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Friday, 16 October 2020

Chappan Bhog for Lord Krishna

Food has always been an integral part of any celebration in India. Chappan Bhog is one such pious ritual which comprises of 56 food items that are offered to Lord Krishna with love and devotion on auspicious occasions like Janmashtami, Gowardhan Puja (Annakut), Purushottam Maas (Adhik Maas) etc. The word chappan translates to 56 and bhog means food that is first offered to the deity and later on distributed among devotees as Prasad (blessed food). Chappan Bhog usually comprises of lord Krishna's favourite dishes including a variety of sweets made from milk and rice, savory snacks, cereals, vegetable preparations, chutneys, pickles, drinks, fruits and dry fruits. 

Some of the common items found in chappan bhog are Makhan Mishri, Panchamrut, Kheer, Gulab Jamun, Peda, Mohanthal, HalwaLadoo Dhaniya Panjiri, Moong Dal Halwa, Malpua, RabdiDal Chawal KadhiKhichdi , Murabba, fresh fruits and dry fruits. 

Video for Chappan Bhog

What is the significance of number 56 in the Chappan Bhog Offering?

Wondering why there are specifically 56 items in this Bhog? There is a story behind this. 

Story of Govardhandhari: 

According to the legends, there was a practice among the people of Braj to offer lavish meals to Lord Indra (the rain god). In return, Indra promised good rain to nourish their crops. Lord Krishna believed this was a harsh price the poor farmers had to pay. Moreover, he wanted the people of Gokul and Braj  to acknowledge the importance of Govardhan Parvat (mountain). Lord Krishna explained to the villagers that the mountain safeguarded the villagers from harsh climatic conditions, hence the villagers started worshiping the mountain instead of Indra. Angered by this gesture of villagers, Indra flooded the village. He brought heavy rain and soon the village was destroyed. People prayed to lord Krishna to save their lives.

Lord Krishna came to their rescue and lifted the huge Gowardhan Parvat and placed it at the tip of his little finger to protect his villagers from the wrath of Indra. Everyone including villagers and cattle took refuge under the mountain. The rain continued for 7 days and so did Lord Krishna stood there still continuously holding the mountain until Lord Indra realized his mistake and it stopped raining. Since then lord Krisna came to be known as Govardhandhari, the one who held the Govardhan Parvat (mountain). Yashoda Maiya ( Krishna's mother) would usually feed him with 8 meals a day but He did not consume any food during these 7 days and had to skip his meals. So, at the end of the seventh day, once the rains abated, the villagers offered a total of 56 dishes (8 meals multiplied by 7 days ) to Lord Krishna, out of gratitude. Thus the concept of  56 (chappan bhog) emerged and it became a ritual to offer 56 dishes to the deities during auspicious occasions and festivals.

Govardhan Puja: The next day of the Hindu festival, Deepavali, is known as Govardhan Puja. Lord Krishna is worshiped and offered Chappan Bhog in the form of Annakut (mountain of food) by a few communities in India. The significance of this ritual is that people invite the Lord to their houses and offer him all his favourite food items and seek his blessings against all odds in their lives. On the day of Govardhan Puja, people after giving bath to their cattle, worship the cattle with garlands and offer chappan bhog to them as well. Every year during the festivals of Janmashtami and Govardhan Puja, thousands of devotees throng Mathura, to offer 56 dishes to appease lord Krishna. This year, Govardhan Puja will be celebrated on Sunday, 15th November 2020. 

What goes into Chappan Bhog?

The chappan bhog offerings depend upon many aspects. The first being, the deity to which the chappan bhog is been offered. The bhog offered after Sunder Kand katha is different from the one being offered during Janmashtami. Another aspect is the region in which it is offered. The actual dishes of the chappan bhog vary across regions based on their culinary practices, customary beliefs, spiritual practices and the ingredients available. One thing that is common in any chappan bhog is that the food is sacred and essentially Satvik ( vegetarian food without onion and garlic).
Shree Jagannath Puri Maha Prasad - Picture Courtesy Google

