Lord Ganesha – The God with a sweet tooth

One God who never compromises on good food and never gives up on his love for sweets is the one and only- Lord Ganesha. Extensive bhogs and Prasads are made to gratify his taste buds.

A popular story about him is that -  once Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, and Lord Ganesha were invited for lunch by Anusuyu (an ancient Rishi wife). She offered several  delicacies but nothing sufficed Lord Ganesha’s hunger. At last, she presented 21 Modak (sweet dumplings) to him and he felt full. Therefore, the bhog of 21 Modaks is made for him till now especially during Ganesh Chaturthi.

 

Ganesh Chaturthi-Celebration of a bond with Bappa

Ganesha holds a special place in Hindusim. He is in the beginning, he is in the culmination.  He is the order in the universe. He is a giver, protector, and benefactor for many in every sense of it. Therefore nothing commences before taking his name- be it any ceremony, ritual, or new business.

Celebrations are meant to be extravagant for the God of such a massive fan base. The loud cheering of Ganpati Bappa Morya, Mangal Murti Morya along with the ear-deafening yet rhythmic sound of the Nashik dhol, lavishly decorated pandals in every nukkads and corners of the roads with tall Lord Ganesha idols, and the aroma of lip-smacking modaks mark the arrival of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Gujrat, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, it is a time when sentiments galore and the connection with the divine are manifested.

Well, we can't exactly date when Ganesh Chaturthi came into being celebrated with such gusto, however, as per some historians, the festival is said to have been celebrated since the time of Shivaji reign. It is also said that Bal Gangadhar Tilak, the prominent leader of the 1857  revolt, added the much-needed scale and grandeur to the festival to unite all Hindus under one roof to support the cause of independence.  

There are four main rituals-Pranpratishtha (the process of invoking life in the deity), Shodashopachara (16-step puja), Uttarpuja (this pooja is performed before bidding Lord Ganesha goodbye), and Ganpati Visarjan (bidding goodbye to Lord Ganesha by immersing idol into water). Every state appends its unique touch to enhance the splendor.

 

Muh meetha karo…

Other dishes to welcome the generous God are:

Puran Poli-Taste it before it's all gone

Many Maharashtrian households offer Puran Poli to Lord Ganesha as bhog. It is a kind of flat paratha stuffed with jaggery and lentils. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have their variations.  Some recipes use jaggery in place of sugar, and the use of spices can be diverse.

 

Coconut rice-Having it on a plate is wise

One of the most simple dishes prepared during the festival. It is prepared by mixing coconut milk or coconut flakes with soaked white rice.

 

Shrikhand- The happy food

Preferred bhog of Lord Ganesha-it is a sweet dish made by straining yogurt and can be topped with dry fruits. Legends say that herdsmen used to hung curd to make it easier to carry while traveling.

 

Motichoor Ladoo-The inseparable

How can we forget Motichoor ladoo? Made up of gram flour, spices, and sugar, this is one delicacy without which our Lord Ganesha will not feel satiated.

 

Festivals are meant to spread cheers, positivity, and love, and trust me, these ten days have these three elements in abundance.