Monday, August 24, 2009

Jai Ganesha Gananaatha!!!

Hope all of you had celebrated Ganesh Chathurthi well with loads of good cheers. We had a good celebration here too. There is a sizeable Indian community in Ghana and hence have temples for worship.
The temple committee had announced the programme for this year and offerred to keep the Ganapathy idol for you if you inform in advance. You are allowed to leave your idol to be included in the everyday special pooja programme which many find convenient.
I am told that after 11 days, with permission from authorities, the procession for visarjan will be held, with Police protection and the idols will be immersed in the sea by paid youth who go quite far into the ocean to drop the idols.

However, we performed the pooja at home. Being Sunday, we had a leisurely and relaxed worship.
While speaking to my parents on Saturday, I was told that amma was busy with preparations. She said though she will not be able to offer 21 types of neivedhyam, she was trying few other than the usual.
I remembered that I had committed to memory what I read in one Kumudham Bhakthi magazine about the neivedhyams the Tamil poet Arunagirinaathat had listed in one Thiruppugazh for Ganapathy. I set out to try most of them and with some more, accounted for 21!!! I was thrilled.
The list of neivedhyams as given in Thiruppugazh is as follows and how I could procure, I've given as my comments next to them.
1.Ikku -sugarcane ( elephants love them) ( we bought sugarcane)
2.Avarai - any beans ( had broad beans and added to sambhar)
3.Narkanigal - many variety of fruits ( fruits were bought)
4.Sarkarai - sugar ( easily available at home too)
5.Paruppu - lentils ( cooked lentils)
6.Nei - ghee ( readily available, especially during festive season)
7.Ellu - sesame seeds ( I roasted and powdered these with jaggery for ellurundais)

8.Pori aval -puffed poha (beaten rice will be dry roasted to puff up ) ( I used thick poha and roasted to puff it)
9.Thuvarai -kind of lentils ( thuvar dal ) ( Cooked dhal too for sambhar and rasam also had in filling for kozhukkattai)
10.Ilaneer- tender coconut ( bought from green grocer)
11. Vandechchil -honey ( insects collect the honey thro' their mouth and deliver in the hive) (again something available at home)
12. Payaru - legumes ( cooked some and offered)

13. Appa vagai - variety appam, dumpling and such ( I made neiappam, uppappam, vadai and sukhiyan)
14. Pachcharisi pittu - pittu made of rice flour ( I just mixed rice flour, that was steamed to the paayasam)
15. Vellari pazham - melons ( bought too from vegetable vendor)
16. Idippal vagai -variety of powdered nuts etc.( what better than the Maharashtra's Panchkhadya?)
More so Thamizh moodhaati says that she will offer the elephant faced God milk, honey, sugar syrup and lentils and all of these mixed too in return for good knowledge. With all of this basic knowledge, I tried collecting 21 items, (not 21 dishes) to offer. The pictures are of yesterday's pooja at our home.
I have detailled here the basic kozhukkattais, now have the cup making demo.

Once the dough cups (choppus) are made you may fill with desired filling, prepared.
For modhakams gather the edges and close at the top.
For ellu kozhukkattais, fold in half but close tightly at edges in a plaited pattern so as not to open and spill.
For ulundu filled kaaram kozhukkattais you may either fold and press edges or roll as balls.
For sweet paruppu kozhukkattais, fold in half and seal at edges.
My grandma used to make these half open paruppu kozhukkattais. Shape the filling in your fist and place in the outer dough. Seal only partly so as to show some of the filling on top.
I give here recipe for Panchagajaaya made in South Canara as given to me by my husband's aunt.

Bengal gram 1/4 cup
Dry coconut 1/8 th cup
Sugar/ powdered jaggery 1/8th cup
Sesame seeds 1 tablespoon
Cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon
Dry roast the bengal gram until golden, not allowing to burn. Keep aside.
Dry roast coconut until brown and flavoursome. Keep aside.
Roast sesame seeds until they pop. Keep aside
In a mixie first powder well the bengal gram .(if you are using jaggery, powder bengal gram coarsely). Keep aside.
Then powder the sesame seeds. Add to the powdered gram.
Powder the coconut and add this too alongwith the cardamom powder to the above mix.
In a heavy kadai, keeping the fire very low, toss the sugar until it shines but does not caramelise.
Quickly take off the fir and mix well with the prepared powder mix.
(If using jaggery directly mix the jaggery powder to the warm mix.)
Offer to Ganapathy as neivedhyam.
May the cheer of the festive season be with you through the year.

I would like to send this to Purva's Festival Foods Janmaashtami - Ganesh Chaturthi Special event.


  1. Wow Lata... looks like a grand celebration!!!! Very nice!!!

  2. Wow,

    Thats such a lovely spread and it looks like a whole LOT of effort!!! As usual I love your silverware of all shapes and sizes...Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi to you and your family.

  3. WOW!!! 21 items to Lord Ganesha... too good with great effort... nice pictures

  4. great celebration......nice prasadams

  5. A divine pooja.. the prasadams look so yumm.. :) Nice click too

  6. wow wonderful feast for god.. he he god will be tempted surely...

  7. Happy Ganesh chathurthi to you nice pic. and very help full post.

  8. That was grand Lata.. And this Panchagajaaya is a new recipe to me.. 21 neivedyam is not easy.. Kudos to your work.. Also its a good news that idols are permitted to be dropped in ocean.. reminds me of my childhood!

  9. happy ganesh chaturthi, wow you made quite a lot..

  10. wow.. great recipes.. yummy dishes..very nice..

  11. Wow,somuch you did,I made only ulundhu and sweet kozhukattai :) and as usual vadai payasam meals :)

  12. Happy Ganesh Chathurthi Lata..all the pictures rock !!

  13. Hi Lata,

    Very pleased to pass on some awards to you...You definitely deserve it. Please claim your awards at my blogsite.

  14. everything looks divine and prasad looks delicious too, thank u for the lovely entry for the event

  15. wooowwww Lata mam ! super pics...So many varieites of neivedhyam huh? All of them are looking superb..And your pooja is looking great too..Hope u had a great celebration.

  16. Lovely post lataji , all the parsadam looks so yummy. So wonderful to know about the 21 neivadiyams to be offered to puliyar.

  17. Lovely pooja & parsadam lataji.
    There are so many varieties..nice celebration.

  18. Happy Ganesh Chathurthi ! The puja, the pictures and the neivedyam look awesome, so many items ! Loved your silver containers, they look so beautiful...

  19. Belated Happy ganesh chathurthi! Nice pictures... Neivedyam looks awesome.... Nice celebration.

    Thanks for coming by and commenting in my blog. :)


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Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.