It's that time of the year again. Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturti, the ten-day festive extravaganza symbolises the birth of Lord Ganesha, the beloved elephant-headed deity. The spirited festival that will commence on 10th September this year is celebrated with much fanfare, devotion and a melange of traditional food. While sweets assert dominance traditionally, some quaint savoury delights are enjoyed just as much in Maharashtrian households. An interesting detail in such preparations is the absence of onions, garlic and, certain spices and herbs.
The festive fervour also includes the Gauri Ganesh puja that's equally entwined with food-centric celebrations. The essence of this festival lies in the popular belief that Lord Ganesha was fond of food, particularly modaks and ladoos. The Naivedyam or Bhog comprises specific items that are offered to Ganpati Bappa, the lord of wisdom and prosperity as part of the worship ritual. Though the festivities are expected to be low key, in the wake of the ongoing global pandemic, Ganeshotsav will be celebrated in homes and pandals alike. And we are pretty sure that food is going to take the centre stage as it has, thus far.
Here's a closer look at the ten irresistible Maharashtrian recipes that are perfect for Ganeshotsav.
Ukadiche or Steamed Modak
Ganeshotsav is defined by the presence of this seemingly humble steamed sweetmeat that is loaded with the goodness of coconut, jaggery and rice flour. Follow our recipe to make your own.
Ganesha idols seem incomplete without the addition of a big motichoor ladoo. Treat yourself to these bright orange goodies that come with a hefty portion of saffron and ghee to boot.
A spiced rice preparation brimming with a mix of seasonal vegetables, this Maharashtrian recipe comes garnished with freshly grated coconut and tastes best when paired with khamang kakdi (cucumber relish).
Puran Poli, a Ganeshotsav signature is a sweet bread using maida or wheat with a filling of chana dal, jaggery, cardamom powder. It is enjoyed with lots of ghee and/or milk.
A lightly spiced and tempered dal that is runny and made from chana dal stock (broth), this recipe is generally savoured with puran poli.
Crisp coriander fritters made of besan, kothimbir vadis are ostensibly the most addictive and iconic snack from the Maharashtrian repertoire. Try our recipe this year, because it's perfect.
Rishi Panchmi Bhaji
Rishi Bhaji is also known as Rishi Panchami Bhaji and is made on the eponymous festival. The nutritious dish is a balanced mix of seasonal vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, raw banana and corn. Mop it up with subtle chapatis or fluffy pooris.
A staple on Gauri Pujan, these traditional rice flour rolls are stuffed with a filling of jaggery and grated coconut. The crepe-like sweet is steamed in fresh turmeric leaves that impart a sweet fragrance to them while also giving them a characteristic flavour profile.
Alu vadi comprises a tangy and sweet filling made of besan which is then rolled into colocasia leaves, steamed and finally fried. The traditional delicacy is garnished with freshly grated coconut and sesame seeds and we just can't get enough of it.
Possibly the most iconic during the festive season in Maharastra and neighbouring regions, karanjis are fried pastries that are stuffed with grated coconut, dry fruits, poppy seeds and cardamom and pack a solid punch when made right.
While these are only a handful of the brilliant array of scrumptious savouries that are prepared during Ganeshotsav, indulge in their absolute gorgeousness and chant, Ganpati Bappa Morya!
Journeying a whimsical tale from being a microbiologist/scientist to being a creative writer, Nirupama loves to scrutinize trends, food and fashion alike. A gardening enthusiast, she is a full-time mom to a toddler. Her passions include tinkering away on a wanderlust, cooking up a storm in the kitchen for her food loving bub and curating street style looks!