Modaks, Puran Poli and more...

Modaks, Puran Poli and more...

We have been living in Delhi since 30 years. When we came to this City, few people celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. But now it is not the same,” says Sushma Satokar, a homemaker describing the changes that the City has seen.

Also, due to the increase in influx of Maharashtrians in Delhi and the exposure of Delhiites to Maharashtrian culture, one can see the fervour and enthusiasm with which Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in the City today.

Synonymous with festival is food. This is an integral part of every festivity in almost every religion and region of the country. Since the festival is a celebration to honour Lord Ganesha, extra care is required to chalk out the menu, given the deva’s known love for food.

“Especially modaks,” says Satokar who prepares this dish herself. “And also karanji (gujiya) and besan ke laddoo. On other occasions we do buy them from the market but for Chaturthi, I prepare it myself at home. Since the modaks and laddoos are part of naivedyam or prasad that is offered to Lord Ganesha, one has to be extra-careful about its preparation.”

Such is the relevance of cooking at home during this festival. “Though back home in Pune we welcome Ganapati for all 10 days, here in Delhi me and my husband live alone and it is difficult to follow all rituals. But one thing that cannot be given a miss is preparing modaks,” says Gauri Kulkarni Suryawanshi, a food blogger who migrated to the city a year back.

“While in my hometown my mother uses wheat flour and deep fries the modaks, my mother-in-law here mixes maida with wheat flour and uses steaming process to make them.” She mentions the changes in cooking techniques while emphasising on the “right proportion of sugar or jaggery to be filled inside the modaks.”

While these can be kept aside for prasad and dessert, an elaborate main course is also in store. Delicious Pao Bhaji and homemade namkeens are the highlights at Kshama Gatade’s house. “Even Babate ki Sabzi (aloo vegetable), Masala Bhaat (spicy rice with garam masala) and Puran Poli are what relatives and friends look out for at the time of Chaturthi,” says the homemaker who has already bought a Ganesha idol of her choice from Dilli Haat.

Satokar has also made the necessary preparations and has shopped for “coconut and suji” in abundance. “I have to start preparing from now so that by Chaturthi I can be ready with the prasad. For the housemates and visitors, we will have our traditional delicacies such as Puran Poli, vada, rice and kadhi. Maharashtrian kadhi is a little different from the North Indian kadhi since it doesn’t have turmeric and is therefore white in appearance. Also, we don’t add pakodas in the curry. Instead we do the tempering with ginger, garlic, curry leaves, green chilli and rye.”

This is one sumptuous meal to relish! But there is more. “For those who fast, we also
prepare sabudana khichdi. Come over for Ganapati,” Satokar says inviting  Metrolife enthusiastically.