The pandals have been set up, idols of Ganpatiji have been installed and the celebratory fervor is just around! Ganesh Chaturthi is here and we can't be more excited. Yes, it is that time of the year when Lord Ganesh's birth anniversary is celebrated with much grandeur. This year, the auspicious days of Ganesh Chaturthi have started from 2nd September, 2019 and will end on 12th September, 2019. The 10-day long festival commemorates Lord Ganesha's birthday by following various colourful rituals along with grand treats. While the country celebrates this festival, Maharashtra does it on a much larger scale and with much vigour. The dishes prepared during this festival vary from day to day, so you can well imagine the many delicacies made to make Lord Ganesha happy.
Apart from the modaks that are popularly made during Ganesh Chaturthi, there are other sweets and savouries that Maharashtrian devotees love to prepare as prasad or bhog. Here's a list of Maharashtrian delicacies that are popularly made during Vinayaka Chaturthi-
1. Puran Poli
Apart from modaks, Puran Poli makes for one of the most important and popular sweets during the festival. Puran Poli is a sweetbread made from maida with a filling that includes chana dal, jaggery, cardamom powder and lots of ghee. It can be offered as a bhog to the deity and served as prasad to devotees. The amazingly tasty poli is what you need to make next after modaks.(Also Read: 6 Types of Modaks you Must Try)
Srikhand is popularly made in Maharashtra and is traditionally served during Ganesh Chaturthi as prasad. The simple sweet requires Greek yogurt, sugar, pinch of salt, cardamoms, chironji and saffron. You can add your favourite fruit flavours to enhance the taste of this Maharashtrian sweet. You can try preparing Almond and Pistachio Srikhand, Aam Srikhand and Apple Walnut Srikhand.
Patholi is a steamed rice roll stuffed with a filling of jaggery and grated coconut. What makes patholi an extremely special dish is its steaming technique; these rice rolls are steamed in fresh turmeric leaves that give patholi a sweet fragrance. Mouthwatering much?
'Kothimbir' is a Marathi word that means coriander and 'Vadi' means fritters - coriander fritters. These fritters are made from chickpea flour batter having coriander and spices steamed first and cut into wedges, later to be deep fried till crisp and crunchy. These lovely vadis are known to be prepared during this festival as a celebratory dish and is enjoyed with other savouries.
5. Varan Bhaat
Varan Bhaat is one of the most important delicacies made during Ganesh Chaturthi. Varan translates to lentil curry or dal, and bhaat translates to steamed rice. Varan is offered to lord Ganesha along with vegetable dishes including batata (potato) bhaji, beans bhaji and others. The varan is made with a mix of moong dal and arhal dalalong with curry leaves, grated coconut and cumin seeds. The simple dish is considered as an important bhog for the deity.
Sabudana Vada is a traditional prasad or bhog prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi. A deep fried snack, it makes for a popular festival dish. Sabudana or pearl tapioca is soaked overnight and mixed with boiled potatoes along with roasted peanuts and spices.
7. Chawli Usal
Chawli translates to lobia or black eyed beans, which is a legume that is pretty common in Maharashtrian homes. It is best enjoyed with steamed rice along with a side of coconut-based vegetable dish. Chawli Usal is made from chilli powder, turmeric powder, goda masala or garam masala, grated coconut, unsweetened desiccated coconut and oil. This dish is generally enjoyed along with friends and family during this festival.
Katachi Amti is a runny, tangy and spicy dal made from the chana dal stock (broth), cooked dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, fresh coconut, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and garam masala among others. It is generally savoured with Puran Poli.
9. Kala Vatana Amti
Kala Vatana refers to dried peas and amti refers to curry. The amti has three basic spices that include cloves, pepper and coriander seeds roasted with coconut. You can serve this along with rice flour pooris. The dish is considered healthy and makes for a simple yet flavourful savoury among Maharashtrians.
10. Baked Karanji
Karanji closely resembles to gujiyas in North India; just with a slight difference. Karanji is a fried pastry with sweet stuffing that includes coconut, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews, raisins, cardamoms, nutmeg powder, sugar and ghee. The outer shell is made from maida, milk, ghee and salt. This sweet is offered to the deity during this festival.
If you are planning to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi the Maharashtrian way, do not forget to add these delicacies in your menu and make it even more special.