Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi! and Recipe for Ganesha's Favorite Modhagam

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi to all of you! He is the God who clears all our obstacles and hence his birthday is celebrated pompously. 

We had a simple decoration this year and we got clay Ganesha's for our kids to do their pooja. I remembered how I enjoyed those days.....going to the market, buying a clay Ganesha, an umbrella for him, a special garland made with his favorite flower, "erukam poo malai" (in Tamil) or Calotropis gigantea, and some Arugampul or bermudagrass (Cyanodon dactylon). The kids went to the market with grandpa this year to get their Ganesha. They came back with extra happiness, just like the way we were when we were kids. Time just flies and when we see our kids doing all these what we did when we were young, kinda makes you smile and enjoy. I consider these precious moments. Nothing can equal to the happiness and smile on their cute faces. We all had a good time.

I and MIL cooked all Ganesha's favorites. The kids decorated and did pooja for their Ganesha with grandparents. Ganesha loves aval (flattened rice), pori (puffed rice), kadalai (peanut), modhagam, kozhukattai, sundal, vadai, and payasam. This year we made savory veggie kozhukatai and sweet choconut kozhukattai. They were very tasty and quite different from the usual sweet coconut and savory urad dhal ones. It was worth the try as my daughter was gobbling them up like Ganesha himself. We made all these with a regular festive meal and it was a great feast. When it was time to offer for Ganesha, our kids enjoyed offering all the dishes to their Ganesha, especially they tried to hand feed mothagam and kozhukattais to their Ganesha.

Mothagam (or mothakam), a type of kozhakattai or steamed rice balls, is the most favorite of Lord Ganesha.

Here is a very famous and well-known verse on Ganesha:

Mooshika vahana modaka hastha
Syamara karna vilambitha suthra
Vamana roopa maheswara puthra
Vigna vinayaka padha namasthe!

He is described as modhaka hastha that means, one holding the mothagam or steamed rice balls in his hands. Vignam means obstacles in our path and he is the deity to whom we pray every day to remove all the obstacles and hindrances in our paths and help with all our projects in this worldly life. Here is the traditional recipe of modhakam which is Lord Ganesha's favorite. They are mildly sweet and tasty. 


Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Split moong dhal - 1 tbsp
Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
Jaggery - 1/3 cup
Cardamom - 1, crushed
Water - 11/2 cups


Dry roast the rice and dhal. Cool and coarse grind it. In a pan, add water and jaggery and heat it. Once all the jaggery has dissolved, filter it to remove the impurities. Heat the pure jaggery water in a pan and add the crushed cardamom and coarse ground mixture.

Cook till it absorbs all the water. Add the coconut and a spoon of ghee, mix thoroughly and cook for 2 more minutes. Take it off the flame and when it is cool enough to handle make medium sized balls out it. I was able to make 10 balls out of this mixture. Steam them for about 5-7 minutes and tasty mothakams are ready for your prayer and then for your family.

 Please try to make this special favorite of Ganesha's for your next pooja and let me know how you liked it!

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