Ganesh Chaturthi, the joyous and vibrant Hindu festival, celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha. Devotees across the globe commemorate this occasion with great fervour, with chanting hymns seeking blessings and preparing prasad for the beloved Elephant God.
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of making sustainable and eco-friendly choices, including celebrating with eco-friendly Ganesha idols.
Choosing organic ingredients for prasad preparation further exemplifies the spirit of sustainability, health, and environmental responsibility as organic foods are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), making them a healthier and more sustainable choice.
This year, let's delve into some delightful prasad recipes you can prepare using Organic India's certified organic packaged foods:
- Palm Jaggery Modak Recipe
Modak is a traditional Indian sweet that's often associated with Lord Ganesha, making it a popular treat during festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi. This special version of Modak uses palm sugar (also known as palm jaggery) to give delightful flavour and enhanced nutrition.
Palm jaggery has a lower glycaemic index than white sugar making it a healthier alternative. Being minimally processed, ORGANIC INDIA’s Palm jaggery helps retain vitamins and minerals that promote vitality and good health including glowing skin, support digestion and reduce bloating, so common during the festive season.
For the Outer Covering:
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Organic India Cow’s Ghee
For the Filling:
1 cup grated coconut (fresh or desiccated)
3/4 cup Organic India Palm Jaggery (Vary the quantity depending upon the sweetness required)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
A pinch of nutmeg powder
A pinch of salt
1 teaspoon Organic India Cow’s Ghee
Chopped nuts (cashews, almonds, pistas) - optional
For the outer covering (the rice flour dough):
- In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil along with a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of ghee.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add 1 cup of rice flour all at once.
- Quickly stir the mixture to combine the rice flour with the water and ghee. Continue stirring until it forms a smooth dough and leaves the sides of the pan. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the heat and cover it, letting it cool slightly. Once it's cool enough to handle, knead it into a smooth, pliable dough. If the dough is too dry, you can add a little more warm water.
For the filling:
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of ghee.
- Once the pan heats up, add ghee, poppy seeds and nutmeg powder. Sauté for a few seconds until the poppy seeds start sputtering. Add the grated coconut and sauté it for a few minutes until it turns aromatic and lightly toasted. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
- Add the grated or chopped palm sugar (jaggery) to the coconut. Continue to cook while stirring until the palm sugar melts and combines with the coconut. This should take about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the cardamom powder and a pinch of salt. If you like, you can also add chopped nuts at this stage for added texture and flavour. Cook for another minute, ensuring that the mixture thickens slightly and becomes a little dry.
- Remove the filling mixture from the heat and let it cool.
Now, let's shape the Modaks:
- Take a small portion of the rice flour dough and roll it into a smooth ball.
- Flatten the dough ball with your fingers to form a small disc or cup.
- Place a spoonful of the palm sugar and coconut filling into the centre of the disc.
- Carefully gather the edges of the dough and pinch them together to form a closed, cone-shaped Modak. You can also shape the top into a decorative design if you like.
- Repeat the process to make more Modaks with the remaining dough and filling.
Steaming the modaks
- Boil Water in a Steamer or Large Pot:
- Grease the steaming tray or vessel lightly with oil to prevent the modak from sticking.
- Place the shaped modak on the greased steaming tray or vessel, ensuring there's some space between them so they don't stick together while steaming.
- Once the water is boiling, place the steaming tray or vessel with the modak over it.
- Cover the steamer or pot with a lid to trap the steam.
- Steam the modak for about 15-20 minutes, or until they become firm and the outer covering turns slightly translucent.
- The exact steaming time may vary based on the size of the modak and the thickness of the dough.
- To check if the modak are done, insert a toothpick or a knife into one of them. If it comes out clean without any dough sticking to it, the modak are ready.
- Drizzle ghee over your palm jaggery modak.
- Cool and Serve
These Palm Sugar Modaks have a delightful blend of flavours and a slightly earthy sweetness from the palm sugar, making them extra delicious and wholesome for special occasions and festivals.
- Masale Bhaat with Brown Rice Recipe
Masale Bhaat is a flavourful and aromatic Maharashtrian rice dish made with a mix of spices and vegetables. Using brown rice instead of white rice adds a healthy twist to this traditional recipe. Grown without the use of chemical pesticides, ORGANIC INDIA Brown Basmati Rice is certified organic, unpolished long-grain rice. Having a lower glycaemic index than white rice, Brown Basmati rice does not spike blood sugar levels quickly. A rich source of dietary fibre, it keeps you feeling full longer, helping you reduce your overall calorie intake. With a beautiful aroma and flavour, this rice is versatile for a variety of cuisines for the entire family.
