Monthly Archives: September 2015

Festivals(Food): Steamed Modak or Rice Dumplings

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Festival Food: Modak or Rice Dumplings

Courtesy: Internet

Come September, the Maharastrian community in India start preparations for their  favourite festival ie. Ganesh Chaturthi. Primarily this elephant-headed God is worshipped as a remover of obstacles and harbinger of benevolent times. He is also known as God of knowledge, the elephant head signifying that wisdom. There are many a story in Hindu mythology on the birth and significance of Ganesha.

Ganesha, is synonomous with food, and loves a plentiful variety, other than just being offered the 3 pronged grass (durva).The sweet coconut filled Modak, made with rice flour is his favourite. Modak is known by other regional names as: modhaka, sugiyan, kadabu, kozhakattai.  The ‘puja’ ceremony or worship concludes with an offering of twenty-one modak.

My friend Swati Leela Vongole is a budding painter and loves to paint object drawings and landscapes or scenery. She does take personal orders, if you wish.

Thankyou Swati for sharing your prized production!  (It sure adds a personal touch and much value to my blog).

Contemporary painting of Lord Ganesh feasting on Modak. (by Swati Leela Vongole)

Contemporary painting of Lord Ganesh feasting on Modak.
(by Swati Leela Vongole)

Whoever said cooking is not an Art? My friend Medha (and her mother) are experts in making the sweet Modak. Here is her step-by-step preparation.

                    To all those celebrating: Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Photos of preparation:

Preparation of rice flour for Modak

Preparation of rice flour for Modak

 

Preparation of coconut and jiggery filling

Preparation of coconut and jiggery filling

 

Preparing the dough ball, rolling in flour

Preparing the dough ball, rolling in flour

 

Making a soft casing with rice flour

Making a soft casing with rice flour

 

Filling the stuffing in the casing

Filling the stuffing in the casing

Finally, the Modak take shape: The central filling signifies pure and sweet nature of Atman. The spiral folds and conical head signifies, the convolutions of the material world we live in, and the need to rise above it all, spiritually.

The perfectly shaped, soft and glutinous steamed Modak are now ready for offering.

For stories on elephants and/or Ganesha browse these sites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

http://www.sacredelephants.com/2006/05/how-ganesh-got-his-elephant-head.html

http://www.preservearticles.com/201106027433/short-essay-on-ganesh-chaturthi-festival-in-india.html

 

 

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Aside

                           

Festivals -This will be a new Category I begin today.

Festivals add 3 c’s: colour, creativity and celebration to our everyday life.

I hope to add some of it to my blog too. Photos of Festivals around the world, festival markets, festive food, clothing or traditions will be my focus.

If you wish to send in some photos or write a guest post, do contact me, send me a message. As always, leave your comments /views, they help fine tune my ideas.

Enjoy the day, and it’s precious moments!

 

 

 

Festival Series

Aside

Dear readers,

‘Every writer needs an audience.’ It is YOU  that have made my blog journey a success.

A very Big Thank you to each one of you – family, friends, fellow bloggers and readers. Some of you are silent readers, some actively leave your valuable comments, yet some others motivate me in person.

Thank You dear readers

Thank You dear readers

Today’s statistics:  10,000 views

Total blog posts: 82 

Viewers: From over 50 countries       

Thank you Word Press team for all the backstage support !                     

 

Courtesy: Internet

Courtesy: Internet

   The top 5 most popular blogs have been: 

Top Number 1 : If you love flower markets, head to Delhi. Read more here: https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/ghazipur-phool-mandi-delhi/

Rose bundles for sale

Rose bundles for sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 2:  For a little French town experience of  cobbled lanes, bicycles and baskets to stuff assorted  French bread, see here: https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/a-french-affair-baskets-bread-and-cheese/

French lady arranging bread for display

French lady arranging bread for display

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 3:  In the midst of sandy deserts, how does man survive using the fruit of the hardy Date palm? How many Date varieties do you know?  See here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/dates-the-holy-fruit-of-middle-east/