For example, at Jagannath Temple in Puri there is a daily ritual to offer no less than 56 dishes to the deity. The temple kitchen of Jagganath Puri is believed to have the largest Kitchen in the world. The Mahaprasad there is still cooked in earthen pots placed in a pyramid over wood fire that is lit from the Homa sacrificial fire. The earthen pots retain both flavor and heat uniformly, making the food last for longer periods of time. The temple Kitchen has got the capacity to cook for a lakh of devotees on a single day. There are 240 fire places and 600 cooks who cook variety of rice, vegetables and sweet meals to the Lord Jaganatha. The menu at the temple is unique and i feel blessed to have recreated some of the dishes of the bhog in my kitchen,
  • Magaja Ladoo - sweet treats made with whole wheat flour, sugar and ghee and uniquely flavored with black pepper and cardamom.
  • Dalma - mixed vegetables cooked with lentils.
  • Cheena Poda - baked  cottage cheese cake.
  • Rasabali - Rasabali consists of deep fried flattened reddish brown patties of Chhena that are soaked in thickened, sweetened milk (rabri).
Maha Prasad At Shree Jagganth Puri Temple - Picture Courtesy Google

The chappan bhog that is offered to Lord Krishna includes the dishes made with his customary favourites of milk and milk products (butter, yogurt, ghee, cheena , khoya) , rice , savory snacks, saag (cooked greens), puri, papad, chutney, pickles, nuts and dry fruits. 

Did you know that at the Shri Swaminarayan temple in London, every year the Annakut is a grand display of more than thousand vegetarian dishes ?
Annakut (2006), Swamy Narayan Temple, UK Add source
My Chappan Bhog For Lord Krishna

Now coming to my post. I made this Chappan Bhog yesterday for Lord Purushottama (Krishna) on the occasion of the Udyapan (formal ending of Vrat) of my 30-day fasting  of Adhik Maas / Purushottam Maas upvas. I  always wanted to make a chappan bhog all my myself, and what better occasion could it be other than this. I feel blessed that in spite of my month long fasting, Lord Krishna gave me the strength to make this divine bhog for him, and that too without any helping hand (all thanks to COVID). I would like to tell to all those who also wish to offer chappan bhog to the deity that with proper planning and organisation of work, it is not at all impossible, yes, i agree it is a daunting task but then it is rightly said that when you decide to do something good (take Sankalp),  Almighty guides you and provides you the strength and inspiration.

After having the thought of making Chappan bhog, i assured myself that i can do it. Then i listed out the various dishes that i typically offer to lord Krishna on Janmashtami every year. That included all his favourite dishes like Makhan Mishri, Mohanthal, Anjeer burfi, Makhana Kheer, Panchamrut, Mishti Doi, Dhaniya Panjiri, Mathura peda, Narayani Sheera, Coconut Ladoo,, Badam katli, Gulab Jamun etc. This gave me the confidence, that i could do it with a bit more of precise planning.  Then i made three different columns with the headings: Sweets, Savories , Fruits/ Dry Fruits and started adding names of satvik dishes that could be segregated under each column. 

Now, after i could list out around 30 dishes, i did a bit research on the Internet as to which dishes could be included in a typical chappan bhog. I got to know that apart from the sweets, savory dishes like dal chawal, kadhi, khichdi, saag, poori, chutney, murabba, raita, chaas, chivda, farsan and even papad and fritters(pakode) could be offered under the chappan bhog. Now, i was pretty confident that i could give it a try.

Organisation and Execution
I prepared the entire chappan bhog in 4 days, including making khoya at home. The first day i cooked all the deep fried snacks like Namak pare, Shakkarpare, Karanji, Chirote, Chiwda, Anarsa. 
On the second day, i prepared khoya from 3 liter milk. Click here, for the recipe of homemade khoya. Once the khoya was ready, i made 5 dishes that used khoya in it like the Mathura Peda, Khoya Ladoo, Panchkhadya Modak, Mohanthal and Gulab Jamun. 
On the third day, i prepared the hung curd for Shrikhand, prepared Mishti doi, ladoo varieties (Boondi ladoo, Magaja ladoo, Til gul ladoo and Coconut ladoo), Anjeer roll and Dhaniya panjiri.
On the day of udyapan, 4th day, i made the rest 21 items (Dal, Chawal, Kadhi, Masale Bhat, Paneer Makhani, Kaddu ki subji, Poori, Basundi, Phirni, Ajwain pakode, Makhana kheer, Khamang kakdi, Kothambir vadi, Pudina Chutney, Narayani Sheera, Moong Dal Halwa, Curd Rice, Banana Raita, Panchamrut, Papad and Meetha Paan)

Once the chappan bhog was ready, i transferred each item in small even sized drones (bowl), counted each item again and again to assure nothing was left to cook or to be served. Placed Tulsi leaf (Holy Basil) in each bowl and then offered the bhog to Lord Krishna with love and devotion. 

