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5 Ways To Make Ganesha's Favourite Food

Ganesh Chaturthi this year will be a toned down affair due to the pandemic. But that doesn't mean you cannot have fun. Try these simple, easy to make recipes for modak at home. And celebrate with caution.

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A modak can be made in many different ways
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Revered as the birthday of Ganesha, the god of wisdom and knowledge, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of India. According to mythology, Ganesha was created by Parvati, the consort of Shiva. When Shiva severed Ganesha’s head in a fit of rage, the goddess was heartbroken. She then demanded that Shiva, her husband, bring him back to life. Shiva replaced his severed head with that of an elephant and brought Ganesha back to life.

Spanning a 10-day period, this festival has been celebrated since medieval times with great fervour and splendour. The scale of celebrations is particularly huge in Maharashtra, where this is perhaps the biggest festival of the year. The great Maratha leader Chhatrapati Shivaji himself is said to have started this festival as a public event to promote culture and unity among his people who were divided by caste. It was revived by the nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak to spread the message of freedom during the country’s struggle for independence in the late 19th century. This festival, therefore, not only represents faith and culture but is also symbolic of India’s rich history.

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The best place to experience the opulence of this festival is Mumbai, without a doubt. Celebrations are taken to a whole new level here. Preparations begin almost a month in advance. The puja begins with the installation of beautifully carved colourful statues of Ganesha in all shapes and sizes. A ritual called the Pranpratishtha Puja is then performed – ‘pranpratishtha’ literally translates to ‘life established’, so this puja is meant to invite the divine presence of the deity into the statue. Prayers are offered for all the 10 days; music, dance, drama and all kinds of cultural events take place all over Mumbai. Each and every street of Mumbai comes alive during these celebrations.

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Ganesha, or Ganpati, is offered sweets, the main one being modak, considered to be his favourite sweet. Flowers, rice, coconut, jaggery and coins are also offered. On the last day of the festival, Ananta Chaturdashi, huge processions carrying the idol walk through the streets to take it for immersion to a river or the sea. The air resonates with the chant of "Ganpati Bappa Moraya", requesting the deity to take away the pains and sorrows of life and also to come back soon the next year.

Ganesh Chaturthi is also celebrated with great zeal in other states such as Goa (it is one of the most important festivals for Konkani people), Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Ganesha's favourite food is the modak. These dumpling-shaped sweets are made of rice or wheat flour and then filled with a mixture of coconut and jaggery, and then steamed. But experimentations with different kinds of raw material is not unknown. Last year, the ‘boondi’ modak was in high demand. There sure is a reason why Modak is considered our Adored Lord Ganesha’s favourite food items. The word 'modak' is synonymous with 'happiness' and the only thing you will feel after eating this dish stuffed with bursting with flavours of coconut, jaggery and cardamom with the richness of ghee on top is happiness. Modak is also known as modakam, kudumu, kudubu or kozhakkattai.

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Here are a few recipes with interesting take son how to make these sweet dumplings.

A RECIPE BY RANVEER BRAR 

This is an interesting mix of almonds, cashews, and poppy seeds.

TRADITIONAL MODAK

This is an excellent recipe using rice flour the traditional way.

ATTA MODAK

Modaks can be made with other flours as well. This recipe uses atta instead of rice. The dumplings come out thicker, but healthier.

JOWAR MODAK

If you want to go super-healthy, here is a recipe for jowar fudge modak.

DRY FRUIT MODAK

You can experiment with the stuffing too. Here's a dry fruits one with a mixture of dry fruits, poppy seeds and coconut.

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