Favourite Janmashtami foods and recipes

The birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated as Krishna Janmashtami or Krishna Jayanti or Gokulashtami by Hindus throughout the world. Lord Krishna is considered the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. He was born to Vasudev and Devaki and raised by foster parents Yashoda and Nand Gopal. Lord Krishna is one of the most widely worshipped Gods. He symbolises love and beauty. His tales of a mischievous childhood, carefree adolescence, loyal friendship, and guruship on the battlefield still enchants all.
The happiness is evident in the faces of small boys dressed as Krishna and in the faces of mothers who are busy churning butter for their offering. The air is filled with devotional songs and laughter as people stay awake the whole night to welcome little Krishna into the world. Those who are fasting carefully pick only fasting foods while still trying to keep their energy high. For that reason, certain energy-rich foods are preferred. Sweets are cherished and people indulge to their heart’s content. However, all in all, the annual festival calls for food that young Krishna adored. Here are a few you too will love!

krishna janmashtami special


Cook time: 45 minutes
Serve: 4 per
Type: Sweet



  1. Clean and wash rice and mung dal. Roast them on a slow flame till a nice aroma wafts out. The rice need not change colour.
  2. Soak saffron in 3 tablespoons of warm milk.
  3. Take a wok and melt jaggery with ¼ cup of water. Filter it out to remove impurities and let it cool.
  4. Fry roughly chopped cashew and raisins in ghee till they turn golden brown.
  5. To make the akkaravadisal, take a deep heavy bottom vessel and pour in 1 litre of milk. Warm it up and add the roasted rice and dal. Bring this to a boil and then remove from heat.
  6. Take a cooker and add in some water. Place the milk vessel into the cooker and close it with the lid. Close the cooker also and place the whistle/weight/cooker regulator also. Cook on a slow flame for about 25 minutes. Cool and remove the vessel from the cooker.
  7. To this add the melted jaggery and condensed milk. Stir well. Add the remaining half litre milk and mix all of them well.
  8. Add cardamom powder and saffron with the milk. Stir well and cook on low heat.
  9. Warm up all the ghee and pour it on akkaravadisal. The fried dry fruits can also be added.
  10. The sweet should be of thick and gooey consistency with ghee just above.
  11. Serve this hot with a generous amount of warm ghee.

Tip: Condensed milk can be omitted and more jaggery can be added.

Click here for Sabudana Kheer recipe

krishna janmashtami special


Cook time: 30 minutes
Makes: 10 pieces
Type: Sweet



  1. Warm up a couple of tablespoons of milk and soak saffron strands in it for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Crumble khoya with the back of a spoon.
  3. Take a non-stick pan and add in the khoya. Cook on slow to medium flame.
  4. Pour in the condensed milk and saffron along with the milk. Stir well. The consistency would be that of a thick batter.
  5. Keep stirring till it collects into a single mass. This will need continuous stirring for about 10-15 minutes or more depending on the type of khoya.
  6. Add in the aromatic cardamom powder and mix well.
  7. At this stage add a tablespoon of ghee to give a good gloss.
  8. Take this out onto a plate and let it cool enough to handle.
  9. Meanwhile, chop almonds and pistachios in thin slivers.
  10. Take small portions of the khoya mixture and shape them as pedas. Make a small dent in the centre and place some chopped nuts.

Pedas are ready for offering to the Lord and consumption.

Click here for Gulkand Peda

Shrikhandkrishna janmashtami special

Cook time: 30 minutes + overnight for draining
Serve: 4 per
Type: Sweet



  1. Take the yogurt in a muslin cloth and leave it to drain overnight. Preserve the whey.
  2. Soak the saffron in warm milk for about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Take the hung curd into a bowl and add powdered sugar, saffron along with the milk and cardamom, and fennel powder. Mix well.
  4. If the Shrikhand is too thick add in few tablespoons of the whey. Shrikhand should be thick, creamy, and soft ice-cream-like consistency.
  5. Serve this chilled.

Tip: Pulp of fruits like mango, raspberry, or strawberry can be added.

Click here for Khajoor Shrikhand recipe

Jaggery Pohakrishna janmashtami special

Cook time: 10 minutes
Serve: 4 per
Type: Sweet



  1. Wash and soak flattened rice for about 10 minutes.
  2. Take a pan and fry thinly sliced almonds and cashew nuts in a couple of tablespoons of ghee. Fry till they are golden brown. Set it aside.
  3. Take another pan and melt jaggery along with a couple of tablespoons of water. Once it is melted, filter it out and return the melted jaggery into the pan and on a slow flame.
  4. Squeeze out all the water from the flattened rice and add in into the jaggery. Mix well.
  5. Add in the coconut scrapping and cardamom powder and stir well.
  6. Finish off the sweetened poha by adding in the fried dry fruits and the rest of the ghee.
  7. Take it off the heat and serve hot.

Click here for Poha Kheer recipe

Sabudana Khichdi krishna janmashtami special

Cook time: 20 minutes + overnight soaking
Serve: 4 per
Type: Savoury



  1. Wash sabudana well under running water till all the starch runs out and the water is clear.
  2. Soak the sabudana overnight in just enough water that covers it.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan dry roast peanuts till their skin splits. Massage them well and remove some skin. Crush them coarsely in a mixer jar.
  4. Drain off excess water from sago, if any. Add this coarse peanut powder to the sago and mix well. Add in salt too.
  5. Boil the potatoes, peel them, and cut them into cubes.
  6. Take a wok and add ghee. Once the ghee is hot enough add in cumin seeds and let it crackle.
  7. Add in the cubed potatoes and sauté till they turn golden brown. At this stage add in finely chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
  8. Finally, add in the sago pearls along with the peanuts and toss well. Sprinkle about a couple of tablespoons of water and cover it. Let it cook in the steam on a low flame for about 5 minutes. The sago pearls should be translucent.
  9. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

Click here for Crispy Sabudana Vada

Krishna grew up in a village called Gokul. He lived off in milk, butter, curd, and other milk products. Each region offers its own version of love, as food to the Lord. Few of them are written about but many are our own creations. Love for one’s Lord is personal.

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