Ganesh Chaturthi, one of India's most beloved festivals, is not just about prayers and grand processions; it's also a celebration of delectable sweets and dishes. Among the array of culinary delights prepared during this festival, modak and ladoo hold a special place.
1. Modak - The Lord's Favorite
Modak, often considered Lord Ganesha's favorite sweet, comes in various forms, but the steamed or fried rice flour modak is the most cherished. Here's a step-by-step recipe for this divine delight:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup jaggery (or sugar)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
- A pinch of salt
- Ghee for greasing
In a pan, melt the jaggery with a little water and simmer until it thickens slightly. Add the grated coconut and cardamom powder. Mix well and remove from heat.
In a separate pan, bring water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Slowly add the rice flour and mix vigorously to avoid lumps. Cover and cook on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
Let the rice flour mixture cool slightly. Knead it into a smooth dough.
Take a small portion of the dough, flatten it into a small disc, and place a spoonful of the coconut-jaggery mixture in the center.
Carefully shape it into a modak by pleating the edges and pinching them together.
Steam the modaks for 10-12 minutes or until they become glossy.
Your modaks are ready to be offered to Lord Ganesha and savored by your loved ones.
2. Ladoo - A Sphere of Sweetness
Ladoo, a spherical sweet, comes in various flavors and forms, but the besan (gram flour) ladoo is a timeless classic. Here's how to prepare it:
- 1 cup besan (gram flour)
- 1/4 cup ghee
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts (almonds, cashews)
- 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
Heat ghee in a pan, add besan, and roast it on low flame until it turns golden brown and emits a nutty aroma.
Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
Add powdered sugar, cardamom powder, and chopped nuts to the roasted besan. Mix well.
While the mixture is still warm, shape it into small round ladoos using your hands.
Let the ladoos cool and set before storing them in an airtight container.
Ganesh Puja is a time of both spiritual devotion and culinary indulgence. These traditional recipes for modak and ladoo, enriched with the healing properties of cardamom, allow you to savor the essence of this festive season. As you prepare these delectable treats, you're not only celebrating tradition but also nurturing your well-being with the goodness of herbs. So, gather your ingredients, whip up these delights, and offer them to Lord Ganesha as you immerse yourself in the joy of Ganesh Chaturthi.