Across the country, the ten day long, Ganpati festival is usually celebrated with prayers, processions and prasad. Though the current pandemic necessitates us refraining from large gatherings, there are no restrictions on having a grand culinary celebration at home!
Like any festival, food forms a big part of Ganesh Chaturthi traditions. Various sweet and savoury dishes are offered to please Lord Ganesha. These are known as prasad. After the offerings are made, they are served amongst devotees, and are considered a sort of blessing. Here we’ve put together some recipes from across the country for you to try.
Prasad Ideas for Ganpati
This is Tamil Nadu’s own version of Lord Ganesha’s favourite dessert, the modak. Here, rice flour pockets are stuffed with sesame seeds, jaggery and cardamom, before steaming. Sesame seeds add fibre and protein to this sweet. These seeds also contribute to healthy bones and are great in antioxidants.
Across the country, many different varieties of the modak are prepared using ingredients like coconut, bananas and mava.
Undrallu is a popular dish made in Andhra Pradesh. It can be prepared as either a sweet or savoury dish. Savoury undrallu is made with chana dal, rice, rava (semolina) and spices. The ingredients are cooked, formed into balls and steamed before serving.
As it is steamed, it is a healthier prasad. Undrallu contains chana dal and rava which are a good source of protein and fibre, both of which slow down digestion and increase the feeling of satiety between meals. Rava also contains B vitamins like thiamine and folate, which play an important role in our body, including helping convert food into energy. Additionally, rava is a good source of iron and magnesium.
If you enjoy making sweets for Ganesh Chaturthi, don’t leave out this sweet Maharashtrian flatbread. To make puran poli, dough is stuffed with a filling of cooked chana dal, jaggery, nutmeg and cardamom, and rolled out before roasting. The final product is enjoyed with a drizzle of ghee. When you make puran poli this year, opt for Tata Sampann Chana Dal which is unpolished. This makes it a cleaner and pure alternative to loose chana dal available in the market.
‘Chhena poda’ means roasted cheese in Odia. This delicious specialty from Odisha is made with paneer, cashews, raisins, sugar, rawa and cardamom. The ingredients are mixed together and baked until the chhena poda forms a deep brown caramel glaze.
Wondering what adds the health quotient to this sweet? It is the paneer. It a great source of protein and calcium. For vegetarians, paneer is a must-have as it helps in fulfilling the protein need of the body.
Golpapdi is a specialty in Gujrati households. This sweet for Ganesh Chaturthi is prepared by roasting wheat flour with ghee, adding jaggery and spices, and pouring it into a sheet to cool and dry. Once cooled, it is cut into yummy bite-sized squares that offer a bit of crunch.
This prasad recipe is popular in West Bengal. It is made from mashed bananas and jaggery, mixed with wheat flour and milk, and topped with grated coconut and dried fruit. Aside from a tasty dessert, it makes a nutritious breakfast too.
This Assamese sweet for Ganesh Chaturthi is made with rice flour, jaggery, grated coconut, coconut milk, ghee and cardamom. This is a simple sweet to make as there is no cooking involved. The ingredients are simply mixed together thoroughly and formed into balls which are then ready to enjoy.
Coconuts help add manganese to your diet, which is essential for bone health and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and cholesterol. They’re also rich in copper and iron, which help form red blood cells and selenium which is an important antioxidant that protects your cells.
Roth is a sort of fried biscuit that is prepared in Kashmir. It is prepared by mixing ghee with milk, sugar, whole wheat flour and cardamom powder. These ingredients are kneaded into a dough, formed into biscuit-like circles, pricked and rolled in khus khus before frying and serving.
Which of these recipes will you try this festive season? Tell us in the comment section below.
- Enhancing nutrition with pulses: defining a recommended serving size for adults [NCBI]
- The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease: potential mechanisms of action [NCBI]
- Preparation of semolina from foxtail millet (Setaria italica) and evaluation of its quality characteristics [Science Direct]
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