The ten-day-long religious commemoration, full of delicious food, endless fun and extreme devotion, is here. Yups, Ganesha Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi, as it’s called by some, is right around the corner, and we can’t keep calm. The celebration marks the birth of the god of prosperity and wisdom- Lord Ganesha. The celebration starts by placing the idols of the beloved deity on a raised platform in homes, temples and elaborately decorated tents known as Pandals.
About the Festival
The festival starts with Pranapratishtha- A special ritual that is believed to invoke life in the idols, followed by ten long days of chanting Vedic hymns, devotional bhajans and offerings of Modaak to Lord Ganesha, a sweet little dumpling which is said to be his favourite sweet. On the tenth day, the placed idols are taken to the nearest water body with a huge carcade of drums, colours and dancing. The legend has it that after spending ten days on earth, Lord Ganesha goes back to his home to Mount Kailash, and this procession is to bid him farewell and to ask him to visit again next year.
Where is it celebrated the most
Now, this unique festival is celebrated throughout India, but a special kind of enthusiasm can be seen in states like Maharastra, Gujrat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and states surrounding theses. The reason behind this can be traced back to the 1600s when great Maratha ruler Shivaji asked people to participate in the celebration in huge numbers. The reason behind this was to envoke a sense of nationalism in the hearts of the common folk against the Mughal Rule.
Years later, the festival has become an inseparable part of the culture, and hence the food-related to this festival is mostly from these particular states, especially Maharashtra. Now, we don’t want you to miss out on any tasty delicacy just because you don’t reside there. So, especially for you, here’s a list of lip-smacking traditional dishes you can enjoy this Ganesha Chaturthi, irrespective of where you live.
1. Puran Poli
Everyone is aware of Modaaks, but after them, this amazing sweet bread is what you need to taste, made with all-purpose flour and filled with chana dal, jaggery, cardamoms and lots of ghee, this special Poli will make you drool. The dish is mostly used as an offering to the Lord himself or as a parshad for devotees.
2. Kesari Shrikhand
The simple yet mouthwatering dish is mainly from Maharashtra and is used as a prashad during the celebration. The simple mix of yoghurt, sugar, salt, cardamom seeds and its main ingredient Saffron or Kesar, tastes heavenly. You can also add in your favourite fruit flavours like mango or apple according to your specific taste.
Patholi is a traditional rice dish made out of steamed rice rolls that are stuffed with grated coconuts and jaggery. Now the part that makes this dish different from any other delicacy is that the rice rolls are steamed with fresh turmeric leaves that provide the dish with its unique texture, colour and fragrance.
4. Kaju Kothimbir Vadi
Welcome the first non-sweet dish on the list. Kothimbir in Marathi means coriander, and Vadi roughly translates to fritters. These special Vadis are made with chickpea flour, cashews, coriander and some different spices, a combination that will make you want to have more.
5. Varan Bhaat
This is one of the simplest yet one of the most important dishes made during this festival. Loosely translated, it means lentil soup with steamed rice. The bhaat is offered to the loved elephant-headed deity as bhoog with the varan and other vegetable dishes.
6. Chawli Usal
Chawli is known as Rongi or Lobia in the northern states; another well-known name is Black-eyed beans. These beans are cooked with chilli powder, turmeric powder, goda masala or garam masala, grated coconut, unsweetened desiccated coconut and oil. The dish is served with rice and a side of coconut chutney—a great way of enjoying the celebrations at home with your family.
7. Sabutdana Vada
A dish that needs no separate introduction, sabutdana is enjoyed in almost every household in India. The vada made is made by soaking the pearl tapioca in water overnight and mixing it with boiled potato and spices. Eat this great deep-fried snack with cucumber riata, and you won’t need anything else.
A special kind of soup made with a lot of spices and ingredients such as chana dal stock (broth), cooked dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, fresh coconut, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, garam masala and many more things. This dish is perfect if you want something to cram down with your Puran Poli.
Popularly known as gujia in north India, These sweets are made with all-purpose flour and stuffed with ingredients like coconut, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews, raisins, cardamoms, nutmeg powder, sugar and ghee and then sealed with water. Afterwards, these dumplings are deep-fried and are crunchy and extremely sweet to have.
A crunchy, spicey and leafy pancake type dish that can be devoured with anything you like chutney, curd or butter; everything works with them. The main ingredients are chana daal, urad daal, wheat, and rice; mix these together and fry them up.
11. Rishi Bhaji
Made especially on Rishi Panchami, the next day of Ganesh Chaturthi. A greatly nutritious dish, made with delicious ingredients like sweet potato, pumpkin, raw banana and corns and tastes amazing with chapatis and rice.
Another type of fritters made with Suji, curd, salt, jeera and coriander leaves; these delicious deep-fried snacks is served with tangy red imli chutney and tastes truly incredible.
A thick and sugary milk dish mixed with a lot of tasty dry fruits and flavours, this one dessert can be enjoyed anytime, but during the days of Ganesha puja, the taste somehow enhanced. You can include your favourite flavours and make the dessert the way you like.
14. Amba Barfi
If you are someone who loves mangos, then you must try this wonderful dessert. This all too sweet dessert is made of the best of Alphonso Mangoes, lots of khava and dry fruits; this is great for all the sugar lovers out there. This is also used as an offering to Lord during the festival.
15. Motichoor Laddoo
After Modaks, Motichood laddoo is believed to be Ganesh ji’s favourite. The awesome traditional boondi laddoos with the added touch of saffron, these laddoos are a huge part of all traditional poojas and havans of Hinduism. We are sure there’s not one person out there who doesn’t like these yummy sugary rolls.
Ganesha Chaturthi is a festival with many different colours. The colours of the great idol of the almighty, the colours of mouthwatering tasty delicacies and the colours of the devotion of all devotees. Every person celebrates this festival as he can, with love in his heart for his Bappa.
It doesn’t matter where you are from or where you are; you can celebrate this unique festival by ordering beautiful Ganesh murti online or going to the nearest temple or pandal. Moreover, you dont have to do that; all you need is a heart full of gratitude and a will to be a part of this wonderful festival. This festival marks as a huge symbol of togetherness and love we all share as a community.