Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: 8 Maharashtrian Dishes To Make

India’s festive season is here again and with it comes the promise of delectable treats to try. For Maharashtra, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi (or Vinayaka Chaturthi) is one of the highlights of the season and is celebrated with all pomp and circumstance. In 2023, the 10-day festival is set to commence on the 19th of September with the final day, Ganesh Visarjan, concluding on Thursday 28 September. 

This festival takes place to mark the birth of Lord Ganesha, the much venerated and loved Hindu deity renowned as the god of wisdom, prosperity, and fresh starts. He is the beloved son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. In several regions across India Lord Ganesha occupies a significant place in the hearts of devotees, but Maharashtra is one of the states where the day is celebrated with unbridled enthusiasm.

People prepare their homes to welcome the idol of Ganesha for the duration of the festival before immersing him in a natural water body on the day of visarjan. And during this time, families are also busy preparing a host of snacks and dishes to as bhog (sacred offerings) and to share with friends and family who come to visit. 

Video Credit: Hebbar's Kitchen/YouTube

In Maharashtra, there are a number of traditional dishes that no Ganesh Chathurti home is complete without. Here are 8 you should try:

1. Ukadiche Modak: 

This steamed modak recipe yields a tender, melt-in-the-mouth outer layer filled with sweet, chewy coconut goodness. The harmonious blend of flavours and textures defines these delectable treats, a hallmark of Ganeshotsav festivities. These unassuming steamed sweets, rich in coconut, jaggery, and rice flour, epitomise the essence of the celebration.

2. Panchamrit: 

Also called Panchamrut, this sacred Ayurvedic preparation incorporates five essential ingredients. It serves a dual purpose, both as an offering in Hindu rituals and for its medicinal properties. This traditional elixir, consisting of yoghurt, milk, honey, holy basil (tulsi), and ghee, plays a vital role in religious ceremonies and spiritual observances.

3. Karanji: 

The Maharashtrian karanji recipe yields a crispy, flaky outer shell embracing a sweet coconut filling—a must-have treat for festive occasions. Known as Gujiya in North India, this delectable snack features a filling of coconut, jaggery, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds, along with assorted dry fruits and nuts. While contemporary variations offer creative fillings like chocolate, Oreo, or red velvet, the classic charm of this crescent-shaped delight endures.

4. Puran Poli: 

Puran poli, a traditional Indian stuffed bread with a sweet lentil filling, stands as a revered offering to Lord Ganesha during this auspicious season. 'Puran' denotes the sweet dal mixture, while 'poli' signifies the bread. This cherished dish transcends Maharashtra, finding a place in South Indian cuisines under names like holige, obbattu, and bobbattlu.

5. Varan Bhaat: 

Simple but essential this wholesome, delightful dal recipe, crafted from toor dal and served with cooked rice, graces the offerings to Lord Ganapati during Ganesh Chaturthi. Varan bhaat symbolises a sacred bhog, part of the festivities. Many homes also add a variety of spices and make a variation called masale bhaat as well.

6. Katachi Amti: 

This thin Maharashtrian lentil preparation combines chana dal, jaggery, tamarind, and freshly ground coconut paste. Its profile offers a blend of tanginess and subtle sweetness, complemented by intricate flavours. Traditionally, the residual water from cooking dal for puran poli or varan bhaat forms the base for katachi amti, while the cooked chana dal finds its place in the puran poli stuffing.

7. Rushichi Bhaji: 

This nutritious dish, bearing the same name as the festival, graces the day following the main Chaturthi celebration. As per legend, it’s made with seasonal vegetables that can be harvested without the use of oxen and contains minimal oil and spices. The resulting stew is simple and nutritious and best enjoyed with chapatis or fluffy pooris. 

8. Satori: 

Also referred to as Khavyachi Satori, this sweet and delightful flatbread variety offers multiple stuffing options. While the classic version features khoya or mawa, alternatives include cashew, pumpkin, and gulkand fillings. Satori, with its sweet and festive essence, commonly adorns Maharashtrian New Year celebrations like Gudi Padwa but can elevate any ordinary day into a festive affair.