It's food all the way...

Festive delights

It's food all the way...

 Ganesha idol is bought and decorated prior to the festival. DH Photos by Manjunath MS

And so the festival is inevitably about satiating one's taste buds as much as propitiating Ganesha with pujas and rigorous rituals.

 There are specific dishes that are made only during this festival. Up North celebrations begin 10 days in advance and down South it kicks off only a few days prior to the actual festival.

Women in every household prepare the ingredients for the popular sweet dishes even as the idol of Ganesha is washed, cleaned and smeared with colour. He is then decorated with flowers and later the dishes are spread out before him. After puja, these dishes are passed around to family and friends.

The most popular Ganesha dishes are Modaka and Kadubu. They are a sort of dumpling made from rice flour with a stuffing of coconut, jaggery and a few nuts are added to spice up the taste. They are either steamed or fried. Karanji made in North Karnataka is crisp with coconut filling.

With the Ramzan and Ganesha Chaturthi falling side by side this time round, the occasion seems to be the ideal time for epicureans to feast on culinary delights.

Nadini Vijaykumar, a resident of Yelahanka begins her day on Ganesh Chaturthi with a visit to the temple. Prayers and milk are offered to Ganesha. She says the family feasts on all kind of sweets but keeps off rice items for the day. “We make Karanji, Chakli and a few other additional sweets. The ingredients for the sweet dishes are made afresh. The family comes together only on occasions like this,” she says. 

People buying snacks and sweets.Jyoti Siddharth Ranavade, a Maharashtrian settled in Indiranagar says they make it a point to feast for Ganesh Chaturthi.

 “Modaka is Ganesha’s favourite food. It’s made in different ways and offered to God as a naivedya and then distributed as prasad to  family and friends,” says Jyoti. 

She says Modaka is also made using cashewnut powder and khoya - milk but what’s most popular is the one made from shredded coconut and jaggery.

“We have a stream of guests pouring in and there’s always something special for lunch and dinner like Puran Poli and Kheer, Masala Bhaat, Sheera, Puri and Shrikhand,” she adds.

Shalini B, who lives in R T Nagar, feels it’s the colour and spirit of the festival that is most attractive. “We dish up a variety of payasam and kheer. I enjoy tucking into steamed modakas. The fresh coconut and jaggery add to the taste. It’s hard to get enough,” says Shalini.

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