'Vinayak Chaturthi' is a huge festival in Maharashtra and south of India.Vinayak is another name for Ganesha or Ganapathi. Ganesha is widely worshiped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune, and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture. Ganesh Chaturthi is a celebration of the birth of Lord Ganesha. Coming form the south of India, it used to be a very grand celebration at home. I remember as a child, preparation of Ganesh Chaturthi would start a month in advance. My mother would make the idol of the Lord from clay. We would air dry it and then she would let us help her paint it. Flowering pots would be prepared and pruned to decorate next to the Idol of the lord. I will try and dig out an old picture of the celebration and share it with you guys. New clothes, the smell of sweets being prepared... The whole atmosphere would be filled with festivity. We always had more than 200 people who would visit over two days. I did manage to get an old picture from my childhood... (on the left).
Having lived in Mumbai all his childhood, my other half always says that there is no place like Mumbai during the 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is something you cannot explain, but only experience.
Picture taken from : http://fsquarefashion.com/ganesh-chaturthi-pictures-images-photos-wallpapers/
It is a gratifying feeling to carry and pass on the traditions that we are born into. Karanjikai is a traditional sweet made for the Lord. Crunchy outside and sweet and nutty inside. Here is my recipe...........
For the filling
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup finely blanched almonds
1/2 cup finely blanched walnuts
1/2 cup raisins cut in half
1 tbsp cardamom powder
a few strains of saffron
For the shell
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp semolina
water to mix
oil to deep fry
Mix the dry ingredients and keep aside.
Mix the all purpose flour, semolina and water and mix into a soft dough.
Take tiny balls of the dough, roll into a round disc about 4 inches in diameter.
Fill the filling about 2-3 tsp one side of the disc.
Place in the karanjikai mold or just fold and seal the edges with help of water.
When you have about 5-6 made
Heat oil in a saucepan and fry in batches of 5-6.
Cool, store in air tight container. Is good for about 3-4 weeks.