This year’s Vinayaka Chaturthi/Ganesh Chaturthi, the Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Ganesha is on August 29th that is tomorrow. Lord Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences, the deity of intellect and wisdom –and is identified by his elephant head. All over the India this festival is celebrated with wide enthusiasm. He is my favorite God, and trust me my house is full of his statues small and big. My mom used to make lot of sweets treats for Vinayaka Chaturthi.
After her marriage, she brought a small Ganesh idol from her home, and every day she did pooja with that idol until her death. Yes I inherited the trust and worship Lord Ganesha from her. The people from south Indian only do special Ganesh pooja on Vinyaka chaturthi days. However in Mumbai, Maharashtra, from where my hubby is from they worship Ganesh during this festival for 3, 5,7 or 10 days. On the first day they bring the idol with lots of fanfare to home. Even during the night somebody sits the whole night along with him. And on the 3 or 5 or 7 or 10th day they will immerse idol in water which is called Ganesha Visarjan.
Earlier, Ganpathi festival was celebrated in a traditional manner and was a private affair until 1893. It is Lokmanya Balagandhar Tilak (father of Indian national movement) who realized that Ganesh Festival would be a way of uniting people in a common cause and in this manner a possible means of bringing about political consciousness under the guise of a religious celebration, with freedom for India being the ultimate goal. In 1893 for the first time immersion procession was also taken out on the roads. Public organization of Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra was one of Tilak’s strongest movements to evoke nationalism, through religious passions, and inspired feelings of Hindu unity in the state. He was the first person to install large idols of Ganesha in pavilions and he was the one who established the practice of submerging all the public images on the tenth day of the festival. Ganesh Chaturthi soon started seeing community participation and involvement in the form of cultural events. It also served as a meeting point for common people of all castes and communities, at a time when social and political gatherings were forbidden by the British Rule.
My second visit to Mumbai after marriage was during the Ganpathi festival. Both I and my mother-in-law went around the Ganesh panthal (pavilion) near our apartment at the time of arthi (pooja). I learned lot recipes which are offered to the God during my trip, such peda in the form of modak, sheera, Ukadiche modak. My Mom used to make sweet kozhukattai (steamed dumplings stuffed with sweetened moong beans filling). The fried version of it is called Sugiyan. Unniyappam is another offering to the God in Kottarkara Ganapthi temple.
I never tried savory version of offering for the Lord Ganapathi, may be this time. These are my collection of Vinayaka chathurthi recipes.
Sukiyan/Sukiygan fried moong dal sweet