Ganesh Chaturthi: 8 Traditional Dishes Beyond Modak & Puran Poli
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Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important festivals of the year for people across Maharashtra. In fact, to say that the 10-day festival marking the birth of Lord Ganesha is not just a festival but an emotion wouldn’t be wrong. Across the state, families and communities come together to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi at home and at pandals. A key part of this celebration is offering Lord Ganesha a number of specially crafted dishes that are considered to be his favourites. 

Of these, Modak, Motichoor Laddoo and Puran Poli have now become synonymous with Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Maharashtra. From homechefs and matriarchs making the traditional Ukadiche Modak to famous sweet shops creating more new-age versions of the same, from Motichoor Laddoo being sold by the kilo to Puran Poli being easily available everywhere, these three dishes are known to be staples during Ganesh Chaturthi. But what most people don’t know about are Maharashtrian dishes beyond these that are also staples during Ganesh Chaturthi. 

Unlike Modak, Motichoor Laddoo and Puran Poli, these Maharashtrian specials are usually made at home and not commercially available unless you go to modern Maharashtrian restaurants trying to keep these traditional and regional favourites alive. Want to know what these incredible Maharashtrian homemade dishes for Ganesh Chaturthi are? Here, take a look. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Nishamadhulika

1. Gavhachi Kheer 

Prepared with broken whole wheat grains, milk and jaggery or sugar, this traditional Maharashtrian Gavhachi Kheer is a must-have during Ganesh Chaturthi. Offered to Lord Ganesha as a bhog, this kheer is made by first soaking and boiling the whole wheat grains separately. The boiled grains are then added to milk, cardamom and jaggery. The sweet dish is topped with coconut, dry fruits and nuts before serving. 

2. Satori 

Also known as Khavyachi Satori, this Maharashtrian flatbread is quite like Puran Poli—except that it is made with refined flour and stuffed with khoya or mawa. In fact, the stuffing for Satori is often laced with cashews, pumpkin or gulkand along with the mawa and sugar, making it perhaps even more interesting than Puran Poli. A staple for Gudi Padwa, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, Satori is a must-have. 

3. Saranachi Puri 

Always prepared during festivals like Gudi Padwa, Diwali and Ganesh Chaturthi, Saranachi Puri is a type of stuffed and deep-fried puri. While the dough is made with refined flour, the sweet filling for Saranachi Puri is made with semolina, gram flour, jaggery and spices like cardamom, saffron and nutmeg. Many also add ground cashews and almonds to the stuffing. 

4. Rishi Panchami Bhaji 

Also known as Rushichi Bhaji, Rishi Panchami Bhaji is a dish prepared on the day after Ganesh Chaturthi as a sattvik yet delicious dish. Packed with freshly harvested seasonal vegetables like corn on the cob, sweet potato, amaranth leaves or chaulai, ridge gourd and very few spices, this dry dish is very easy to make. The dish is flavoured with tamarind, green chillies and cumin and is served with jowar rotis. 

5. Nivagrya 

While you may be all about eating the Modaks during Ganesh Chaturthi, Maharashtrian homes often experience an excess of rice flour dough after the event. Instead of making even more Modak out of it, what Maharashtrians do is to make Nivagrya—which is basically the addition of cumin seeds, green chillis and coriander leaves into the rice flour dough. The dough is then shaped into flat, small discs and steamed. The perfect Ganesh Chaturthi snack, this one highlights the no-waste attitutde of Indian kitchens. 

6. Chawlichi Usal 

Apart from rice and vegetables, many lentils and legumes also come into season during monsoon, which coincides with Ganesh Chaturthi. So, to celebrate one such lentil, black eyed peas, the dish that is prepared in most Maharashtrian homes is Chawlichi Usal. A simple curry made with boiled black eyed peas, coconut, fennel seeds and coriander seeds, Chawlichi Usal is traditionally paired with steamed rice and Solekadhi. 

7. Varan Bhaat 

For those fasting during Ganesh Chaturthi, Varan Bhaat is a simple yet delicious dish that is cooked up to feed the family. In fact, Varan Bhaat is also served as a Bhog for Lord Ganesha along with aluwadi, batata bhaji, patholi and more. Simply put, Varan is a dal made with toor or arhar dal while Bhaat stands for steamed rice—making this simple version of Dal-Chawal a nutritious combo for not only Ganesh Chaturthi but all fasts. 

8. Katachi Amti 

Made with chana dal stock, Katachi Amti is a spicy and tangy dish that is usually served with steamed rice during Ganesh Chaturthi. Flavoured with Goda Masala, a unique Maharashtrian spice blend that has peanuts, sesame seeds, peppercorns, stone flower and plenty of red chillies, Katachi Amti has a reddish-brown hue that announces its spice levels very clearly. The chana dal is basically cooked until mushy and its stock is then strained to then cook with onions, Goda masala and tomatoes.