The Ganesh festival is on in full swing and we can witness happy faces, positive vibes and festive fervour spread across the city. People are going gaga for their beloved lord and cheering ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya!’ And why not? This is how they show their love for their beloved Bappa. As days pass, the excitement grows and the one thing which remains constant is sweet modaks. The whole world knows that the modak is Bappa’s favourite sweet and hence, he is also called Modakpriya. Those sweet mini dumplings filled with grated coconut, sugar and jaggery are offered by devotees to the Elephant God throughout the Ganesh festival. Here’s looking at some amazing facts about Gannu’s all-time favourite modaks, and why they are an integral part of the celebrations...
There are many age old stories which demonstrate Ganpati Bappa’s love for modaks. One such story is about Sage Atri and his wife Anusuya. Anusuya once invited Lord Shiva, and Goddess Parvati along with Lord Ganesha to visit her to seek their divine blessings. Different food and delicacies were served in front of Ganesha but nothing seemed to satisfy his hunger. After eating almost everything, Anusuya finally thought of serving something sweet. She placed modaks in front of him, which instantly satisfied his hunger and he burped 21 times. And now you know why we serve Bappa 21 modaks every time we offer him naivedya.
Apart from the coconut and jaggery filling, there are other popular one doing the rounds in Ganpati Bappa’s platter. Chocolate filled modaks, and modaks filled with figs, raisins and dates are making their presence felt among devotees. Ukdiche modak, which is steamed modak made up of rice flour, and deep fried maida modaks are the classic ones.
Did you know there is a Japanese version of Bappa’s favourite modaks? In Japan, the modaks are called Kangidan and offered to god Kangiten (the Japanese name of Ganesha). Kangidans are made from curds, honey, and red bean paste. They are wrapped in the kneaded dough made from parched flour and shaped like a bun before they are deep-fried. Besides Maharashtra, modaks are devoured across India, especially down South. Modak is also known as Kozhakattai in Tamil, Modhaka or Kadubu in Kannada and Kudumu in Telugu.