Chappan Bhog with Recipes:

Let's have a look at the all the dishes of my Chappan Bhog , one by one along with their recipes.
  1. Maakhan Mishri : Lord Krishna is also know as Makhan Chor. He was very fond of Butter. So make sure you keep Makhan Mishri for offering (bhog) for Kanhaji. Homemade unsalted butter prepared freshly from milk cream by churning, for the bhog is called Makhan. It is topped with rock sugar (mishri) and Saffron strands. 

  2. Panchamrut :  Panchamrut is a holy Indian drink is a mixture of 5 ingredients, milk, sugar, ghee, curd and honey. No Hindu religious functions / puja/ worship is complete without this traditional recipe. It is used for abhishekam (bathing the deity), as naivedhyam (offering to God) and after puja (worship), distributed among devotees as prasadam (blessed food). It can also serve as a fasting food (food for vrat).

 3. Mishti Doi : Mishti Doi is a classical Bengali sweet yogurt. It is basically a fermented sweet yogurt made with sweetened thickened milk to which yogurt (curd culture) is added and fermented overnight.

 4. Kele Ka Raita:  A very simple yet delectable yogurt dish made with ripe banana. 

5.  Shrikhand:  A traditional yogurt dessert from Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is made from sweetened hung curd that is flavored with fruit pulp or kept simple and flavored with green cardamom.

6. Basundi :  A delicious and popular Maharashtrian dessert made by reducing milk that is further sweetened and flavored with cardamom and Nutmeg.

7. Kesar Phirni : A milk and rice based rich and creamy dessert from North India.

8. Makhana Kheer: A sweet pudding made with lotus seeds / makhana.

9. Meetha Paan :  A mouth freshener made by stuffing Homemade Gulkand inside a beetle-nut leaf..

10. Anjeer Dates and Nuts Roll A nutritious fudge made with dried  figs, dates, dry fruit and poppy seeds.

11.  Khoya Gulab Jamun : A traditional Indian dessert in which small balls made from reduced milk (khoya) are deep fried in ghee and then drenched in cardamom flavored sugar syrup.

12. Mava Coconut Ladoo : A 4 ingredient easy and quick ladoo made with khoya, desiccated coconut, jaggery and cardamom.

13. Suji Coconut Ladoo : A traditional Maharashtrian sweet treat made with fresh coconut and ghee roasted suji.

14. Magaja Ladoo : A delectable sweet from the Odia Cuisine made from whole wheat flour, sugar, ghee and flavored with black pepper and cardamom.

15. Boondi ladoo : A delicious , melt-in-mouth ladoo made from gram flour (besan) and sugar.

16. Panchkhadya Modak : As the name suggests, "panch" means 5 and "Khadya" means food in Marathi. These modaks are pepared using the 5 ingredients, all of which start with the marathi alphabet 'KH' - Khava (mava or milk solids), Khobra (coconut), Kharik (dry dates), Khus Khus (poppy seeds) and khadi sakhar (rock sugar).         

17. Tilgul Ladoo : Delectable and healthy Sesame seeds and Jaggery Ladoo.

18. Badam Katli : A traditional Indian almond fudge.

19. Moong Dal Halwa : A delectable dessert from Indian state of Rajasthan prepared with split and skinned green lentil, ghee and Sugar. Check out this recipe where i have replaced sugar with jaggery and made the halwa using a pre-mix.

20. Narayani Sheera : A melt-in-mouth Suji halwa from the Maharashtrian Cuisine.

21.  Gulache Anarse : A traditional Maharashtrian pastry like dish made with soaked rice powder, jaggary , ghee and poppy seeds. The main attraction of Adhik Maas are these Gulache Anarse.

22. Pudachi Karanji / Layered Gujiya : A traditional Maharashtrian sweet fried dumpling made on festivals and special occasions. It is similar to the North Indian Gujiya.

23. Shakkarpare : Sweet flaky crispy deep fried snack from the Maharashtrian Cuisine.

24. Namakpare : Namakpare also known as Nimki is a crunchy savory Indian tea time snack. This flaky ribbon like snack is aclled kharat shankarpale in Marathi.

25. Mohanthal : A traditional dessert from the Indian state of Gujarat. It is basically a delectable melt-in-mouth besan (chickpea) fudge.

