Elevate Your Ganesh Chaturthi With These Vegan Delights

With Ganesh Chaturthi round the corner the festive flavour is in the air. Along with the celebration of our Indian-ness, another lifestyle that is getting increasingly popular is that of going vegan. Over the past few years, there is a definite trend of more and more Indians opting for the vegan option, in restaurants, get-togethers and even in celebrations like weddings and festivals. The Veganuary Campaign which encourages people to try vegan for a month drew an impressive 706,965 participants worldwide this year, out of which a massive chunk of 90,000 plus was made up of Indians. Most Indians choosing to try vegan are doing so for health reasons, and we don’t see why it shouldn’t be applicable to our festival dishes. 

So, elevate your festivities to new heights by infusing them with some innovative culinary preparations blessed with a sense of health and compassion. Here are four vegan recipes designed to captivate and satisfy your family, whether you are a seasoned vegan or simply dipping your toe into plant-based eating.  

These delectable vegan recipes are carefully curated by Ambaree Majumder – a Social Entrepreneur, Speaker, and Educator renowned for her expertise in Plant-based Nutrition. What's more, she's a proud vegan mom, dedicated to raising two vegan kids. 

From the exquisite Ragi Modak to the aromatic Sooji Halwa, the sumptuous PuranPoli, and the flavourful Kothimbir Vadi, these dishes are perfect for Ganesh Chaturthi. They’ll tantalize your taste buds and add a unique twist to your celebrations. 

So, as the festival approaches, get ready to revel in the festivities with a guilt-free conscience, all the while savouring the exquisite flavors of these thoughtfully crafted vegan dishes. Ganesh Chaturthi has never tasted so good! 

Ragi Modak

Easy, gluten-free, refined-sugar free, oil-free, calcium-rich, vegan 


  • 1/3 cup Ragi flour/ finger millet flour 
  • 2/3 cup Medjool dates, finely chopped and soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes  
  • 1 cup almond butter (store bought or homemade by grinding roasted 1 cup of roasted almonds) 
  • 1/2 tsp crushed or powdered Cardamom powder 


  • Dry roast the ragi flour in low heat in a pan for a few minutes till the colour begins to change. Set aside. 
  • Blend the soaked dates with minimal water to form a paste. 
  • Heat a pan. Add the almond butter and date paste. Keep the heat low. Mix well. 
  • Add the roasted ragi flour and cardamom powder to the almond butter mixture. Mix everything well.   
  • Transfer this modak mixture to a plate, let cool for a few minutes. Then using your hand, knead it well. Once well combined, using your Modak molds start making the modaks.  
  • Fill each mold completely with Modak mixture, press it firmly with your finger. Gently open the mold and the ragi modak is ready to enjoy!!

Sooji Halwa 

Easy, dairy-free, quick, vegan 


  • 1/4 cup neutral flavored cooking oil like sunflower oil 
  • 1 cup semolina 
  • 2 tbsp cashew butter or ground cashew nut powder 
  • 1/4 cup sugar add more if you like it really sweet 
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 tbsp raisins 
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced almonds for garnish


  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry the semolina till it starts to lightly brown. Add the cashew butter or powder. 
  • Add in sugar and cardamom powder, and fry for a few minutes till the sugar starts to melt. 
  • Slowly pour in the water and continue to stir till all the water dries up and starts to form a thicker consistency. 
  • Toss in rasines and sliced almonds and serve warm.

Puran Poli 

Vegan, festive, refined-sugar free 

For Puran Mixture 

  • 1 cup chana dal (skinned split bengal gram) 
  • 3 cups water – for pressure cooking the chana dal  
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or other cooking oil  
  • 1 teaspoon fennel powder (ground fennel)  
  • ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder (ground cardamom)or seeds from 4 to 5 green cardamoms crushed finely in mortar 
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder (ground nutmeg) 
  • 1 cup jaggery powder 

For The Poli – Outer Covering 

  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour 
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil or other cooking oil 
  • ½ teaspoon salt or as required 
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder  
  • water as required to knead the dough 
  • oil as required for roasting the puran poli


Preparing Puran (Sweet Lentil Filling) 

  • Rinse the chana dal. In a pressure cooker, cook the chana dal with 3 cups of water for 6 to 7 whistles on medium heat. The dal has to be cooked well. If you soak the chana dal, the cooking time will be reduced.  
  • Strain the cooked dal using a sieve. Drain all the water or stock from dal and use it in making soups or add to vegetable curries.  
  • Heat coconut oil in a frying pan or kadai (wok) and add the ground nutmeg powder, ground cardamom powder and ground fennel powder. Fry these ground spices for a few seconds on a low heat. 
  • Add the chana dal and jaggery. Stir and let this puran mixture cook on a low heat till the mixture becomes dry. Keep on stirring the puran mixture at regular intervals. Switch off heat once the mixture is dry.  
  • Let it cool and then mash the puran mixture with a potato masher. Set aside.

Preparing The Poli Dough 

  • Combine the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Add a little bit of water and oil and mix. Begin to knead the dough adding water as needed.  
  • The dough should be smooth, supple and soft. Cover and keep aside the dough to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Making Puran Poli 

  • Take a medium or large size ball from the dough. Roll it 2 to 3 inches in circumference on a dusted rolling board.  
  • Place a portion of puran mixture in the center of the rolled dough. 
  • Bring the edges together towards the center. Join all the edges and pinch them. 
  • Sprinkle some flour and start rolling the dough.  
  • Make a medium or large circle (poli) as depending upon the size of the dough and puran filling you took.  
  • On a heated tawa or griddle, spread some oil. Place the rolled poli/dough circle on the tawa. When one side gets browned, turn over and cook the other side till you see some brown spots.Once the second side gets browned, then turn over and apply ghee. If everything is done properly then puran poli will puff up. 
  • The poli should be cooked well with brown spots and golden. 
  • Make all puran polis this way and stack them in a casserole or roti basket or in a kitchen napkin. Serve Puran Poli warm or at room temperature with a glass of plant milk or eat as they are!

Kothimbir Vadi 

Healthy, savory, high-protein snack 


  • ¼ cup peanuts 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic 
  • 2 - 3 green chilies or 2 - 3 teaspoons green chilies 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon water for grinding 
  • 2 cups coriander leaves chopped 
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder 
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder  
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder 
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds 
  • 1 cup besan 
  • ½ teaspoon sugar  
  • salt as required 
  • ½ cup water for batter 
  • 1 to 1.5 cups water for steaming  
  • 3 tablespoons oil for frying


  • Roast the peanuts till crunch, rub the skins away and grind them into a powder. Set aside.
  • In a blender, mix the ginger, garlic and green chili with 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Set aside. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the coriander leaves, ginger garlic and chili paste, turmeric, chili, coriander and cumin powders. Also, add the peanut powder, white sesame seeds and besan. Mix everything well.  
  • Slowly add ½ cup of water and mix well to a thick batter. Add water as required and in parts. Set aside.  
  • Grease a pan with some oil. Now add the batter in the pan. 
  • Ready a steamer and steam the batter on a low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the batter firms up nicely and cooks well.  
  • Once done, check with a toothpick and it should come out clean. Gently remove the entire layer on a plate. Now cut in square or diamond shaped slices. 
  • Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a tawa or pan. Place the steamed kothimbir vadi and pan fry on medium flame. Garnish with additional sesame seeds and serve with chutney of choice.