We are right in the middle of the joyous festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. The decorations are up, the incense is lit, Lord Ganesha’s idol has been welcomed home. At the end of all the aarti and puja we do each day, what we definitely need is prasad in the form of Ganesha’s favorite foods. Also Read - Good News For Train Travelers: IRCTC Resumes Food On Track Service on Train Berths
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Prasad is offered to God first, without tasting it beforehand, as that is considered impure. Once it has been offered, you have to share it with friends and family, enjoying every delicious bit of it. Also Read - Mahashivratri Recipes: How to Make Bhaang-Thandai at Home in 20 Minutes
We made a list of the top five foods to serve during Ganesh Chaturthi, all set with a recipe for each of them. Dust off your aprons and get ready!
Modak is best described as a sweet dumpling. If you imagine a Hershey’s kisses, then you have the exact shape in mind. The exterior is made of rice/wheat flour that was mixed with maida flour. The inside of modak is filled with grated coconut and jaggery. Most people steam the modak and some fry it. It is known as Ganesha’s favorite food.
(Recipe courtesy: Veg Foods of India)
- 1 cup rice/wheat flour
- 1.5 cups of water
- ¼ tsp of oil/ghee
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut
- 3/4 cup grated jaggery (add more to taste)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp ghee/oil
- 1/2 tsp rice/wheat flour
Directions for filling:
Heat ghee. Add poppy seeds, cardamom, and nutmeg powder. Saute for a minute.
Add grated fresh coconut and grated jaggery.
Mix and cook the mixture on a low flame until the jaggery melts.
Stir occasionally and cook until jaggery dries. Then turn off the stove. Keep the filling to the side. When it cools it will thicken.
Add a bit of rice flour to the mixture, it’ll absorb any leftover moisture.
Directions for outer cover:
In a pan, add water, oil, and salt. Keep it on the stove.
Let the mixture come to a boil.
Reduce heat and add rice/wheat flour gradually. Stir and mix the flour with the water. Keep stirring until everything was all mixed together.
Turn off the heat, move the pan from the stovetop and cover the pan with a lid for 4-5 minutes.
Take all the dough in a bowl. Knead the dough.
The dough could be hot so add a little bit of water and keep kneading. If the dough gets dry, add little bits of water at a time.
Make small balls of dough. Keep rolling the circles of dough until smooth.
Keep the balls of dough in a separate bowl covered. Make sure they do not have any cracks.
When you’re ready to start shaping the modaks, keep a pan with some water steaming in the pan.
Add some ghee to the pan.
Take a ball and flatten it in your palms, create a round disc shape. You will aim for a shallow bowl shape.
Place your filling in the center.
Press the edges together and join them. Remove any excess from the top and pinch the top together.
Make all the modaks this way.
Place them in the steamer pan.
Steam the modaks, some may crack when doing so. After 10-15 minutes on a low flame, remove the modaks. Drizzle some ghee on the modaks.
Offer the modaks to God.
2. Puran Poli
This is an ever-popular dish to make during Ganesh Chaturthi. It’s so good that most people have it all year.
[Read Related: “Scrumptious Puran Poli Recipe to Brighten Your Festive Celebrations“]
(Recipe courtesy: Veg Recipes of India)
- 1 cup powdered jaggery
- 1 cup chana dal
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 3/4-1 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour + ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp oil/ghee
- 1/2 salt
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- Water (to knead the dough)
- -Oil/ghee for frying
Rinse the dal multiple times in water. Soak for 30 minutes and then drain the water.
In a pressure cooker, cook the dal for 4-5 minutes. Once the pressure cooker calms down, strain the dal.
Heat the ghee in a pan, add the ginger powder, nutmeg powder, cardamom powder and fennel powder. Saute for a minute.
Add the chana dal and jaggery. Keep stirring and cook on a low flame until the mixture becomes dry.
Keep on stirring the puran mixture throughout.
Once puran is dry, turn off the heat.
Let the puran cool, and then use a potato masher until you have a thick paste.
Take whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt in a bowl mix well.
Add a teaspoon of water and ghee and mix into the flour.
Mix the dough and add water as you knead the dough.
The dough should be soft and smooth.
Drizzle a teaspoon onto the dough.
Cover and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Putting Everything Together:
From the dough, great small-medium sized balls. Roll it out, so there it stretches about 2-3 inches. Take a pinch of the flour and dust each side of the flattened dough.
Place a small ball of puran in the center of the flattened dough.
Bring all the edges together pinch it together.
Flatten the dough back out.
Dust the dough on either side with flour.
Roll out the dough so edges are about 1 inch thick.
