry Or Deep Fry

The crispy sabudana tikki recipe is a delicious snack served with a hot cup of tea! They can be shallow-fried or deep-fried. Perfect for fasting days and festivals from Mahashivratri, Navratri festival, Ekadashi, and more.
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Sabudana vada made in an air fryer.

Sabudana Vada Air Fryer

Crispy sabudana vada made in an air fryer for a healthier alternative than deep frying! Perfect for fasting days and festivals from Mahashivratri, Navratri, Ekadashi and more.
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Chappan Bhog

Chappan Bhog is a special offering of 56 different food items to Lord Krishna. It includes a wide variety of sweets, savories, fruits, and other dishes.

Here are some fasting friendly recipes you can include!

Sukhi bhaji a farali dry potato bhaji in a silver bowl with curry leaves on a gray dish.

Sukhi Bhaji – Farali Recipe – Potato Bhaji

Ready in 10 minutes, this is a farali recipe of Gujarati potato sukhi bhaji or dry potato bhaji which is a combination of spicy, sweet, tangy and nutty.  A delicious and easy potato sabzi with nuts for extra flavor. It is made often for upvas as a bataka ni sukhi bhaji. Also known as sukhi aloo bhaji.
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Greek yogurt shrikand topped with pistachios and rose petals.

Instant Greek Yogurt Shrikhand Recipe

Shrikhand is a popular Indian sweet from Western India that is yogurt based and easy to make! I love making it with greek yogurt. Best served chilled and to give the flavors some time to soak in.
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Rajgira sheera in a white lace plate with rose petals and crushed nuts.

Rajgira Sheera

15 minute rajgira sheera is a vrat and upvas friendly and gluten-free Indian dessert made with amaranth flour, cardamom, and sugar.  This is a healthier version that uses less ghee than most recipes.
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Sing pak or peanut burfi squares on a white laced plate.

Sing Pak or Peanut Burfi

Sing pak, a delicious and hearty sweet ready in 15 minutes. This Gujarati sweet will hit the spot!
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Milk Barfi squares.

15 Minute Milk Barfi or Milk Powder Burfi

Milk Barfi / Milk Powder Burfi is an easy, delicious, melt in your mouth Indian sweet that is ready in 15 minutes with 5 ingredients.
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Mango burfi on a plate with pistachios and gold leaf garnish.

Best 15 Minute Mango Burfi (Easy Recipe)

Delicious, melt in your mouth mango burfi is easy to make and only takes 15 minutes of active time. Make it at home for the best fresh taste with no weird or artificial ingredients.
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kaju katli

5 Ingredient Kaju Katli – Melt In Your Mouth

This recipe for homemade five ingredient kaju katli (kaju barfi) is delicious. It is smooth, creamy and halwai jaisa with a melt in mouth texture. It’s one of those sweets you can’t just have one of! Boxes of kaju katli, amongst other Indian sweets are often gifted during Indian holidays.
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Kopra pak pieces on a white plate.

Kopra Pak or Topra Pak

20 minute kopra pak or topra pak is Gujarati-style coconut barfi.  It’s an Indian sweet that has a rich coconut taste with hints of cardamom and saffron. 
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Dry fruit barfi in a fluted white plate.

Easy Khajur Burfi or Dry fruit barfi (Date Nut Roll)

Dry fruit barfi or khajoor barfi or date roll burfi is so easy and a sweet treat. It is a dates sweet or date burfi that is sweet, crunchy and delicious. This dry fruit burfi is made of nuts, dates, cardamom and coconut.  There is no added sugar and it comes together in minutes!
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  Fruits

Lord Krishna was known to love fruits, especially bananas and milk. So, offering a variety of fruits is a common practice during Janmashtami.

Fruit chaat in a silver ornate platter.

15 Minute Delicious Fruit Chaat Recipe (Spicy Fruit Salad)

Fruit chaat is a simple snack using fresh fruits and a few spices to make a delicious tangy, sweet and spicy fruit salad. Great way to use seasonal fruits for a tasty snack!
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  Janmashtami Recipes Special Indian Drinks

Some people prepare special drinks like buttermilk or flavored milk (thandai) to offer to Lord Krishna and also to break their fast.

Thandai powder in a small white dish with a gold spoon.

10 Minute Instant Thandai Powder (Thandai Masala)

Ready in 10 minutes, this homemade thandai powder is a blend of nuts and Indian spices that gives delicious, deep flavors that are SO much better than store-bought thandai masala powder.
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Saffron milk in a glass.

Kesar Milk

Kesar milk or saffron milk is a quick treat flavored with saffron, crushed almonds and a hint of cardamom. A traditional Indian drink!
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Mango milk in a glass with saffron strands and crushed pistachio.

Mango Milk

Refreshing mango milk is a delight to drink and easy to make. Mango pulp or fresh mangoes are mixed with saffron infused milk for a sweet treat.
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Chikoo milkshake on a plate with coconut shred garnish and a slice of chikoo.

Creamy Chikoo Milkshake (vegan option)

Creamy chikoo milkshake with or without ice cream ready in 5 minutes! Plus, three yummy ideas for additional flavor.
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Top view of a glass of strawberry lassi with pistachio crumbles.

