Ganesh Chaturthi cuisine
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
The sweet served on the occasion is variously known as Modak (Maharashtra) / Manda Pitha (Orissa)/ Modakam / Kozhukatta / Kolukattai.
Snack on kozhukattais this Ganesh Chaturthi
Srinivasa Ramanujam & M Suganth, TNN | Sep 19, 2012
This Ganesh Chaturthi, it's time for you to devour that favourite snack
What's Vinayaka Chaturthi without some kozhukattai? This special snack that's on everybody's lips (and mouths) on Lord Ganesha's special day is something that everybody looks forward to this time of the year.
For HR professional Sriram Parthasarathy, though kozhukattai is a healthy and tasty snack on any day, it's the occasion that makes it all the more special. "I can't stop myself from gorging on them during Vinayaka Chaturthi as it is made extra special on that day," he says.
For danseuse Saraswathi, Ganesha is her favourite deity and this is an occasion that she looks forward to. Apart from the poojas and the devotional aspect, it's the mention of kozhukattais that bring a smile to her face. "We don't normally make kozhukattais, especially the sweeter version, at the house. So we just devour it during this occasion," she adds.
With times changing, the varieties of kozhukattai made have also changed a lot. Ask Chef Damu about it and he says, "There have been some fancy ones also of late. At a recent event, I was pleasantly surprised to find a 'medicinal kozhukattai' — which has been made with the use of some natural ingredients. This is said to be tasty and also good for the health which makes it an ideal snack." There are other newer versions for the kozhukattai as well.
Says Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar, "Like the many forms of Lord Vinayaka, there are many fancy varieties of kozhukkattai today — sandwich kozhukattai, idli kozhukattai, cheese ball kozhukattai, waffle kozhukattai and so on. We can even make a cake kozhukattai. Anyone can try making different kozhukattais just by making the 'choppu' in different forms. Instead of the regular shell shape, one can try going for shapes like suitcase, conch, bucket and even snake and garland (which can be used to decorate the idol)." So, if you're trying out some kozhukattais today, you know what to do!
On the food trail
Until the 3rd century, people didn't have utensils in a proper form as we have today and so, even the food that they made took any convenient form and the shell shape (which we use for kozhukkatai) was one of the most used.
Though there is no instance of the epics quoting that Lord Vinayaka likes kozhukkatai, there is a mythological story to illustrate his love for the food item. He loved it so dearly that once, he swallowed Lord Vishnu's chakra taking it for a kozhukattai. Despite the pleas of Vishnu, he refused to give it back and Vishnu finally did thoppukaranam. Seeing that, Vinayaka started laughing and with his mouth open, the chakra returned to its rightful owner.
Some recipes to prepare kozhukattai
What you'll need
Oru (one) azha arisi maavu, Rendu (two) azha water, 3 teaspoons of salt, four teaspoons with oil, one tenga moodi, 150 grams of vellam and 6 yelakkas.
What to do:
-Heat four teaspoons of oil in a kadai.
-Also, add sufficient water and required salt to the arisi maavu and heat it simultaneously till it becomes a fine dough mixture. Alternatively, you can also steam it in a cooker to get the required texture.
-Meanwhile, mix the grated coconut and jaggery with little water and heat it in low flame till it solidifies. Add cardamom for flavour.
-Take the prepared dough balls and spread each ball onto your palm to flatten it. Use the heated oil to avoid the dough getting stuck onto your palm. Place a little bit of the poornam mixture in between the flattened dough and shape it like a cone or a dome. This is your kozhakattai!
-Steam the kozhakattai, and serve it hot!
What you'll need for fried rava kozhukattai:
For 'Choppu' — White rava - 100 g, Raw rice flour - 25 g
For 'Poornam' — Jaggery water - 100 ml
Grated coconut - Half
Cardamom powder - a pinch
What to do
-Sprinkle water on the rave and leave it to soak for a few minutes till it becomes a paste.
-Thicken the paste by using rice flour and set it aside.
-Heat the jaggery water (paagu) until it caramelizes.
