Is Ganpati the God of food bloggers?

Ganpati loves his modaks and these were some excellent ones
 sent by Neha & Josh of Silverspoon Gourmet and a little Ganpati idol from Saee's event at Four Points by Sheraton. The tea box was from the Ming Yang re-launch

The Ganesh Chaturthi festival is on these days and Mumbai's favourite son, Ganpati the elephant god, has come to town.

This year I remembered my late father in law on Ganesh Chaturthi.

He used to love Ganpati and had a collection of Ganpati idols. Buying gifts for him when we went on holidays was easy. Either a very strong perfume or a Ganpati idol would do. He would break into a smile whenever I got a Ganpati for him including once when I got him a dhuti panjabi clad Gonsha, as Ganpati is fondly called there, from Kolkata.

Daddy also loved dosas and koolfis and ice creams. When we went to Parsi weddings my mom in law and K would give him their shares of koolfis!

Which is why, when I got this whatsapp from my friend, Manoj, I knew I had to go to his place to eat for daddy. (You can read about daddy here.)

Manoj's whatsapp

K & my mom in law joined me and we basked in the warmth and hospitality of Manoj and his wife Anu as we chomped on delicious piping hot butter sada, cheese and Mysore dosas made by the guys from Manju's dosas in Khar. Manoj had got them over to set a counter outside his apartment for those coming to visit Ganpati. (You can read about Manju's dosa here.)

Dosas being made
Enjoying dosas with Manoj, my mom in law, K and Anu

The previous evening we had gone for a darshan of Ganpati at Manoj and Anu's though I must admit that I was tempted by the promise of kulchas at their place. 

Manoj had got a kulcha maker from Chembur to set up a counter outside his apartment just as the Manju guys did the next day. We had paneer and alu kulchas which reminded me of my trips to Amritsar. They were quite like the original ones from Amritsar and warmed the cockles of your soul.

Kulcha is a Punjabi dish. It us like a stuffed paratha made in a tandoor and is doused with butter at the end. Unlike parathas, which are made with aata or wholewheat flour, kulchas are made with maida or refined flour and are typical of Amritsar where Manoj and Anu's family hails from. (You can read here about my trip to Amritsar where I went in search of kulchas.)

Kulchas being made

We had a really nice time at Manoj and Anu's last evening too and gave aarti after eating the kulchas. K and I spontaneously joined in and did an aarti together for the first time in our lives. Watching Hindi films where aarti is done helped me.

A funny thing happened when I entered to Manoj's house last evening. I had taken steamed ukidiche modak, from Ameya, which Ganpati is supposed to be fond of in Mumbai. 

I placed the box in front of the idol and the box popped open.

I put the box of modaks in front of Ganpati and it popped open

It was almost as if Ganpati couldn't wait to eat his favourite modaks.

I was at Aaswad a couple of days back shooting for The Finely Chopped on YouTube (Pl subscribe to the channel). They had closed the shop to make modaks and were making about 3500 modaks in a day. The video should be up next Thursday.

Check this link to see modaks being made at Aswad

Which reminded me of something Shakti Salgaonkar (An Aswad modak fan) had said on the last Adda With Kalyan - 'what does Ganpati love to eat '- where we discussed Ganpati food traditions. 

She said that Ganpati is the god of food and foodies and loves to eat!

You can watch the chat here:

A bit like in Kolkata where Gonesh, thanks to his pot belly, is a name given to chubby kids.

My two outings at Manoj and Anu's got me thinking about the connection between food and Ganpati.

Like every year, this year too I get texts from folks such as Ashish Karnad, Rahul Velkar, Prasun Acharya and Sandeep Arora inviting me for Ganpati puja at their places. I couldn't make it unfortunately because of work and the distances involved unlike Manoj's place which is next door to us. Each of the invites warmly called us to join them for a meal too.

Just as we did once when we had gone to the Ganpati at Uncles's house, before he passed away, and enjoyed the Sindhi kadhi and alu tuk. Just as I did when I invited myself to the Dixit's and had lunch there. (You can read about my lunch at the Dixit's Ganpati puja here.)

It is almost as if food and Ganpati festivities are intertwined.

Today, the panditji, or priest, at Manoj's house gave an extempore speech on how we can adopt the values of Ganpati in our daily life.

The priest who demystified Ganpati for us

I asked him, how could I do so as a food blogger/ writer. "Main khane ke bare mein likhta hoon".

Panditji replied, Ganpati has the head of an elephant but the tummy of a human. So don't eat like an elephant. Realise your limits. When you have a roti, chew it for a long time. That would you won't eat ten.

Wise words. I must focus on portion control!

Ganpati loves food and is also the God of knowledge. That sort of makes him the God of food bloggers, doesn't it? 

Today's Ganpati lunch made me a bit philosophical.

It struck me that we were a group of Bengalis and Parsis, Buddhists and Zoroastrians, who had gone to visit a Punjabi family, celebrating a Maharashtrian Hindu festival in mumbai, over some South Indian dosas. 

This to me encapsulates the peaceful, welcoming and inclusive spirit of Mumbai that I so love.

PS: I got the numbers of the caterers from Manoj in case you want to try them out for parties. Really good stuff. 

Manju dosa: 9930230304
Kulcha: 9867925665


Sassy Fork said…
Had some outstanding food at Rahul Velkar's home....the display was the best I have ever seen! Modaks,Rushi Panchami chi Bhaaji,Masale Bhaat are some of the Maharashtrian specialities during Ganpati