The Feast with Elephant Headed Lord Ganesha
Ganesh Chaturthi or Ganesh Utsav as it is popularly referred, is the most celebrated festival in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The festival is celebrated as Lord Ganesha’s birth anniversary. The streets are decorated, the pandals are set up at every corner, flower garlands, lights and lots delicious delicacies are the important part of the festival.
While the festival is celebrated in almost all parts of India, but the most elaborate version can be seen in Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. The zeal and enthusiasm in incomparable. The festival is observed in the Hindu calender month of Bhaadrapada that starts from mid August and lasts till mid September. The date usually falls between 19 August and 15 September. Ganesh Festival in Maharashtra is one of the much awaited event. An event that lasts for 10 days.
Here we have listed the most important Sweet delicacies for The Ganesh Festival
Ukadiche Modak Recipe
A form of modak which is prepared using rice flour, coconut and jaggery. The celebrations and rituals are incomplete without a plate full of Modak.
- For the ukad (dough) –
- 1 cup rice flour,
- A little less than 1 cup; water,
- A pinch of salt,
- 1/2 tsp ghee.
- For the Coconut Stuffing –
- 1/2 coconut; grated,
- 3/4 cup gul (jaggery),
- 1 tsp lightly roasted khus khus (poppy seeds),
- A tsp elaichi powder (green cardamom).
- To prepare the stuffing, combine coconut and jaggery in a pan and cook stirring until jaggery melts.
- Then add khus khus (poppy seeds) and elaichi powder and mix well.
- When the mixture is even and separates from the pan, remove from flame and set aside to cool down.
To prepare the covering
- Add water to a thick bottom pan and bring to boil.
- Add some salt and ghee to this water. Once water boils, reduce the flame.
- Add flour and mix immediately, so that there are no lumps.
- Keep mixing thoroughly. When even, cover with lid and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from flame and transfer this dough into a plate. Wet your palms with water and knead this dough while hot.Knead well using some water.
- Make small lemon size balls and divide the stuffing accordingly. You can choose to use a mold to prepare modaks or prepare it with your hands.
To prepare modaks
- Apply a bit of oil on your palms and fingers.
- Then place a dough ball over your left hand fingers, and using your right hand prepare a cup shape that is not too thick or too thin.
- Place the stuffing into it and place the cup on your left palm.
- Fill till cup with the stuffing you have prepared. Don’t over stuff.
- Now press together all the sides and seal the opening.
Khava Modak Recipe
Modak, usually refers to a form of ladoo, is a famous Maharashtrian Sweet. It is believed to be Lord Ganesh’s Favorite and is a must for this festival. This version has same importance.
- 1/2 cup Khava
- 1/2 cup sugar (Imp tip)
- 2 to 3 tbsp milk powder
- 2 pinches cardamom powder
- Grind the sugar to fine powder.
- Microwave khava for 1 minute. Take the bowl out. Stir for 40-45 seconds. Microwave again for 45 to 50 seconds.
- Take the bowl out and stir until khava cools down a little. When khava cools down and becomes warm, add powdered sugar and cardamom powder and mix well.
- If the mixture is not thick enough to make modak, add milk powder. Knead with hands. Knead just enough to incorporate the milk powder.
- Do not knead too much though. Over-kneading makes the dough oily. Let the mixture cools down a bit.
- Take the Modak mould. Stuff the mixture and press. Open the mould and gently remove modak.
Puran Poli Recipe
Puran Poli is one of the famous dishes of Maharashtra and prepared with great observance on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s a sweet flatbread stuffed with fillings of jaggery and Bengal gram dal.
For the Stuffing
- 1 cup toovar dal (arhar)
- 1 cup sugar
- a few strands of saffron
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi)
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
- a pinch mace powder (javantri)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
For the dough
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
- 2 tablespoons oil
For the serving
For the filling
- Wash and pressure cook the dal in 1 1/2 cups of water.
- Drain any excess water and keep aside.
- Heat the ghee in a pan, add the dal and sugar and cook till the mixture thickens, stirring continuously.
- Dissolve the saffron in a little water by rubbing.
- Add the cardamom and nutmeg powders, mace powder, saffron liquid and mix well.
- Cool, divide into 12 to 15 portions and keep aside.
For the dough
- Combine the flour and oil and knead into a soft dough using water.
- Divide into 12 to 15 portions and keep aside.
How to proceed
- Roll out one portion of the dough into a 75 mm. (3″) diameter circle.
- Place a portion of the filling mixture and fold the edges of the dough over the filling.
- Pinch the edges together to seal the filling in.
- Flatten the dough and roll again into a 100 mm. (4″) diameter circle.
- Cook on a tava over a medium flame till golden brown in colour on both sides.
- Repeat for the remaining dough and filling.
- Smear with ghee and serve hot.
Karanji is also one of the special and delicious recipes for the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Karanjis are flour dumplings stuffed with a sweet mixture of fresh or dry coconut and sugar and then deep fried.
- 1 cup grated dry coconut
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 pinch nutmeg powder
- 1 pinch dry ginger powder
- 4 elaichi
- 2 tsp maida
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 2 tbsp mixed dry fruit pieces
- 1 cup maida
- 1 tsp ghee (butter)
- salt (pinch)
- warm milk (for dough)
- In order to prepare Karanji, you will have to first prepare dough and then prepare the stuffing. Once you are done with both of them, you simply need to fill the stuffing and deep fry the Karanji.
- Mix 1 cup maida, 1 tbsp ghee, a pinch of salt and warm milk to prepare the dough, try to keep the dough a little hard.
- Roast dry coconut.
- Roast maida in ghee.
- Roast poppy seeds.
- Mix all the above ingredients and mill them finely.
- Roll small oval shaped puris from the hard dough.
- Now place the prepared stuffing in the middle of it.
- Stick both the corners of the puri by applying some water or milk so that it will seal properly. Remember not to apply too much of water as it will not seal properly.
- Deep fry it till it becomes brownish color.
- Serve it hot or cold as you wish.
Besan Ladoo Recipe
Besan ladoos are also popular on Ganesh Chaturthi festival. These ladoos are prepared with Gram Flour (besan), ghee and sugar and no doubt are very tasty and loved by every one. Ladoos are considered auspicious to offer to God and Besan Ladoos are very popular on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi.
- 2 cups gram flour (besan)
- 1½ cup sugar (grinded)
- 1 cup ghee
- 1 hand full of raisins
- In a kadhai mix gram flour and ghee over a low heat.
- Stir constantly to avoid lumps.
- When it releases an appetizing smell, it is ready.
- Remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Add sugar and raisins to the gram flour and mix thoroughly.
- Now form ping-pong size balls of the mixture.
- Besan Ladoo are ready to be served.