-Add grated coconuts and cardamom powder.
-Leave this on stove for close to two minutes and later, let it cool.
-When the poornam has cooled, divide it into small portions.
-Make shells out of the rava and rice paste and fill them with poornam.
-Heat ghee in a pan and fry the stuffed shells.
It is believed that Lord Vinayaka likes fried kozhukattais and it is a ritual in some places to offer him at least two while performing puja.
Modak, 2018 version
Festivals bring back the zeal in our monotonous lives. With Ganesh Chaturthi on the cards, the preparations for this ten-day Hindu festival starts way before you can even think of! What’s more, from decor to pandal to good food, Ganesh Chaturthi brings new hope and marks the beginning of festive season.
Every region in India has a unique ways of celebrating this festival. In fact, every year there’s something new in terms of decoration, pandal, idol and food. From Maharashtra to Tamil Nadu, this festival adds a spirit of happiness. Food plays a pivotal role in this celebration and there is a galore of sweet delights to choose from. However, of all the delicacies, Modak is the most popular delicacy offered as naivedya to Lord Ganesha and every year there are so many new variants to this delicacy.
Much like other parts of the country, Indore is all decked up to cherish the arrival of the Elephant God and the festive fervour has almost reached a crescendo. The Indoreans are busy making plans of pandal hopping, dressed in traditional attire. But no Ganpati celebration is complete without the mouth watering modaks.
Apart from the Motichoor Laddos and other sweet delights. Indoreans are spoilt for choices with the variety of fillings in the traditional modaks. We bring you some of the experimental and sinful modaks available in the city. What’s more, this year the trend is all around flavoursome and aromatic modaks. Read on to find more about these flavoursome modaks.
Sweet shop owners in the city are going the extra mile to ensure that Ganpati celebrations have the right flavour. With the 10-day celebration, most shops have flavoured modaks like coconut, orange, butterscotch, chocolate, white chocolate, kesar and elaichi, among others. Anand Sharma, an employee at Apna Sweets, said, “Every year people want something different. Therefore, this year we made it a point to introduce flavoured modaks. We have interesting flavours, apart from the traditional ones. We also have motichur laddoos.” Anand further added, “Customers usually prefer chocolate flavoured modaks. But since we have also introduced strawberry, butterscotch and orange, there are more options to choose from this time. The response has been overwhelming and we have been flooded with calls with specific orders.” The flavoured modaks cost anything between `380 and `720 per kg.
Laddoos, Gujiya and dry fruit sweets
Apart from the regular modaks available in the city, there is also a demand for boondi laddoos, gujiya and special dry fruit chikkis. Sameer Agrawal, from Agrawal sweet shops, said, “Modaks are the most preferred items during Ganpati but other sweets of Indore like the boondi laddoos and gujiyas are equally popular. Of course, the demands are more for the newly introduced flavoured modaks in the city.” Radhika Jhadav, a banker by profession, said, “I have placed special orders for all the 10 days of the festival. I will make sure that we have a new flavour of modaks for every day. The idea to blend traditional modaks with interesting flavours is a great one. I have already tried a few and they absolutely melt in the mouth.”
Chocolate and paan modaks are a hit
If flavoured modaks are the new entrants in the city, some places have gone a step ahead and introduced kesar, butterscotch, rose, elaichi and paan modaks as well. Manja Tulani, a chocolatier by profession, said, “I am experimenting with modaks for the first time this year and am already flooded with offers. I have given the modaks a quirky twist and have introduced crazy variants like kesar modaks, butterscotch, rose elaichi and paan modaks.” Elaborating a little more on the interesting flavours, Manja added, “The only problem with these exotic modaks is that they have a very low shelf-life. You need to consume them immediately. However, this has not stopped Indoreans from ordering modaks in huge quantity.” Priced at `10-25 per piece, these modaks are quite a hit in the city. Rishika Agrawal, a housewife, said, “I have ordered for all the exotic varieties. Guests keep pouring in on all the 10 days and we need to offer interesting and mouth watering modaks every day.”