 26. Goad Papdi : A whole wheat deep fried snack that is mildly sweetened with jaggery and flavored with fennel seeds.

27. Chirote: A crispy layered sweet puri that has  a gorgeous rose shape and makes a delectable tea-time snack.

28: Mathura Peda: Mathura peda is a North Indian sweet dish that originated in Mathura. It is a delectable treat made using mava and sugar.

29. Kothambir Vadi : A popular Maharashtrian Snack. Basically it is a lip-smacking Coriander fritter.

30. Ajwain Pakoda: Flavorful fritters made using fresh Carom leaves (Ajwain ke Patte)

31. Cornflakes Chivda / Makai Poha Chivda : A crisp, sweet and savory Indian snack made from Maize flakes ( makai poha) spices and nuts.

32. Falahari Makhana Chiwda : A healthy and delicious savory snack made with Makhana (foxnut/lotus seeds) and dry fruits.

33. Poori : A whole wheat floor deep-fried puffed bread.

34. Kadhi : Kadhi is a famous Indian dish that is made by blending buttermilk or beaten curd with chickpea flour (besan) and then tempering it with herbs and flavorful spices.

35. Masale Bhat : A spicy and aromatic traditional Maharashtrian rice preparation. A one-pot meal with perfect blend of rice and vegetables with spices.

36.  Dhaniya Panjiri - An aromatic and delicious dish prepared using powdered coriander seeds, dry fruits and is sweetened with jaggery.

 37. Kaddu Ki Sabzi : Simple yet flavorful pumpkin curry cooked in a Punjabi style.

 38. Green Chutney : A lip-smacking coriander, mint chutney.

39. Mattha : A Maharashtrian spiced buttermilk, similar to the North Indian Chaas.

40. Satvik Paneer Butter Masala : A Jain style Paneer Butter Masala that is mildly sweet and tangy in taste and gets a wonderful aroma and spicy flavor from the whole spices used.

41.  Khamang Kakadi: An aromatic cucumber salad from the Maharashtrian Cuisine.

42. Papad: Roasted Urad dal(skinned and split black gram) papad.

43. Amla Murabba: Whole Indian Gooseberry in Jaggery relish .

44. Curd Rice : A delicious and cooling dish from the South India in which soft cooked rice is blended with curd and tempered with flavorful and aromatic spices and herbs.

45. Bhat : Unsalted steamed rice to be served with dal (lentil) curry and topped with tup (home-made clarified butter/ ghee).

46. Maharashtrian Varan: Ghee tempered pigeon pea (lentil curry).

47 to 56  I have included 5 seasonal fruits and 5 dry fruits in the Chappan Bhog as it is customary to offer Lord Krishna with fruits and dry fruits as bhog. 

The fruits include, Pomegranate, Apple, Kiwi, Banana and Pear. Offered dry fruits include Cashewnuts, Almonds, Raisins, dried Dates and dried Figs. You may offer any fruits and dry fruits of your choice or availability. 


Recipe Notes: 
  • Click on the red colored highlighted word ( the dish name) for respective recipe.
  • The dishes I have included in this Chappan Bhog are influenced by my Cultural background ( you can see many Maharashtrian dishes are included) and also on the availability of ingredients at the time of making Bhog ( All thanks to the current scenario due to COVID 19 Pandemic) . You may replace  the dishes mentioned here with the food that is typically been offered to the deity in your custom or the region you belong to.
  • Make sure you do not taste any dish of the chappan bhog before it is been offered to the Deity.
  • Always place holy basil leaves in the bhog before offering.
  • Make sure the prasad ( food that is offered and then distributed among devotees as blessed food) is handled with dignity, not spilled or wasted at any cost. Try to consume the prasad as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of khoya sweets getting spoiled.
  • It is customary that the person who cooks any bhog for the deity maintains personal hygiene and does not eat anything while cooking the food. 
  • Make sure you use good quality ingredients for making the bhog. 
  • Most of all cook the bhog with love and devotion and not just as a task that is assigned to you by someone.

Would Love To Hear From You !

I hope you would love this Chappan Bhog post as I have put my heart and soul in making this. If you give any of the recipes from this collection a try, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments below this posts. You can share the pics of the food cooked by you on my email address - poonampagar@gmail.com

All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciations means a lot to me. It gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing my work and give my best each time.

If you like my recipes and want to be updated with new recipes, follow us on the social media.
See you soon with yet another healthy and delicious creation from my Kitchen. Till then take care and eat right !

 Happy Cooking !

Poonam Bachhav

For more Satvik dishes that can be included in chappan bhog for lord Krishna are as under.


