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Tempting Lord Ganesha

September 05, 2005

Tempting Lord GaneshaDukh harata -- the one who destroys all sorrow

Sukh karata -- the one who ushers in happiness

Vigna harata -- the one who destroys all evil and all obstacles

Who else can it be but the roly-poly, plump, pot-bellied God, Ganesha?

This son of the gods, Shiva and Gauri (an avatar of Parvati), is a favourite with mankind, which is why his festival, Ganesh Charurthi, is celebrated with great joy all over India.

This intelligent God is known for his weakness for sweets and, as his devotees welcome him to their homes, they cater to his sweet tooth.

Here are some recipes that the twinke-eyed God is said to be especially fond of:

Rice Modaks


2 cups rice flour
2˝ cups water

For the filling

1 cup fresh coconut, grated
1 cup jaggery
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp cashewnuts, chopped
1 tsp cardamom, powdered


For the filling

Put 1 tbsp of ghee in a kadhai or deep pan and heat. Fry chopped cashewnuts in the ghee till golden brown. Take off the fire and keep aside.

In the same pan, add grated coconut and jaggery. Mix well till the coconut becomes soft and the jaggery melts and blends well with the coconut. When the mixture becomes quite dry, take off the fire. Allow the mixture to cool.

Add raisins, fried cashewnuts and cardamom powder to the coconut and jaggery mixture. Mix well.

For the modak

Heat 2 cups of water in a large pot. Add salt.


Rice modaksAs the water starts boiling, add rice flour to the water. Lower heat. Mix well. The mixture should be a smooth paste; there should be no lumps. If mixture is becoming too dry, add the remaining ˝ cup of water. Keep heating till rice flour is cooked.


Take the cooked dough and spread on a wet cloth. Cover the dough with another cloth and mash it with a masher or anything heavy with a wide base. This will make the dough softer.

Rub a little ghee on your palms and take small portion of the hot dough. Make a ball out of it. With your thumb shape the ball into a cup or diya shape.  Put 2 teaspoons of the filling in the small vessel-shape that has been fashioned out of the dough. Close the ends in a manner to get the shape of a fresh fig.

Make 10-12 modaks out of the remaining dough and place them all in a colander greased with ghee. Place the modaks in such a way that they don't touch one another in the colander.

In a large pot, add 4-5 cups of water. Heat. When the water begins to boil place the colander over it and cover the colander with a tight lid so the steam does not escape. The modaks will be ready in 10 minutes.

Dribble with a teaspoon of ghee and serve hot.

Wheat Modaks


For the filling

1 large fresh coconut, shredded
1 cup sugar or jaggery (gur)
5 or 6 pieces cardamom or elaichi, powdered
1 tbsp chiroli or bedana nuts

For the cover

2 cups wheat flour
4 tsp ghee
˝ tbsp salt
˝ litre oil for frying


For the filling

Heat shredded coconut and sugar (or jaggery) for a few minutes until they blend smoothly. Add elaichi and chiroli. Keep aside.

For the modak

Knead the wheat flour into a smooth dough.

Make small lime-sized balls from the flour and roll into puri shapes. Stuff with the filling and pinch the ends together to give your modak the shape of a fresh fig.

Deep fry till crisp and golden brown.


In the Konkan belt of coastal Maharashtra, Ghavan is offered to the Goddess Gauri (Shiva's consort and Ganesha's mother) at the time of the Ganpati (as Ganesha is also known) festival. Ghavan is quite similar to the Neer Dosa served in Mangalore.


For the dosa

˝ cup rice flour
1 cup water or milk

For the filling

Fresh coconut, shredded


Mix the rice flour in water (or milk). The mixture shouldn't be too thick. Mix well.

On a flat griddle or tawa heat 1 tbsp oil. Pour enough mixture to spread into a thin dosa.

Fill with shredded coconut and jaggery.

Rice modak recipe: Rupali Nimkar
Wheat modak and Ghavan recipes: Sanjana Sawant
Photographs of offerings on plantain leaf: Sanjay Sawant 

Tomorrow: More recipes

Share your favourite Ganesh Chathurti recipes with us. The last date for sending in recipes is September 14.

Information You Can Use

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: best wishes

Sir, I found very good slide shows on web. I thanks a lot for such good work to explain big thing in short. My ...

Posted by Bhimrao G. Bhapkar

Sub: tummy

eating these food,You may probably landup getting a big tummy like lord ganesha.. don't eat everyday

Posted by rajesh

Sub: Pooja for Lord Ganesha every tuesday

It's always good to present/submit Modhak etc. but for working people, if time is not enough, "gud" of small qty to 1 kg or so ...

Posted by Shrenik Shah


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