For the Masale Bhaat Spice Mix:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon Organic India organic cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon Organic India organic fenugreek seeds (methi)
1/2 tablespoon Organic India organic mustard seeds
1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
2-3 dried Organic India organic red chilies (adjust to taste)
1 cinnamon stick (about 2 inches)
2-3 green cardamom pods
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
For the Masale Bhaat:
1 cup Organic India brown rice, washed and soaked for 1-2 hours
2 tablespoons Organic India Cow’s ghee
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, beans, etc.), finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1/4 cup grated coconut
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1/2 teaspoon Organic India organic turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon Organic India organic red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 teaspoon Organic India organic jaggery
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Lemon wedges for serving
Prepare the Masale Bhaat Spice Mix:
- Soak the brown rice in water for 3-4 hours
- Heat a dry skillet over medium heat and add all the spice mix ingredients except for the asafoetida.
- Roast the spices for 2-3 minutes until they become fragrant. Stir continuously to prevent burning.
- Add the asafoetida (hing) and roast for another 30 seconds
- Allow the roasted spices to cool, then grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Set aside.
- In a pressure cooker or a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté until it turns translucent.
- Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for another minute until the raw smell disappears.
- Stir in the chopped mixed vegetables and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften.
- Add the chopped tomato and cook until it becomes mushy.
- Add the grated coconut, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and the prepared Masale Bhaat spice mix. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
- Drain the soaked brown rice and add it to the pot. Stir to coat the rice with the spice mixture.
- Add the tamarind pulp, jaggery or sugar (if using), and salt. Mix everything together.
- Pour in 2 cups of water and stir well. If you're using a pressure cooker, close the lid and cook for 2 whistles or as per your pressure cooker's instructions. If using a pot, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed (approximately 30-40 minutes).
- Once the rice is cooked, fluff it with a fork.
- Garnish the Masale Bhaat with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with lemon wedges on the side.
Enjoy this wholesome and spicy Masale Bhaat with brown rice as a satisfying main dish or as part of a traditional Maharashtrian meal. The aromatic brown rice, spices and vegetables make it a delightful treat for your taste buds.
- Hibiscus Tea Fruit Punch Recipe
The single, red-flowered Hibiscus is said to be the favourite flower of Lord Ganesha. Inspired by this sentiment, this delicious Moringa Hibiscus punch will be a vibrant and healthy addition to your Ganesh Mahotsav celebrations.
For the Hibiscus Tea Base:
4 cups water
4 Moringa Hibiscus Teabags
1/2 cup Organic India organic jaggery (adjust to taste)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
Fresh fruit slices (e.g., oranges, apples, lemons, limes, strawberries) for garnish
Fresh mint leaves for garnish
- In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add 4 infusion bags in a bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Let steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags.
- Stir in the jaggery powder until it's fully dissolved.
- Allow the hibiscus tea to cool to room temperature.
- Squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into the hibiscus tea.
- In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the chilled hibiscus tea base with the fruit slices and juices
- Stir well to blend the flavours.
- Mix well and refrigerate the hibiscus tea base until it's chilled.
- To serve, fill glasses with ice cubes.
- Pour the hibiscus tea fruit punch over the ice.
- Garnish each glass with fresh fruit slices and mint leaves if desired and enjoy
This fruit punch is not only refreshing but also visually stunning, thanks to the rich red hue of the hibiscus tea. Packed with antioxidants, this tea is a wonderful healing beverage – while Moringa is rich in essential amino acids and numerous other health benefits, Hibiscus petals are naturally rich in Vitamin C and iron, providing a purifying and healing energy, promoting a glowing complexion, and uplifting the heart (both physically and spiritually).
With a perfect blend of tartness and sweetness from the fruit juices and hibiscus tea, this fruit punch is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion.
This Ganesh Chaturthi, let's embark on a journey of conscious celebration, one that enriches our lives and the world around us. May Lord Ganesha bless us with wisdom, prosperity, and a deep sense of reverence for the gifts of nature.