Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jai Ganesh !

Wishing all readers a very Happy Vinayak Chaturthi !

This is the day when scores of people celebrate the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed son of Shiva and Parvati.Ganesha is revered as the God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune. In any religious ceremony, the first offerings are always made to Ganapati*. Ekadanta* (One who has a single tooth) is also the first one to be worshipped when any new task is to be started. This is supposed to ensure good luck and bring prosperity and wealth in all new ventures ! The mythological story about Lord Ganesha is a very captivating one..It is a story that is told and retold by grandparents to their beloved grandkids ! (Click here to read the story :-) ) Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the festivals that is celebrated widely throughout the state of Karnataka (Maharashtra, Goa and Andhra Pradesh are the other states where this festival is also accorded a lot of importance).
I remember from my childhood, when my mother used to start preparing sweetmeats well in advance of the festival. Chaklis, various kinds of laddus, chivda were the most common ones..Then on the day of the festival too, she used to prepare, modaks and karanjis, sometimes kadubus(a special kind of a sweet, wrapped in turmeric leaves and steamed and served with fragrant ghee!). My grandmother used to send a packet all the way from our village and it used to contain another variety of goodies..home made sev and more chaklis..
It does seem that festivals are all about food ! In addition they were also all about families coming together and celebrating together!Nostalgia aside, it is still a very effective method of bringing families and friends together, of communal harmony, giving a sense of belonging. The beautiful stories keep the children enthralled and give them a sense of wonder about their heritage !
In my humble opinion, modern thoughts and actions give us the freedom to soar up to the sky,
but its our heritage and traditions that give us roots and keep us firmly on the ground ! How wonderful would it be to be able to use both to have a richer and fuller life !!!
On that note I give here a recipe for the traditional panchakajjaya (offering to God with 5 ingredients)..This is a simple yet delicious treat, often offered as prasadam and is often prepared when time is of the essence !
Panchakhadya, as it is also known, is also regarded as one of Lord Ganesha's favourites !

1 cup roasted chana dal (dalia)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white sesame seeds
1/4 - 1/2 C grated coconut (can use either fresh or dessicated)
1/4 C cashew pieces
3 cardamoms
2 cloves


1. Lightly roast the dalia in a tsp of ghee. (Although this is optional, it gives a great texture and taste to the final product).
2. Also roast the sesame seeds until light brown. Do this on a low flame so that the sesame seeds dont get scorched. Sesame seeds will be bitter if burnt, so beware !
3. Coarsely grind the dalia, sesame seeds and the sugar.
4. Lightly toast the coconut in another tsp of ghee.
5. Combine the coconut with the dalia sesame mixture.
6. Fry the cashews and add them to the above mixture.
7. Powder the cardamoms and the cloves and sprinkle over the mixture.
8. Turn well with a spoon so that all the ingredients are well mixed.

The panchakajjaya is now ready to be served.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to everybody !

ಗಜಮುಖನೆ ಗಣಪತಿಯೇ ನಿನಗೆ ವಂದನೆ
ನಂಬಿದವರ ಪಾಲಿಗೆ ಕಲ್ಪತರು ನೀನೆ...

(Translation: This is a kannada devotional song, much loved by kannada audiences, sung as a glorifying ode to dear Lord Ganesh. "Oh Ganapati , with the face of an elephant, we offer our humble prayers to you...for all those who believe in you, you are the Kalpataru." According to ancient mythology, the Kalpataru is a divine magical tree that has the power to fulfill any wish.


  1. happy ganesh chaturthi!

  2. hey!!!

    we share the same name :D

    i m not much of a cook, but your recipes sound simple and interesting.

    will try them for sure,

    keep in touch :)

  3. LOVELY POST .. Nice to see a kannada hudugi on the blogging circuit

  4. yep chhaya .. naavu kannadigaru .. its always lovely to meet fellow kannadigas on the net :)


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