Ganesh Chaturthi is a popular festivals in the southern and western states of India, viz-a-viz: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Why do we celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi?
Once upon a time, the Goddess Gauri (consort of Lord Shiva), while bathing, created Ganesha as a pure white being out of the mud of Her Body and placed Him at the entrance of the house. She told Him not to allow anyone to enter while she went inside for a bath. Lord Shiva Himself was returning home quite thirsty and was stopped by Ganesha at the gate. Shiva became angry and cut off Ganesha's head as He thought Ganesha was an outsider.
When Gauri came to know of this she was sorely grieved. To console her grief, Shiva ordered His servants to cut off and bring to Him the head of any creature that might be sleeping with its head facing north. The servants went on their mission and found only an elephant in that position. The sacrifice was thus made and the elephant's head was brought before Shiva. The Lord then joined the elephant's head onto the body of Ganesha.
Lord Shiva made His son worthy of worship at the beginning of all undertakings, marriages, expeditions, studies, etc. He ordained that the annual worship of Ganesha should take place on the 4th day of the bright half of Bhadrapada. Since the "4th day" is called "chaturthi" in hindi, the name "Ganesh Chaturthi". [Source: Swami Sivananda]
Delicacies for the festival
Traditionally, 21 varieties of prasad are offered to Ganesha on this day. So we also tried to complete this number. Among the home-made dishes we had: rice idli, curd rice, tamarind rice, ambode, rasmalai, nippat, kalakand, coconut laddoo, kodubale and chakli. Apart from nippat and kodubale everything turned out very good. A few I made from my own recipes and few from fellow bloggers. Here are they:
Curd rice from Latha's recipe. Even though I'm no big fan of curd rice, I must say this was the best curd rice that I've ever tasted. A big thanks to the recipe and of course to the chef, my DH.
Kalakand from Praveena's recipe. I'd halfed the quantity of the ingredients but forgot to half the heating time; but it turned out for our good. The recipe is for the milk cake version of kalakand which is white in color; but the kalakand is creamish brown and thats the texture that we got due to the overheating. So basically if you heat it for a little less than twice the time mentioned you get the brownish version of kalakand.
Rasmalai from Gits ready-to-make. I've found this to be the best way to make rasmalais. It's easy, ready ina jiffy and tastes as delicious as readymade rasmalais (in India).
Coconut laddoos from the same recipe as that used on Janmashtami.
Recipe for Ambode I'd already posted earlier. Except that since I was making this for prasad, I didn't add the onions.
I'm sending this post as an entry to the Ganesha Chaturthi roundup by Latha.