On a heated pan, spread some ghee. Cook the poli on one side until it browns and then flip over and do the same for the other side.
The puran should puff up on either side and that’s how you know it’s done!
Serve to Ganesh as an offering and then enjoy as Prasad.
This is one of the more essential and delicious food items to celebrate the holiday. The world is a blend of panch (five) amruts (divine nectars). The recipe consists of five easy ingredients and is another favorite of Lord Ganesh.
(Recipe Courtesy: Desi Kitchen)
Serving Size: 5-10 people
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp Honey
- 2 tbsp plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp ghee
- Take two large tablespoons of plain yogurt, put into a medium sized bowl. (The bowl can be a salad or a soup-sized bowl.)
- Take two tablespoons of sugar, pour on top of your yogurt.
- Take two tablespoons of honey and drizzle over the yogurt and sugar
- Take one tablespoon of ghee and place on top of your other ingredients.
- Pour enough milk to cover your ingredients and fill the bowl up to one inch from the top.
- Stir all ingredients together. Everything will be in chunks. That is okay, just make sure the sugar dissolves.
- It is very, very important that you do not taste the Panchamrut before it is offered to God. It is considered spoiled if you do and you will have to start over.
- Once your prayer food has been made. Place it in front of God and offer it to him. After prayers are complete you can serve it to yourself and friends. But remember, only in the right hand!
4. Varan Bhaat
Varan refers to lentils, while bhaat refers to rice—and the way the lentils are cooked are specific to the Indian state of Maharashtra. This dish can be eaten at any time of day, but if you’re preparing this for a party, it could also be the star entree of your dinner menu. It is the savory dish most often prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi.
(Note: All of the below ingredients can be bought at an Indian grocery store, so I’ve included the Marathi names for each item.)
- 1 cup toor dal (split pigeon peas)
- ½ tsp haldi (turmeric)
- ¼ tsp hing (asafoetida)
- 1 tbsp salt (add to taste)
- 1 cup rice (Basmati works best, but any other will also do)
- 1 lemon
- 4 tsp ghee
Rinse the dal twice, using your hands, making circular motions to clean the lentils. Drain the water you used to wash the lentils.
Fill the pressure cooker with two times as much water.
Add your hing, haldi, and salt. Close the pressure cooker.
The whistle on the pressure cooker will go off 6-7 times—after that it’ll be done.
Rinse your rice 3-4 times.
Place your rice in a saucepan; add water to one inch above the rice.
Boil water and rice until the rice rises to the water level.
Turn the heat to low and cover the rice.
Check your rice until you can easily squeeze the grain of rice. (This should take about 10 minutes.)
In a bowl mix ¼ cup rice and ¼ cup of your lentils.
Add ¼ of your lemon (squeeze the juice).
Add a teaspoon of ghee and enjoy!
5. Gul Poli
This is the final delicious recipe that you need for a successful Ganesh Chaturthi.
[Read Related: “An Easy, Indulgent Maharashtrian Gul Poli Recipe“]
- 2 small wati (small cup equal to a ½ measuring cup) of flour
- 3 small wait jaggery
- 2 tsp of poppy seeds
- ¼ wati oil
- 8-10 black cardamom seeds
- ¼ wati gram flour
- ½ wati rice flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- Warm water as needed
Mix all above ingredients listed for poli, except the warm water.
Add warm water as needed, and hand mix the ingredients until the dough forms and can be kneaded easily without sticking to your hands. When this happens, add a teaspoon of oil, knead it through, cover it and set aside for 10 minutes.
Continue to the steps listed below.
Grate jaggery into fine shavings. (If you have a meat pounder or some tool to mash the jaggery down, it will be easier to grate).
Mix in two teaspoons of oil. Fry gram flour with a little oil. Fry your poppy seeds.
Mix your jaggery and fried gram flour as well as fried poppy seeds and cardamom powder; knead it into a soft ball.
Combining Gul Poli:
Make small balls of the dough (it should be smaller than the palm of your hand when semi-flattened). Gently press the middle of the flattened dough to form a cup shape. Make sure the bottom does not get too thin.
Make small balls out of the jaggery. Place the jaggery balls inside of the poli.
Place your dal ball into the center of the dough cup shape you have. Pinch the tops of the dough ball to cover the dal mixture; smooth out the pinches so you have the dough smoothly covering the ball.
Flatten your new ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out the ball to make a circle with a thicker middle and thinner edges, although not too thin.
Take a frying pan, place your ghee on the pan and fry the poli on either side. You’ll see brown spots on the poli which will let you know it is done.
Serve and enjoy!
Caution: Jaggery heats quickly, and will seep out when cooking and it can burn your hand. Watch your fingers while cooking.