Bhagar / Samo Rice / Varicha Bhat (Fasting Recipe)

Easy, Light and Comforting Fasting Recipe or Vrat ka Khana from the Maharashtrian Cuisine called Bhagar.

Bhagar / Samo Rice / Varicha Bhat (Fasting Recipe)

I am sure you are all gearing up for Navratri Celebrations and doing last minute shopping, buying essentials for pooja etc. Since many of you must be fasting during 9 days, I thought of posting a fasting special recipe from Maharashtra called Bhagar. Bhagar is also known as Samo Rice, Varicha Bhat or Varyache Tandul in Marathi.

Bhagar or Varicha Bhat is an Easy to cook recipe, very comforting and filling during Fasting. It can be eaten for breakfast and/or as main meals along with a side of curd. Traditionally, in Maharashtra, it is served with Danyachi Amti, which is made with Peanuts.

Varicha Bhat or Varyache Tandul can be consumed for fasting during Ashadi Ekadashi, Navratri, Sankashti Chaturthi, Angarika or regular weekly fasts too.

Easy to Cook Samo Rice Recipe for fasting
Soft and Fluffy Samo Rice or Bhagar

Some Fasting Recipes on the Blog-

What is Bhagar?

  • Bhagar is a Millet. Fasting generally means “No grains to be consumed” which is why Sabudana or Tapioca Pearls, Rajgira or Amaranth Flour and Kuttu or Buckwheat Flour are popularly used for making various dishes.
  • Bhagar is known as Samo Rice. Samo Rice is also known by names like Kodri, Samvat or Samak Chawal.
  • Bhagar in Gujarati it is also referred to as Moraiyo.
  • In Maharashtra, it is called as Bhagar or Varicha Bhat or Varyache Tandul.
  • In English, Bhagar is called Barnyard Millet
  • Samo Rice in Tamil is called Kuthiraivali Rice.  

Like all millets, Bhagar or Samo Rice is Gluten Free and Vegan in nature. It is Diabetic Friendly too due to low in calories and high in fibre. A bowl of Bhagar served with a side of curd keeps you full until lunch. Honestly, I prefer simple fasting recipes like Bhagar that is absolutely fuss free to cook even for busy mornings.

Bhagar or Samo Rice

Fasting, according to Hindu Religion, aids in cleansing and detox. I personally fast 1 day every week and eat fruits and / or dry fruits. It helps me focus better and feel light. While it is not possible to follow strict fasts when working, travelling etc, one can opt for such meals as Varicha Bhat and stay active.

How to Cook Vari Rice, Bhagar or Samo Rice

Bhagar needs soaking time of atleast 15 to 20 minutes. It aids in faster and even cooking of the grains.

Bhagar Soaked in water (room temperature)
Soaked and drained Bhagar or Samo Rice (notice the grains have fluffed up)

Varicha Bhat can be made like a upma or khichdi, the consistency depends on your taste and preference. I do not prefer dry Varicha Bhat or Bhagar.

  • For a Khichdi Consistency Varicha Bhat, you can opt for the Ratio of 1 cup Rice to 2 cups water (similar to the recipe shared below)
  • For Upma consistency (the dry upma) you can add 1 cup Rice to 1 1/4 cups of Water.

Note – Rice here refers to Samo Rice. It is not to be mistaken with normal Rice.

Easy Fasting Recipe Bhagar from Maharashtra
Light and Comforting Bhagar

I cooked and shot this recipe before Ashadi Ekadashi in July this year but unfortunately could not post the recipe. Finally glad, this recipe made it to the blog, much in time for Navratri.

Hope you enjoy cooking and eating this fasting special recipe with your family. Do provide your valuable feedback as always. Let’s now head over to the detailed step by step pictorial recipe below.

Step by Step Recipe to Cook Bhagar, Samo Rice, Varicha Bhat or Varyache Tandul

  • Soak the Bhagar in 1 cup of water for atleast 15 minutes. (Check the images above)
  • In the meanwhile, roast peanuts, cool, remove skin and coarsely grind them in a mixer grinder jar.
  • Finely chop some Green chillies and coriander leaves.
  • After 15 minutes of soaking time, you will notice the grains would have puffed up slightly, which means it is ready to cook. Drain the excess water.
  • Heat a kadhai and add 1 tsp of Ghee. Note – This recipe has to be cooked in ghee for best results.
  • Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or a sauce pan.
  • Add 1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds. Once they have browned, add the finely chopped green chillies.
  • Now add the soaked and drained bhagar. Ensure the flame is low at this point. Saute the bhagar until the moisture has evaporated.
  • Now add the boiling water, salt to taste, coarsely ground peanuts and sugar. Mix well, cover and let it cook for few minutes.
  • Remove the lid, allow the moisture to escape until you get khichdi consistency.
  • Switch off flame, add a tsp of ghee and finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix lightly and serve immediately with a side of curd or fasting chutney of your choice.

