After Raksha Bandhan and Janmashtami, the next big festival in line is Ganesh Chaturthi. The festival is celebrated with pomp and zeal to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Ganesha. Popular in states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka; every year in August the preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi start well in advance. However, this year, celebrations will be slightly different and toned down in light of the recent pandemic.
Dedicated to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, the state governments have decided to cancel the extravagant celebrations of the festival this year, including pandal hopping in Maharashtra. The 10-day celebrations start on August 22nd and while all of this can seem disheartening and disappointing, you can still have a great time this year too.
Treat yourself to the amazing feasts personally recommended by Lord Ganesha. Known for his wisdom and benevolence, the child of Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati is the stalwart of all things auspicious. But the thing about Lord Ganesha that appeals to people the most are the stories describing his love for sweets. Here is a list of foods that Lord Ganesha loves and you should too –
Also known as kozhukattai in the south (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), the delicious modaks are considered to be one of Ganpati’s most favorite sweets. He is also called Modakpriya in the scriptures owing to his immense love for modak. Hence on the first day of Ganesh Chaturthi, devotees offer him a bhog of modak. You can make different varieties of modak to please the deity. For instance, steam modak, dry fruit modak, fried modak, chocolate, and the likes.
2. Motichoor Ladoo
Lord Ganesha is also believed to be very fond of laddoos. You won’t find a single idol or painting of his without a ladoo in one of his four hands. The saffron-infused and aromatic, tiny boondi ladoos are ubiquitous in a bhog offered to the Lord.
3. Puran Poli
It is another classic dish prepared during this time. This sweet flatbread is a crowd-pleaser for sure, with almost every Maharashtrian household making it. Stuffed with sweet lentils and jaggery, Puran Poli tops the list of favorite bhog offered to Lord Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi.
4. Coconut Rice
This is a common offering in South India. Coconut rice is prepared by soaking white rice in coconut milk or cooking it with coconut flakes. The delicious treat makes for one of the most loved bhog items to Ganesha.
Payasam is a traditional South Indian kheer and no prasad is ever complete without India’s favorite festive treat – Payasam. The dish is prepared by cooking rice in milk along with jaggery, coconut and cardamom, and is a popular household dish in India during festivals and other special occasions.
6. Banana Sheera
Made with mashed bananas, semolina and sugar; Banana Sheera is another popular offering to Lord Ganesha. This sweet offering tastes a lot like Sooji ka Halwa and the best part – it melts in your mouth.
Satori is a flatbread bhog offered to the deity during Ganesh Chathurthi. A popular Maharashtrian delicacy, Satori is made from khoya or mawa, ghee, besan and milk. Enjoy one of these with a cup of hot tea after a tiring day of rituals and never-ending pujas.
This is Lord Ganesha’s all-time favorite treat. Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained yogurt and is quite popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat. It is topped with chunky nuts and raisins to make it taste more heavenly. This year on Ganesh Chathurthi please the lord with some nicely made Shrikhand and don’t forget to help yourself to some too!
And while you are at it, how about enjoying the live stream from various pandals in Mumbai where Ganpati will give darshan on Zoom, Facebook and Google platforms. To keep us all in good spirits, many associations in Mumbai are shifting to digital platforms so you don’t miss the Ganapati Aarti even this year. You can check out a few options here. And if you still want to be brave this year, pick an option that will keep you save at all costs. Book a Savaari cab in Mumbai for a safe darshan from the comfort of a Savaari car.
Ganpati Bappa Morya!
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