  1. Wonderful post Poonam!! So much of love and devotion in each and every dish you have prepared.. you are really blessed!! Very pic is so Dvine!!🙏🏼

    1. Thank you Swaty for the kind words. I consider myself blessed.

  2. Lovely Collection of Chappan Bhog Recipes.

  3. Amazing pics Poonam. Offering 56 bhog to Sri Krishna with such dedication is definitely commendable. Every dish is prepared in pure ghee which make each of them pure and divine. I tried not all but couple of your dishes like Satvik paneer, mishti dohi, badam katli, Anarse and all turned out to be super delicious. Thanks for sharing such lovely recipies with us. Happy cooking!!!!

    1. Thank you Rohini for stopping by and for the lovely feedback. I am glad you tried out my recipes and they turned out well.

  4. Spellbound by your collection of 56 bhog. Each Recipe is masterpiece and carries that traditional and religious bond.

    1. Thank you Payal. When a devotee makes offering to the deity it has a pious bond.

  5. Wow Poonam,such a amazing recipes, it looks very divine. Good to know the story behind chappan blog, loved all the recipes they looks very divine. Wish you to get more energy to share more wonderfu recipes like this , Good Luck 😍

  6. Amazing and awesome...hats off to you....I can understand so much of planning is needed for this and liked reading your post. I am a Brijwasi and know this, but still read this post and felt so nice. You have written this post very nicely and all the dishes done with so much of love. Loved it completely

    1. Thank you Renu. Glad to get such a lovely feedback from a Brijwasi.

  7. Wow, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing about this tradition with all of us. Loved reading the history and the dishes that are made. Kudos for all your efforts.

  8. That is a truly exhaustive list of food offerings with very interesting traditions and history. I am sure that it will be helpful for many who will want to plan their days...

  9. Such amazing collection of recipes, it looks so very divine. Really a good read behind chappan blog and loved all your recipes they look delicious.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you Lata. I am glad you found the post informative.

  10. Poonam, a marvelous achievement. It definitely is not easy making so many different dishes and too when you have no help. I admire your faith and dedication. Through this post also got the opportunity to do darshan of the variety of bhog that is offered at different temples. From my maternal side we are Swaminarayans and I've grown up admiring the variety that is laid out for Bhagwan during Janmashtami and Annakoot or Goavardhan Pooja.

    1. Thank you di for the kind words. I feel blessed that I could make this offering.

  11. Wow! such a awesome and Delicious 56 recipes. Here i can see your patience and devotion. Thanks for the wonderful information!

    1. Thank you Uma for stopping by. Glad that you liked the post.

  12. Wow poonam. amazing, i m lost for words looking at this divine feast!! Though i have heard about chappanbhog, never knew the story behind it! Marvelous yaar ! May the lord bless you with all goodness in this universe and may you continue to offer him such bhog as much as possible !

    1. Thank you for your kind words and blessings Priya.

  13. This is phenomenal, I absolutely love the Darshan of annakut darshan here in Hare krishna and Swaminarayan temple. Loved the post and all the bhog..yum yum!

  14. What a elaborate bhog this is for baby Krishna!! I have always been fascinated with the chappan bhog and every time I see the bhog post, it makes me so happy. I have to visit you once during the chappan bhog time. Hope I can plan a India trip around that time soon.

    1. Sure Sandhya. Would love to host you during the festivity. Thank you.

  15. This is such a lovely post dear. I loved how you have explained everything in detail and how can we plan to make these delicacies.

  16. Thank you so much for this detailed and organised post.I am from Maharashtrian background as well but don't have much idea on cooking 56 bhoga items for Janmasthami and never done before,but your post has inspired me:).Your guidance on prepping and what items on which day tips are very helpful.

  17. Thanks for the recipes.And this knowledge was searching from many days Thanks alot again

  18. Mam you are great you are really great 👍 😊
    Lord Krishna wud be so happy, no doubt he will not just bless you but bless you with abundance and might have blessed you for all your lifetimes .

  19. Amazing, admire your dedication and devotion 🙏🙏

  20. Awesome ma'am, i was searching for a long time about 56 bhog. It really helped me a lot. Thank you for sharing such a amazing and great information with us.

  21. I have no words Poonam. I really amazed how you could managed to make all the dishes without any help. Such a wonderful post. Loved all the pictures and detailed description of chhappan bhog.

  22. Lord Krishna wud be so happy, no doubt he will not just bless you but bless you with abundance and might have blessed you for all your lifetimes .