Here are some classic Maharashtrian recipes that are a staple in the traditional bhog thali on Ganesh Chaturthi
In India, the month of August is often replete with a number of festivals. Right from Sawan, Teej, Raksha Bandhan and Janmashtami to Ganesh Chaturthi, we have so much to look forward to this time of the year. Also known as ‘Vinayak Chaturthi’, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is a 10-day affair that is celebrated to mark the birth of ‘Vighnaharta’ Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
It is one of the most important Hindu festivals. It is celebrated in many parts of India, but most importantly in Maharashtra, where huge pandals are set up and decorated that people visit with utmost enthusiasm on all days. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi will start on August 31.
On the occasion, people also bring in idols of the deity at home and do ‘Sthapana Puja’ to welcome him to their homes, sing chants to mark the arrival of ‘bappa’, and prepare different prasads to offer to Lord Ganesha. Food plays a major role in Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. As it is believed that Lord Ganesha loved mithai, especially modak, devotees prepare delicious sweet dishes to offer as bhog to him. If you too are planning to prepare bhog at home and offer it to Lord Ganesha, we’ve got some classic Maharashtrian recipes that are a staple in the traditional bhog thali on Ganesh Chaturthi. Take a look.
Modak is synonymous to Ganesh Chaturthi. After all, it is said to be Lord Ganesha’s most favourite food, so much so that he is also referred to as ‘Modakpriya’ in the scriptures. The sweet dumplings made by steaming rice flour balls stuffed with coconut, jaggery, and cashew nut, modak are a must-have during Ganesh Puja.
2. Puran Poli
A classic Maharashtrian sweet treat, puran poli is a flatbread made of maida, stuffed with sweet dal, and jaggery filling, and screams indulgence at the mere mention. Several Maharashtrian households offer bhog of puran poli to Lord Ganesha in one of the 10 days to seek his blessings.
A close cousin of rabri, basundi is one Maharashtrian dessert that is thick, rich and extremely decadent. Made with thickened milk, flavoured with cardamom and a host of chunky nuts and dry fruits, basundi is usually paired with deep-fried pooris to enjoy it the best.
A sweet dish prepared using rava, ghee, dry fruits, and more, sheera is often referred to as a version of suji halwa. Usually, it has a semi-thick consistency, but it can be adjusted as per choice. Moreover, sheera comes with a lot of variety, as people customise it with different flavours, including pineapple and banana.
Made with just strained yoghurt and flavoured with cardamom and saffron, shrikhand is a popular sweet treat across Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is topped with chunky nuts and raisins, and can be a perfect addition to your bhog thali this Ganesh Chaturthi.