Lord Ganesh is believed to be the god of good fortune, success and remover of obstacles. He is also honored at the start of rituals or ceremonies in the Hindu family, believed as the god of good beginnings.
Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival which starts on the 4th day of bhadrapad - Lunar month and last day is known as Anant Chaturdashi, when the idol is carried in a public procession with group chanting, music and dance followed by immersion of the Idol in nearby Ocean or River, this is called Ganapati Visarjan.
In Goa and some parts of Konkan, we have a tradition of making Matoli which is a wooden structure, like a canopy which is hanged from the ceiling and placed above the Ganesha Idol. This matoli is decorated with fruits, flowers, plants, creepers, a bunch of bananas and bunch of Arecanut.
During this festival, we have special markets where you can buy all matoli decorations, but my dad ensured that he would collect some of them from the Foothill in front of our locality. We accompanied him only to listen to his childhood stories, but he would also explain significance and importance of each plant, which continued till Matoli decoration is completed. To our surprise, every time all the flowers, plants, creepers and so on would ensure their place on the Matoli, just an evening before Ganesh Chaturthi.
Traditions differ as per individual family customs and celebrations usually end after 1.5, 3, 5, 7, 11 or 21 days , but Idols at public places or Mandals mostly celebrate 10 days festival.
During these ten days, each day begins with puja of the Idol offering prayers, flowers, and durva (small grass strands). Followed by prasad or Nevedya, where sweet-dish like Ladoo or Modaks is the main part of offering as its considered to be Lord Ganesh favorite food.
Modaks are sweet dumpling either steamed or fried which is made of Rice flour stuffed with Coconut and Jaggery or wheat flour stuffed with Coconut, Dal, and jaggery.
If you are away from home like me and miss your family, friends and the celebrations, here is a detailed recipe for you on how to make Modaks at home with Wheat flour and stuffing of Channa dal and jaggery- Sugar and Cardamom. Try it for this Ganesh Chaturthi.
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Pinch of Salt
Hot Oil - 1 tbsp
Chana Dal 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp
cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Oil for frying
Soak Chana dal in water for 5 hours
Then drain water
Add Dal and little water to pressure cooker and cook till dal is soft, which is for 5 whistles
Prepare dough by mixing wheat flour, salt, and hot oil and water as required
Knead all to form a stiff dough
Apply oil on the dough and rest for 20 Mins
In a pan, add cooked dal, jaggery, and sugar
Stirring occasionally cook till the mixture thickens, where all water is being absorbed
Then add cardamom powder and mix well
Switch off gas and let the mixture cool completely
Now take a small ball from dough and roll it into flat disc, similar like puris
Put a tablespoon of filling in the puri and pinch the sides at regular intervals, to form pleats
Gather all pleats and press them lightly to form modaks
Fry these modaks in medium hot oil till golden brown
Transfer on a tissue paper to drain excess oil
Modaks are ready to serve
Have you visited India during Ganesh Chaturthi festival or have you tried Modaks? Whats your experience and memories with these?
Share in the comment section below, we would love to hear from you.
Click below to watch full recipe video
Life as an Expat, how I learned to cook. Would like to spread the love by sharing my experiences and quick easy recipes.