The Date Palm Oasis

The Date Palm Oasis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 4:  Many a travel article has been written about the most popular bazaar in history, the Grand baazar of Turkey. But behind the Blue mosque exists  an equally colourful historic bazaar? ( This article was published in Woman’s Era magazine, October issue) See here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/istanbul-cultural-musings-from-a-bazaar/

Stone arched entrance to market for ceramics, shawls

Stone arched entrance to market for ceramics, shawls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Number 5:  Ever wondered how the immigrants change the cultural landscape of a country? What hardships do they face? See here:  https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/immigrant-jigsaw-puzzle-Sydney/

Haymarket Building, Sydney

Haymarket Building, Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now here is my personal choice:

Number 1: Mumbai market

As a girl I often accompanied my mother to the market to buy fruit for pickles. Crowded streets, variety of vegetable and fruit produce, seasonal rains, trucks and carts offloading vegetables…and  what if I get lost in the crowd? Or lose my money bag?  Read more here:

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/mumbai-the-city-with-a-heart/

 

Number 2:

Migratory tales ring a special note in my heart. While buying vegetables,  engaging in personal conversation with the vendors to seek out their stories, one needs tact..and empathy.

https://walktomarket.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/a-photo-essay-al-mina-market-abu-dhabi/

Pakistani vendor selling spring onions

Pakistani vendor selling spring onions

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

               Thank you, once again for visiting my blog.

          .               

                          

 

A Big Thank You! Five Most Popular Posts

World Palate Recipes: Hyderabadi Qubbani Ka Meetha

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                Qubbani ka Meetha or Dried Apricot Pudding

This  simple dried fruit dessert, made with abundance of apricots from Central Asia, was given a  ‘shahi’ or royal makeover by the entourage of khansama (cooks) of the Nawabs of Hyderabad.

Hyderabadi or Deccani cuisine evolved during the rule of the Qutb and Asif Jahi rulers of this Deccan city. The food bursts with fullness of flavour, spice, richness of ghee or cream and assorted nuts. The culinary journey reminds us of history, leisure and artistic splendour in both food and architecture.  Hyderabadi cuisine boasts of an amalgamation of imported Turkish and Mughlai cuisines combined with regional Telugu and Marathwada flavours that are full of spice and tangy taste. For a historical narrative on the city market see here.

Qubbani or Kubani is the Urdu word for apricots.  Meetha means sweet in Urdu and Hindi.

Qubbani ka meetha -2

Nowadays this dessert is popularly served at weddings, banquets and Eid celebrations, as Hyderabad has a mix of cultures of both Hindu Telugus and Muslims.

Ingredients:

15-20 dried apricots

2 cups water to soak

150 gms. sugar ( 5-8 tbsp.)

1 tsp. lemon juice

Double cream as desired

For garnish: 2-3 almonds, 2 pistachios, apricot kernel/seeds and few saffron strands

Soaked Apricots and other ingredients

Soaked Apricots and other ingredients

 

Method:

Soak the desired number of dried apricots in water in a big bowl, allowing space for them to plump up in size. Leave aside for at least 6-8 hours. Strain them with a sieve or ladle and de-seed them. Place them back into the bowl of water. Keep the kernels aside. Later break them and use the small seeds for garnish. they add a wonderful nutty texture to the pulpy pudding.

soaked apricots (Qubbani)

In another thick pan (traditionally brass or copper) or any other heavy bottom pan place the soaked water . Add the de seeded apricots. Add sugar as desired sweetness.  Bring to boil on very low flame. Add some lemon juice, to prevent crystallization of sugar.

Once apricots are fully cooked, switch off flame. Rest them to cool. Place little pulpy mixture in bowl. Top it with fluffy cream. Garnish with pistachio nuts, apricot kernels and if desired, some saffron milk and strands.

Keep cool on ice cubes or in refrigerator.  Serve hot or cool as desired after a perfect Hyderabadi spicy Biryani and Ghosht curry.

Have you tasted this dish before? What are your views? Do you have a similar recipe. Do share with us.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer