The divine existence of Lord Ganesha in the form of idols and sculptures is celebrated throughout India, especially in Maharashtra to mark the birthday of Shiva and Parvati’s son Ganesha, fondly referred as Bappa.
The ten-day fiesta which generally falls in the month of August & September is incomplete without Modak, a traditional Maharashtrian sweet made of jaggery, flour and coconut which has an interesting story in the Padma Purana regarding why Ganesha loves Modak.
Once the Devas offered Shiva and Parvati a divine Modak as they believed that the one who will eat the Modak will become knowledgeable in all scriptures, science and arts. Knowing this Goddess Parvati wanted to present that Modak to her sons, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartikeya. As they were not ready to share it, Parvati decided that the one who will prove the true meaning of sincerity and devotion will get the tempting sweet. On hearing this, Lord Kartikeya immediately landed on his vehicle and started visiting all the spiritual places, but Ganesha went around Shiva and Parvati and said that no amount of offering is equal to the devotion of one’s parents. Impressed by his answer, Goddess Parvati presented the Modak to Lord Ganesha. This is believed to be the reason for Lord Ganesha’s love for Modak and that is why it is widely offered to Bappa in the form of Prasad.
With the changing taste of today’s generation new flavoured Modaks have been introduced in the market like Dark Chocolate Modak, Dry fruit Modak, Paneer Modak, Coconut Modak, Motichoor Modak, Kesar Modak, Malai Modak, Baklava Modak, Fried Modak among many others. Other than Modak, Nivagrya is another dish which is specially prepared during the Utsav. Nivagryas are prepared from the leftover flour dough that was made for the Modak casing. These are less savoury, steamed dumplings mixed with cumin seed powder, green chilly paste, salt, and other flavourings, which are eaten with peanut oil and are quite a delicacy.
On this auspicious celebration, each and every household of Maharashtra prepares traditional food items as most of the Marathi people are big time foodies and firmly believe that the ingredients used in their platter should be rich and spicy.
Listed below are the 5 most popular Maharashtrian dishes to look out for this festive season.
- Puran Poli– It is a popular Maharashtrian sweet dish made of jaggery, dal, flour & ghee and often prepared on festivals & celebrations.
- Thalipeeth– Another famous dish from Maharashtra made of millet flour, rice flour, split Bengal gram flour, sorghum flour, split black gram flour and coriander seeds & is generally served with fresh home made butter or ghee.
- Solkadhi– This curry is prevalent in Konkan region and Goa and is made of coconut milk and kokum. It has nutritional values and is also considered to be an anecdote for acidity.
- Pithale– This dish comes from rural Maharashtra. Chickpeas flour, onion, garlic cloves, green chillies are the basic ingredients of this curry.
- Bharli Vangi– Another famous curry dish, stuffed brinjals which are commonly known as bharli vangi in Maharashtra is served with roti or rice.
Ganesh Chaturthi is not only a wonderful time for devotees of Ganesha but also for the food lovers. Being the most prominent festival in Maharashtra, worshiping Ganeshji in Vinayaka Chaturthi brings good luck and success along with mouth-watering delightful dishes for which the whole country awaits for.
- Devanjana Nag