'Sweet' traditions

'Sweet' traditions

Cooking Right

'Sweet' traditions

Ganesha Chaturthi is a festival celebrated with great intensity and fervour throughout the country and like all celebrations, food plays a very important role in the festivities.
“In spite of all the figure-conscious awareness that is prevalent, there are certain traditional sweets we must have on this day,” says Veena Khanvilkar, who makes traditional delicacies like Modak and Moong Dal Halwa to celebrate the day.

“The main sweet dish we enjoy are modaks, also known as kozhakattai in the South.
Basically it’s a sort of dumpling made from rice flour with a stuffing of coconut, jaggery and other condiments. It can be either steamed or fried. Moong-Dal Halwa is not easy on the waistline but fabulous on the palate. Shrikand is a light refreshing dessert easy to make and is a good option after a heavy meal,” she adds.

Moong Dal Halwa

*   Moong Dal - 1 cup
*   Milk - 1/2 cup
*   Sugar - 1 cup
*   Saffron - a generous pinch
*   Mawa (Khoya) - 3/4 cup
*   Ghee - 1 cup
*   Almonds (or any nuts) - 10-20


*  Wash and soak the moong dal for six hours, grind coarsely using little water. Set aside.
*  Prepare one string sugar syrup by using one cup sugar and one and half cups of water. Keep aside.
*  Soak saffron in hot milk, crumble mawa (khoya) into fine granules.
*  Blanch almonds in boiling water for five minutes. Cool and peel them, slice them. Set aside.
*  Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan, add the ground moong dal paste. Keep
stirring over a low flame till the Dal turns brown.
* Add sugar syrup and saffron milk, stir well till they are thoroughly incorporated and the halwa is dropping consistency. Add mawa and cook till it dissolves.
* Garnish with sliced almonds. Serve hot.


*   3 cups milk
*   1 tsp beaten curd
*   1 cup powdered sugar
*   2 pieces of powdered cardamom
*   2 drops rose water
*   1 tsp sliced pistachios


*  Bring the milk to boil. When it cools slightly add beaten curd.
*  Set curd for 10 to 12 hours.
*  Tie the curd in a muslin cloth and hang for two hours for the water to drain out.
* Tie a strong cloth over a pan and add a small quantity of sugar to the curd and mix well over the cloth till the water has completely strained through the cloth.
* Repeat the process till all the curd and sugar is used up.
* Add cardamom powder and mix well. Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top
* You can also put edible silver foil (varak) on top.
* Serve chilled.


*   1 cup maida
*   Salt
*   Oil for deep frying


*   3/4 cup coconut
*   1/2 cup jaggery
*   1/2 tea spoon cardamom powder
*   1 tea spoon sesame seeds


*  Heat two table spoons of oil and add it to maida. Mix it very well till all the maida gets the oil.
 Add salt and water to make it a very stiff dough. Keep aside the dough for around 1/2 an hour.
* Roast the sesame seeds. Heat jaggery and coconut together till jaggery melts and forms a uniform mixture with coconut.
Mix sesame seeds well. Remove from heat and add cardamom powder. Mix well.
* Take small balls of the dough, roll it into small puris.
Put one tablespoon of the above stuffing in the dough and pack it by taking all the corners up giving it a shape like a cone on top. This is called a modak sealing carefully so the filling doesn't spill out while frying.
* Put oil in a kadai and deep fry the modaks till light brown or steam.

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