Important Recipe Notes

  • The Recipe is Gluten Free but not Vegan as we have used Ghee. Typically for fasting, ghee is used. Although, it is recommended to cook this recipe only with ghee for best results.
  • 1 cup is 125 ml measurement and yields 2 portion of Bhagar for breakfast. It is quite filling so this quantity with a side of curd is sufficient. You can also serve with potato wafers, french fries and coconut chutney too.
  • Salt used is Sendha Namak (Hindi) or Rock Salt (English).
  • A tiny amount of sugar in the recipe, elevates the taste. You can skip that if you want.
  • Peanut powder provides a nutty aroma and taste. Add more if you like, by all means. You can alternatively add a few roasted peanuts along with Jeera, green chillies.
  • Leftovers of Bhagar make cool Curd Rice. Just mix some curd into leftover bhagar, add a tempering of jeera, some seasoning and turn it into a full fledged meal.
Bhagar fasting recipe from maharashtra

Bhagar / Samo Rice / Varicha Bhat {Fasting Recipe}

Easy, Light, Comforting fasting recipe from Maharashtra called Bhagar. Bhagar is also known as Samo Rice, Varicha Bhat or Varyache Tandul in Marathi. Made especially on Ashadi Ekadashi and served with Danyachi Amti. Can be eaten for all religious fasts as breakfast or as main meals with accompaniment of your choice.
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Course: Breakfast, Main Course
Cuisine: Maharashtrian
Keyword: Ashadi Ekadashi Fasting Recipes, bhagar, Farali Food, Maharashtrian Recipes, Navratri Recipes for 9 days, Samo Rice, Varicha Bhat, Varyache Tandul, Vrat ka Khana
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Varicha Bhat, Varyache Tandul, Bhagar or Samo Rice 1 cup is 125 ml
  • 2 cups Hot Water
  • 1/4 cup Groundnuts (Roasted, Peeled and ground into a coarse powder)
  • 2 tsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar optional but highly recommended
  • 1 nos. Green Chillies finely chopped
  • Salt to taste See notes
  • Coriander leaves finely chopped

Instructions

  • Soak the Bhagar in 1 cup of water for atleast 15 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, roast peanuts, cool, remove skin and coarsely grind them in a mixer grinder jar.
  • Finely chop some Green chillies and coriander leaves.
  • After 15 minutes of soaking time, you will notice the grains would have puffed up slightly, which means it is ready to cook.
  • Drain the excess water. Heat a kadhai and add 1 tsp of Ghee. Note – It is recommended to cook this recipe in ghee for best results.
  • Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or a sauce pan.
  • Add 1/4 tsp jeera or cumin seeds. Once they have browned, add the finely chopped green chillies.
  • Now add the soaked and drained bhagar. Ensure the flame is low at this point. Saute the bhagar until the moisture has evaporated.
  • Now add the boiling water, salt to taste, coarsely ground peanuts and sugar.
  • Mix well, cover and let it cook for few minutes. Remove the lid, allow the moisture to escape until you get khichdi consistency.
  • Switch off flame, add a tsp of ghee and finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix lightly and serve immediately with a side of curd or fasting chutney of your choice.

Notes

  • The Recipe is Gluten Free but not Vegan as we have used Ghee. Typically for fasting, ghee is used. Although, it is recommended to cook this recipe only with ghee for best results.
  • 1 cup is 125 ml measurement and yields 2 portion of Bhagar for breakfast. It is quite filling so this quantity with a side of curd is sufficient. You can serve with potato wafers, french fries and coconut chutney too.
  • Salt used is Sendha Namak (Hindi) or Rock Salt (English).
  • A tiny amount of sugar in the recipe, elevates the taste. You can skip that if you want.
  • Peanut powder provides a nutty aroma and taste. Add more if you like, by all means. You can alternatively add a few roasted peanuts along with Jeera, green chillies.
  • Leftovers of Bhagar make cool Curd Rice. Just mix some curd into leftover bhagar, add a tempering of jeera, some seasoning and turn it into a full fledged meal.

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Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

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Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

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