One of the best things about a festival is that you get to gorge on some of the most delicious food. I know I sound like a glutton but, I also know that you agree with me. That’s why it’s no surprise that Ganesh Chaturti is one of my favourite festivals. The added bonus is that I get to go back home, to Bangalore, be with the family and yes, the food.
I was looking forward to this year’s festivities even more eagerly than I have in the previous years. Since I had my surgery a couple of weeks before I was to travel back home, I was on a strict diet. When the dentist had warned me not to eat anything spicy, crunchy, sour and so on. I had just one question, would I be able to eat all the goodies made during Ganesh Chaturti? When she said yes, I told her that the restrictions of the next two weeks didn’t matter!
Since this is some of my favourite food, I thought I should share with you the pictures at least.
The day before Ganesh Chaturti is Gauri Puja. The food made on this day is dedicated to the Goddess. There’s something unusual about the food prepared on this day – it doesn’t have salt. Yes, that’s right! There are a couple of interesting stories around this, and I’ll tell you two of the versions I’m familiar with. One, is that the Goddess is in labour so salt is avoided in the food to ensure she has a smooth delivery. Another version says that the Goddess paid a surprise visit to her parents, along with her children, and her mother, who was thrilled to see her daughter, forgot to add salt in the food and sugar in the kheer. The Coconut kheer made on this occasion, from rice, coconut milk and turmeric leaves, is devoid of sugar and is said to be a delicacy. Some of the other dishes you’ll find are stir fried French Beans, a mixture of greens tossed with mustard seeds and coconut, fritters of five different varieties to name a few.
Now, we all know that the Elephant-headed Lord is famous for his appetite. And it is no wonder that the food made during this festival is something that’s fit for no less than a God. I’ll save you the descriptions and just move on to what we had.