5 Minute Fresh Strawberry Lassi

Strawberry lassi is a delicious Indian drink made in 5 minutes with either fresh strawberries or frozen. I have a tip on an ingredient to use for restaurant style lassi and ideas for variations of the drink.
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Top view of a glass of pineapple lassi with a sprig of mint leaves.

5 Minute Pineapple Lassi

Pineapple lassi is a delicious twist on an Indian drink made in 5 minutes with pineapple chunks. This tropical lassi is simple and I have a few ideas for variations to make it a party hit!
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 Sabudana Khichdi Or Moraiyo Khichdi

In some regions, sabudana (tapioca pearls) khichdi is a popular fasting dish for Janmashtami. It is made with soaked sabudana, peanuts, and spices.

Sabudana khichdi in an ornate gold plate with a smaller bowl of yogurt to the side.

Sabudana Khichdi

A cozy bowl of non-sticky sabudana khichdi balanced with spices and a hint of lemon is just what you need today! This is a very popular Maharashtrian breakfast or brunch dish. It is made with potatoes, tapioca pearls, spices and ground roasted peanuts which gives you many textures in a delicious dish. It is also a favorite dish for fasting/upvas during Navratri, Ekadashi, Shravan month or other fasting days. Sabudana is also known as sago, another word for tapioca pearls, made from the starch of roots of cassava.
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Moraiyo khichdi in a steel bowl on a pink cloth, garnished with green chillies.

Moraiyo Ni Khichdi (Sama ki khichdi)

Moraiyo ni khichdi or sama ke khichdi is a delicious farali khichdi made of barnyardmillet, potatoes, chillies and a few spices. It is very easy to make with a nutritious type of millet for fasting orvrat/upvas days such as Ekadashi, Navratri, Shivratri etc.
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Coconut Ladoo

Coconut ladoos, made from grated coconut and condensed milk, are a delicious sweet often prepared for Janmashtami.

Rose coconut ladoos on a gray plate garnished with rose petals.

3 Ingredient Instant Rose Coconut Ladoo

In just 5 minutes, tasty rose coconut ladoo with condensed milk are ready. No cooking required for this easy recipe!
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Coconut ladoos on a white tray.

6 Flavors Instant Coconut Ladoos With Condensed Milk

In just 10 minutes, these tasty coconut ladoo with condensed milk are ready. No cooking required for this easy recipe.
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Chocolate coconut ladoos in a white bowl.

2 Ways Instant Chocolate Coconut Ladoo (Condensed Milk)

In just 5 minutes, these chocolate coconut ladoos with condensed milk is ready. No cooking is required for this easy recipe!
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How is Janmashtami celebrated?

Janmashtami, the celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth, is marked by various traditional rituals and customs observed by Hindus across India and other parts of the world. These rituals may vary in detail from one region to another, but some common and widely followed traditional Janmashtami rituals include:

Fasting: Many devotees observe a fast on Janmashtami, abstaining from food and water until midnight when Lord Krishna is believed to have been born. The fast may vary in its strictness, with some people refraining from all grains and others consuming only certain types of food allowed during fasting, such as fruits, milk, and nuts.

Temple Visits: Devotees visit temples dedicated to Lord Krishna, particularly the famous Krishna temples like the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura and the ISKCON temples worldwide. They offer prayers, sing devotional songs, and participate in special aarti (worship) ceremonies.

Midnight Celebration: The birth moment of Lord Krishna, believed to be at midnight, is the main highlight of Janmashtami. Devotees engage in the Krishna Janmotsav, which involves singing devotional songs, reading sacred texts like the Bhagavad Gita, and celebrating the birth with great enthusiasm.

Swinging of Baby Krishna: In temples and some homes, an idol or image of the infant Lord Krishna is placed in a cradle and gently rocked. Devotees take turns swinging the cradle as a symbolic gesture of celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna.

Rasa Lila Recitation: The Rasa Lila, which describes the divine love dance of Lord Krishna with the gopis (cowherd girls), is often recited or enacted through dance dramas in temples and cultural performances.

Bhajans and Kirtans: Devotees sing bhajans (devotional songs) and perform kirtans (devotional singing and dancing) dedicated to Lord Krishna. These musical offerings are an essential part of the celebrations.

Dressing Up the Deity: The deity of Lord Krishna in temples is often dressed in new and ornate clothing, jewelry, and flower garlands. Devotees believe that the Lord appreciates being adorned on this special day.

Offerings and Prasadam: Devotees prepare special dishes as offerings (bhog) to Lord Krishna. These offerings include sweets, fruits, and other vegetarian delicacies. After being offered to the deity, the food is distributed as prasadam (blessed food) to devotees.

Breaking the Fast: After midnight, devotees break their fast by consuming prasadam or other permissible foods. This marks the end of the fasting period.

Dahi Handi: In some regions, young men form human pyramids to reach and break a pot filled with curd or buttermilk (dahi) suspended at a height. This reenacts Lord Krishna’s childhood pranks of stealing butter from pots.

Decorations and Rangoli: Homes and temples are often decorated with colorful rangoli (artistic designs made with colored powders) and flower arrangements to create a festive atmosphere.

Hope you enjoyed this list of Janmashtami recipes and learning about how it is celebrated!

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