Ganesh Chaturthi Offerings
Heavy rains cannot take down the feeling of festivity and excitement that Ganesh Chathurthi brings. Ten days filled with glitz and glamour along with the devout towards Lord Ganpathi is portrayed by this festival. Now the history of this festival dates back to when the great Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj started it to promote culture and nationalism.
This festival is celebrated in all of India but the state of Maharashtra has a special bond with it. There, it is not just a festival it's an emotion that people feel for ten days straight, sometimes even weeks before it. I’ve seen people dance their hearts out when they bring Lord Ganesha to their adobes for Sthapana to crying their hearts out when they bid him adieu at the Visarjan.
A great aspect of this festival is the offerings that are cooked for Lord Ganesha, the sheer variety of the offerings blow my mind. With every few hundred kilometers you travel the recipe changes and all of them are delicious treats. The hotspot for some of these recipes is located in the Konkan Region and Karnataka. The offerings are called prasad and are generally recipes and dishes that according to our believes Lord Ganesha enjoys.
One of the most loved offerings by Ganesha is Modaks, pockets of pastry filled with the ever freshening and sweet mixture of fresh jaggery and coconut with other ingredients, they taste just like little drops of heaven ironically they look the same too.
So modaks are very Maharashtra centric but they are also offered to the deity in the states of Goa and the southern states where the name changes to modhaka (Karnataka), modhakam (Tamil), kudumulu (Telugu). The most popular version of Modak is made with rice flour in hot water, with a filling of fresh coconut and jaggery. Known as Ukadiche modak that is steamed modak in Marathi, is traditional to regions with a lot of rainfall which helps in the abundance of coconut, which is an essential part of the recipe. Hindu mythology tells us that Ganesh was especially fond of sweets and this recipe in particular explained by one of his names Modakpriya or 'the one who loves modaks'.
The story goes as such that Anusuya wife of Atri rishi invited Lord Shiva and family to visit her and give her their blessings, now she served Lord Ganesha different dishes with a variety of flavors and textures but nothing could sate his hunger. After eating everything she could offer Ganesh was still hungry, finally, Anusuya offered Lord Ganesh something sweet, she made modaks. And after having that his hunger vanished and he burped in satisfaction. So that is how modaks became his favorite offering.