As ‘Ganapati Bappa Morya’ echoes in the streets of Mumbai, ‘Can I eat a modak?’ is the question that echoes in the Mumbaikar’s mind. Depending on the city you come from, the festival you celebrate and the mithai associated with it, similar questions would echo in your mind too.
Weight-loss obsession hasn’t taken away the sheen from our festivals, but has surely managed to cast a dark cloud over our traditional desserts. Take the modak, for example. It’s a traditional sweet made of rice dumplings filled with a coconut and jaggery mixture, sealed with ghee and steamed over boiling water, wrapped in banana/ turmeric leaf.
Now, as the modak is made using local ingredients at home, it is delicious and has all the virtues that make it “fattening”. At least that’s what the weight loss industry tells us. I mean come on, it is, after all, not quinoa/acai berry/avocado!
Ganapati, who has a strong reputation as the Vighnaharta, or the remover of obstacles, loves the modak because he sees it as a nutrient-filled, antioxidant, fibre-rich, low-on-the-glycemic index offering. The coconut and ghee provide a good combination of omega 3,6,9 fats, just perfect to mobilise fatty acids from stubborn fat areas. The jaggery and rice combination works at steadying the blood sugars, ensuring a slow release of all the nutrients in your blood stream, and a calmer state of mind.
The virtues of the modak, along with the therapeutic phytonutrients from the banana/ turmeric leaf, don’t get marketed in your face like the gluten-free cake. But they work for your digestion, health, weight loss—and the taste is pure bliss.