With upcoming Ganesha Chaturthi coming up, we are here with yummy Ganesha Chaturthi meal plan.
My daughter: Aai, do you know which festival is there in September?
Me: It is Ganapati Bappa’s festival, beta!
My daughter: are waah, so it is Modak time it seems!!
That easily we all associate meals with festivals. Of course, puja and other rituals are equally important, but what we always remember without fail is the extra special sweet item prepared on the day.
Ganesha Chaturthi is celebrated very enthusiastically in Maharashtra. In spite of all the work pressures, this is the day, where we all like to stay at home to welcome Ganapati Bappa. Entire house is decorated with flowers and lights and decorations. The incense sticks and dhoop create an auspicious environment in the house. A special place is reserved and decorated for Ganapati Bappa to stay for the next 5 or 7 or 10 days. Just three days after Ganesh Chaturthi, we welcome Gauri in our home and placed next to Lord Ganesha. It is the festival of inviting all the relatives and friends at home, praying and enjoying the feast that follows.
Also read: Ganesha festival: A new age guide to your celebrations
Meals during Ganesha festival are important because we prepare few items like modak (sweet dumpling of coconut and jaggery) as a part of offering in pujas. Once the Aarti is completed, the sweet is offered to Ganapati Bappa and then distributed among all present.
You might like to read about the Maharashtrian cuisines for festivals!
It is always better to pre plan all the offerings for the duration of the Ganesha festival. You can make a list of sweets or fruits those can be offered in a puja. You can make some at home and while purchase others.
Ukadiche Modak (steamed sweet dumplings), coconut laddoos, carrot halwa, orange kheer, semolina kheer are some sweets which you can prepare at home. Fruits, kaju barfi, karanji, gulabjamun, rasagulla, chocolate modak are others which you can buy from outside. Make a list of items liked by all and plan accordingly.
The special Ganesha Chaturthi feast
For the feast of Ganesha Chaturthi, an ideal meal plan would include –
Green Chutney of ginger, coriander leaves and grated coconut is a staple of any Maharashtrian festival special meal. Even with all the preparation, it takes 10 min
You can mix crushed peanuts and grated coconut with chopped cucumber to make Khamand Kakdi. If you are ready with chopped cucumber, it takes just 5 min (Click here for the recipe).
Use microwave to make it in 15 minutes without disturbing other dishes. (Click here for the recipe)
This modak or sweet steamed dumpling is an important ingredient of Ganesha Chaturthi meal plan. There are many versions of how to make modak and you will get a number of videos as a reference – although these are time consuming and may need 1 hour 15 min at least, I suggest these should be prepared at least once a year. Also you can make the inner sweet filling 2 days before and refrigerate; this will help save your time by 30-45 minutes). If you don’t want to prepare ukadiche modak, you can buy them from outside or opt for any other sweet like Badam Sheera, etc.
Masale bhat and Maharashtrian Kadhi
Masale bhat needs 10 minutes and Maharashtrian Kadhi will take just 5 minutes if you are ready with buttermilk. Instead of masala bhat-kadhi, you can go for simple varan bhat which is essentially loved by all the Maharashtrians.
Sprouted Matki usal
Use some of the green chutney as a gravy for sprouted matki usal so as to save time. Preparation time is 10 min.
It will take 30 min at least depending on how many people are there for the feast.
If you have good help, many of the above things can happen simultaneously and save on your time. My personal experience says husbands make a very good partner in making puris (😉😉 Pls do try and let me know whether it is successful!).
We Indians have always given immense importance to our foods; especially during the time of the festivals. I feel that if we pour our positivity and care and love and affection into the food, the feast would surely be enjoyed by all. Remember, it’s not about proving your culinary proficiency, it is about making everyone happy enough with the end result. For that not only the end result but the process has also to be enjoyed by us.
Use these links, pre plan your feast and then sit back and enjoy the day!! Happy festivals to you!!
Also look at our blogs on other festival special cuisines – Sankranti special cuisines!