Ganesh Chaturthi, an important religious event observed by Hindus in India and around the world, falls on August 22 this year. This festival is celebrated annually, signifying the birth of Lord Ganesha, in the month of Bhadra as per the Hindu calendar. A very momentous holy occasion, Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi usually occurs sometime between August and September.
Prayers, hymns and sacred offerings are made on this auspicious day, to Lord Ganesha, regarded as a symbol of knowledge and wealth. He is revered as the deity heralding prosperity, good luck and success, while also vanquishing all obstacles.
And this is all the more relevant today, what with the COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the people across the globe; many individuals experiencing constant anxiety, fear, difficulties at home as well as work.
Despite the fact that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations cannot be held in a grand and opulent manner in which they are normally organized, this time around, let us still harness the spirit of togetherness. By maintaining social distancing, avoiding forming crowds, wearing face masks and frequent hand sanitizing while visiting temples. In addition to gathering with our close and distant relatives via technology, video calls, besides conveying positive wishes to friends on social media, messaging platforms.
Festivities involve families decorating ornamental and aesthetically sculpted idols of Lord Ganesha, in vastly contrasting sizes, ranging from really tiny to truly enormous and massive, with a bright, vibrant umbrella and conducting extensive pujas to seek His blessings. A sumptuous banquet is prepared, along with numerous fruits and customary recipes, which is an integral part of the devotional ceremonies. Upon the conclusion of all pious rituals, this festive feast is savoured with near and dear ones. Also Read: Ganesh Chaturthi: Savour These Nutritious And Tasty Dishes On The Festive Day
So in 2020, let us all pray to Lord Ganesh, to provide us with a solution and the inner strength, to overcome the present challenging circumstances of partial lockdowns, coronavirus disease, the spread of infection and uncertainty about the future.
Classic Desi Bhog/Prasad Recipes For Ganesh Chaturthi:
Invoke the Almighty’s blessings and spread happiness, cheer on this fortuitous religious occasion. Here are two wholesome, delicious recipes for you to enjoy on Ganesh Chaturthi, with your family members.
One sweet from the Western state of Gujarat – bhakri na ladoo, prepared from powdered portions of flat wheat bread or bhakri.
And one savoury from the Southern state of Karnataka – nucchina unde, made by mashing soaked lentils i.e. toor dal, into a dumpling.
Bhakri Na Ladoo/Churma Laddu
2 cups wheat flour/atta
3 tbsp ghee
2 tsp nutmeg powder
½ cup jaggery
1 tbsp poppy seeds
Prepare dough from wheat flour and ghee.
Split the dough into small, even spheres and roll them into flattened moulds in the shape of a circle. Puncture some holes in them.
Heat a tawa and dry roast the flattened moulds with holes, on medium flame, to prepare bhakri.
Now, let the bhakris cool down completely, then tear them up into tiny pieces. Grind them in a mixer into a coarse blend, to obtain churma powder.
In a deep vessel, heat the ghee till it melts entirely. Add the jaggery powder and stir, to get a sweetened paste.
Mix this paste with churma powder and nutmeg powder and let it come down to room temperature.
Roll this mixture into balls, along with poppy seeds and yummy bhakri na ladoos/churma laddus are ready.
Wheat flour or atta is a nutritious grain that provides dietary fibers, to enhance digestion and regulate appetite. Loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, ghee promotes optimal metabolism and maintains healthy body weight. Jaggery is rich in iron, for proper red blood cell synthesis and transport, aside from preventing anaemia and fatigue. Also Read: Iron: Functions, Food Sources, Supplements, Deficiency And Toxicity
1 cup toor dal
3 tbsp grated coconut
10 -12 dill leaves, finely chopped
5 - 7 coriander leaves, finely chopped
A few curry leaves, cut into bits
1 small piece ginger, minced
1 green chilli, cut into pieces
A dash of hing
Salt, as required
Soak the toor dal in water for about 3 hours at room temperature and pour out the excess liquid.
In a mixer, blend the toor dal, along with green chillies and ginger, to obtain a rough paste.
Transfer the blended dal into a bowl and add the dill leaves, coriander leaves, curry leaves, grated coconut, hing and salt. Mix well.
Layer the moulds in an idli maker, with even amounts of oil.
Make oval-shaped dumplings from the toor dal mix, place them in the compartments of the idli stand.
Cover the cooker with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.
Hot and appetizing nucchina undes are ready. They can be eaten with coconut chutney or peanut chutney, post all holy rituals.
Toor dal is a storehouse of protein, for strong muscles and development of bodily organs. Coriander leaves supply bone-fortifying minerals -calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, for reinforced joints. Bestowed with gingerol antioxidant, ginger effectively lowers inflammation and prevents chronic ailments like cancer.