Monday, August 28, 2006

Ganpati Bappa Moryaaaaaa!!!!!

(This is the most famous idol of Ganpati in Pune-Maharashtra, Shrimant Dagdusheth Ganpati.)
This is one of the simplest yet tasty desserts... I have always associated with Sheera, as 'Prasad' given during 'Ganesh Utsav', 'SatyaNarayan Pooja', in small paper cups (similar to muffin cups).. my Mother used a special decorative small sized steel mould into which I would spoon the 'Prasad' Sheera with tiny bits of banana and almonds, raisins, ghee and the hint of kesar (saffron)& cardamom and 'whack' it into the paper cups.... I was not above spooning a few of these into my mouth!
Making sheera is not just easy and quick to make, but also is filling when eaten.

1 cup Farina / Rava / Sooji
1 cup sugar ( i usually take out a couple of spoons from the top)
1/4 cup Ghee (can use less)
2 1/2 cups Milk+ Water mixture
A few almonds blanched and sliced thin
1 Cardamom powdered
A few raisins
Few strands of saffron
Heat a spoon of ghee in a kadhai. Add the rava to it and roast it till it turns a lovely golden colour. In the mean time,mix the milk and water add saffron strands and bring it to a boil.
After the rava is done, add the sugar to it and mix thoroughly. Slowly add the milk & water combo to it and keep stirring and mixing so that no lumps are formed cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
The rava will have absorbed the water and now will look creamy, add a couple of spoons of ghee to it and the dry fruit (almonds, raisins..) cardamom powder -cover and cook for another 2-3 mins.
Serve hot.
* If you like, you can add banana pieces (which will enhance the taste) to the sheera before eating.

In a typical Maharashtriam household, during Ganesh Utsav, they have a traditional feast prepared on the first day of the festival.
The highlight is ofcourse 'Modak'. The most common are the 'ukdiche modak' - steamed modak with coconut and jaggery filling. This time however I decided to do a slight variation to the tradition. I made modak with the 'puran' stuffing.
Here's how I made them:

For the cover:
2 cups Chapati ata
2 spn oil
Oil for deep frying
Knead the above ingredients in a soft dough like chapati/ roti. keep aside.

For the filling:
1 cup chana daal
1 cup Jaggery
1/2 sp cardamom powder
2 Pinch nutmeg powder

Clean the chana dal and pressure cook it (4 whistles). When cooked, drain excess water (do not throw away this water, it can be used to make katachi amti ). In a heavy bottomed kadhai, add the soft daal and jaggery and cook. The mixture needs to be cooked till the time all the water is soaked up and it looks dry. add the cardamom and nutmeg powder.

Make small ping pong ball size balls of the dough and flatten it using your fingers, shaping it like a well.

Heap a spoon of 'puran' into the well..
Now to make the petals and close the dough in the form of a 'modak'..

Pull up the sides gently and seal by pressing them together.
Deep fry the 'modak' till they are a lovely golden brown. My little Ganesh Pooja.

Food cooked on Ganesh Chaturthi is made without onions and garlic. The fare is traditional and tasty. The best part is, it is served in banana leaves, which enhances the taste of the food. The food is arranged in a typical order . On the left hand side, starting with salt, lemon wedge, koshimbir, chutney, raita. On the right hand side, vegetable(s), rice with daal (typically it is varan bhaat with ghee).
There are other items that can be added too, like potato bhajji on the left.
The modak is kept in the middle. And has to be eaten with ghee... makes the filling easy to digest.

Mumbai comes alive during these 10 days of Ganesh Utsav. Amongst the most famous 'sarvajanik ganesh mandals' is the 'LALBAUGCHA RAJA' this committee has been hosting Ganpati for nearly 73 years now you can check out the photo gallery here. Pin It


  1. WOW!! look at all those sweets! I am sure Ganapati was happy..

    Thanks for the stories. I never knew we are not supposed to cook onions and garlic on festival day..oops..:D

  2. Hi,
    I hope u are right ! :D
    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Hi MANASI,
    Very well described about god.
    Thanks for sharing these beautiful images of god .
    Nice way to give nivedhyam to god in banana leaf.

    We will read "Vinayaka Vratha kalpam" like this only by reading how god born
    about chandrama shaap?
    Thanks for sharing the modhak recipe.

  4. Memories...sigh!
    Sheera looks delicous

  5. Hi Manasi,
    Good explanation about Ganesh festival. I liked your "Modak" and "sheera". Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  6. Hi Manasi,
    Happy vinayaka chaturthi... I liked the petals of the modak. the pictures are wonderful.

  7. Vineela: I luv serving (&eating)food in a banana leaf! Maybe sometime later I will make steamed modak... those are awesome too!
    Ashwini : U are right! SIGHHHHHH!!
    Menutoday: Thank u! for ur compliments and for stopping by.
    Prema sundar: Happy vinayaka chaturthi to u too! thank u very much!

  8. It was real fun seeing your recipe corner site.everything you have placed is very perfect & beautiful. you are really doing a good job.
    I will be trying some of them very soon.
    see you then

  9. Your modaks look so good. Love your neiyvedyam items on banana leaf. Thanks so much for sharing

  10. Aparna:Thank u for stopping by. Let me know when u try out any recipe!
    Krithika: Thank u very much! Food tastes so good when eaten on a banana leaf!

  11. HI, I love your blog layout =) Its fascinating. So simple and pure...


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