Food for the Lord

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NAMRATA SRIVASTAVA
Published Aug 24, 2017, 12:24 am IST
Updated Aug 24, 2017, 12:24 am IST
There’s no limit on the dishes that can be offered to everyone’s favourite ‘foodie’, Lord Ganesha.
Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.
 Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

The fourth day in the Bhadrapada month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Ganesha or Vinayaka Chaturthi, a festival when Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. The installation of the idol, prayers, vedic chants and prasadam are all an integral part of the festival. 

Lord Ganesha is known as a foodie with a fetish for all things sweet, and is often depicted holding a plate with 21 pieces of traditional modak — his absolute favourite! 

Lord Ganesha is also traditionally believed to feast on ladoos, especially motichur ones. Coconut ladoos, besan, rava, boondi, poha and til ladoos are not too far behind. Other sweets offered are payasam, puran poli, basundi, and shrikhand.

Not only sweets, in fact, an entire feast is offered to the God, including puris, vadas, sabudana khichdi, idlis and sundal. The Lord’s belly represents the universe, so whatever we offer is very meagre. 

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, many homes offer a whole meal as naivedyam to the Lord Vinayaka. Sweets include modakum, a variation of modak filled with boiled chana dal, jaggery and coconut. Pulihora, curd rice, semiya pulao also find their place in the Lord’s meal. 

Interestingly, each of the different states have different foods with unique ingredients and cooking methods that give the prasadam a unique flavour. What remains unchanged is devotion.

Kesar PistaKesar pista ladoo
 

Kesar pista ladoo
(full of flavour and very light because of the use of paneer along with the khova)

Method

Soak the kesar in ¼ cup milk. Blanch the pistachio and remove skin. Lightly roast and powder coarsely. 
Keep three tablespoons aside for garnish. Place a heavy bottomed pan on heat and sauté the khova. Add the rest of the ingredients except the ghee. Sauté till it leaves the sides of the pan.
Let it cool down. Grease your palms and form into ladoos. Roll in the reserved pista powder.

Ingredients
2 cups paneer, grated
2 cups khova, grated
1 cup dry coconut, grated
½ cup pistachio 
½ tsp kesar/saffron
¼ cup milk
½ tsp ghee

ModakModak

Modak
Ingredients
 For the shell 

1 cup maida
½ cup wheat rava
2 tbsp ghee
A pinch of salt 
Oil to deep fry

For filling
1½ cups coconut shredded
¾ cup jaggery
½ cup dry fruit, chopped
½ tsp cardamom powder

Method
Take the coconut and jaggery in a pan and mix on medium heat. Stir constantly till the mix becomes semi-dry. Mix in the dry fruits and the cardamom powder and allow to cool. Make a stiff dough with the maida, rava, ghee and salt. Keep covered for half an hour and knead once more.
Divide the dough and the stuffing into 25 portions. Roll out into four inch rounds. Fill the stuffing and shape into a classic modak shape. Deep fry till crisp.

Vegetable Masala BhaatVegetable Masala Bhaat

Vegetable Masala Bhaat
Ingredients

6 cups cooked rice
2 cups boiled vegetables (carrot, beans, peas)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 green chillies split
2 tsp coriander leaves 
4-5 curry leaves chopped
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut 
1 dry red chilli
2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp asafoetida 
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder 
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste 

Method
Heat oil and put in the urad and chana dal, sauté till lightly coloured. Now add the mustard seeds and wait till they pop. Add the dry red chilli, green chillies, curry leaves and hing and sauté. 
Add the chilli and turmeric powder and sauté. Finally, add all the other ingredients and sauté well till the masala bhaat is heated through. Garnish with coriander leaves and offer to the Lord.

Panchmissal VadaPanchmissal Vada

Panchmissal Vada

Ingredients
1 cup mung dal
½ cup chana dal
¼ cup urad dal
¼ cup toor dal
¼ cup green mung dal (with skin)
1 tbsp coriander powder 
1 tbsp chilli powder 
1 tbsp coarsely pounded coriander seeds 
2 tsp coarsely pounded fennel seeds
½ tsp asafoetida/hing
1 tbsp green chillies
1 tbsp chopped ginger
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
Oil to fry
Salt to taste

Method
Wash and soak the dals for at least four hours. Grind the dals into a coarse paste.
Mix with all the other ingredients except oil. Form into flat vadas and deep fry. 

Broken Wheat HalwaBroken Wheat Halwa

Broken Wheat Halwa
Ingredients

1 cup wheat dalia/broken wheat
¾ cup sugar
½ cup ghee
2 tbsp dryfruits, chopped
1 tsp cardamom 
powder
2¼ cups of water

Method
In a small pressure cooker, heat the ghee and fry the wheat dalia on low heat till golden in colour (make sure it does not burn). 
Put in the water, sugar and cardamom powder. Cook on a low flame till the pressure cooker gives one whistle.
Cool the cooker and then open. Garnish with chopped dry fruits and serve.





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