Festival Food: Modak or Rice Dumplings
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).
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:
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: