Lord Ganesha, or Ganapati, the much loved elephant-headed god, is worshiped all over India. Lord Ganesha is known as the bearer of luck and remover of obstacles. He is a symbol of wisdom and prosperity. There are various interpretations of the story of the origin of Ganesha’s elephant head. The most famous version is that his mother Parvati gave him a new head—that of an elephant—after losing it during a fight with his father, Shiva, or his uncle, Shani. Shiva ruled that Ganesha should be worshiped before any worship as he wanted him to have a special status.
Ganesh Chaturthi, a 10-day festival, is celebrated between August and September. The festival begins with the welcome of Lord Ganesha in our homes and ends with an immersion that fills the hosts with a sense of sadness. Ganesh’s lovable and dependable personality is probably the reason why he is so close to most of us. Thus, it is no surprise that the Ganpati festival is incredibly popular in India. This festival has special significance in Maharashtra. There is a festive atmosphere all over the state and almost every house has an idol. People dress up intricately carved idols of Lord Ganesha with colorful umbrellas and perform elaborate religious rituals to seek his blessings.
Most of the households have a grand welcome to Ganesha and the personal sentiments associated with the festival make it extraordinary. The emphasis is on treating them as members of the family, cooking for them with care and affection, giving them the purest food and keeping the rituals simple yet respectful. A typical Maharashtrian family will serve simple traditional dishes to their most accommodating guest. It includes puris, bhajis, dal rice, green sabzi, and favorite sweets like modaks, laddoos, coconut barfi and puran poli. Poha, Aloo Pakora, and Kothimbir (Coriander) Vadi are some of the snack items commonly offered to Ganesha.
We at HealthifyMe love the simplicity of the celebration. We would emphasize the fact that you do not need to give anything to your ‘guest’ that you would not have on a regular day. Treating him like the closest member of your family and giving him what you think is best for your (and his) health will make him happy. Let’s pledge to emphasize wisdom, kindness, connectedness and self-control this Ganesh Chaturthi and beyond.
Healthy Food Choices for Ganesh Chaturthi
A healthy diet contributes to maintaining overall health. It provides the body with essential macronutrients, micronutrients and fluids in the right amounts. A balanced diet helps people maintain their ideal body weight and reduces their chances of developing chronic diseases. Following are some healthy options for Ganesh Chaturthi:
- vegetable poha
- Poha Chivda with Dry Fruits
- Idli with Sambar and Chutney
- Upma with vegetables
- fresh fruit
Lunch and Dinner Options
Wheat Flour Puran Poli
- Wheat Flour: 1 cup
- Chana dal: 2 cups
- Jaggery: 1 cup
- Ghee : cup
- Water: cup
- Cardamom Powder: 3 tsp
- Nutmeg Powder: tsp
- a pinch of salt
- oil as required
- In a big bowl, knead the mixture by adding all purpose flour, water and oil. Cover it and leave it at room temperature for an hour.
- Cook the chana dal in a pressure cooker till it becomes soft and let it cool.
- Cook the chana dal, jaggery and ghee on medium heat till they become a sticky paste.
- Grind this paste in a mixer grinder along with cardamom powder and nutmeg.
- Make thick rotis from the dough. Place a layer of the mixed chana dal mixture between two rotis and then seal the edges.
- Heat some ghee on a tawa.
- Gently place the sealed set of rotis on the tawa and cook till they turn golden brown in color from both the sides.
Wheat flour provides the body with energy-boosting carbs and digestion-supporting dietary fiber. Protein is essential for increasing muscle mass and chana dal is an excellent source of these nutrients. Jaggery is healthier than sugar as it contains iron content which is important for the production and transport of blood.
Moong Dal Modak
- Rice flour: 1 cup
- Moong dal: cup
- Ghee: tbsp
- Water: 1 cup
- Mustard: tsp
- Shredded Coconut: 2 tbsp
- Curry leaves: 7-8
- salt to taste
- oil as required
- Cook moong dal in a pressure cooker till it becomes soft and let it cool.
- Heat the oil on the pan. Add mustard seeds to it.
- When mustard seeds crackle, add salt, moong dal, curry leaves and coconut pieces. Cook for a few minutes before turning off the flame.
- In a large bowl mix rice flour, ghee and water well. Put some oil in your hand and prepare the mixture by kneading a soft dough.
- Make round, even-sized balls of the dough, flatten them, fill with the moong dal mixture, and then wrap them into an inverted cone.
- Put the modak in an idli plate with a little oil, then cook it in steam for five to ten minutes.
Carbohydrates found in rice flour are essential for metabolic processes. Ghee provides vital fats for growth and development. The high protein content in moong dal supports vital enzyme processes of the body. Coconut contains no sodium or cholesterol, which helps protect the heart and lower blood pressure.
other healthy food options
- Rishi Bhajik It is a healthy celebration to eat with chapati or rice by mixing all the seasonal vegetables.
- thalipeeth Chana dal is another nutritious food made from several grains like dal, wheat flour, rice and urad dal.
- Khichdi and Kadhi
- Pumpkin curry with fenugreek tadka and chapati
- Matar Pulao and Paneer Gravy with Curd
- Corn Spinach Vegetable Masala with Rice
Comment: For those who fast during this or till the daily Aarti, foods such as soups, sprouts and salads will help balance the nutritional needs of the day.
- Ukdiche Modak: You can make Ukdiche Modak in many ways, such as coconut, cucumber, beetroot or chana dal.
- Oats Stuffed Modak: Oats are a rich source of antioxidants. They lower cholesterol and contain beta-glucan fiber. So, if you are worried about ghee-fried modaks, you can make them with oats. It helps in reducing the chances of increased cholesterol levels.
- Coconut Barfi: Coconut is an instant source of energy. It helps in preventing obesity by speeding up the metabolism. It also reduces the urge to eat sweets and thus slows down any rise in blood sugar levels.
- Nuts and Fruit Ladoo: Nuts contain unsaturated fats, omega-3s and vitamin E, which prevent the development of plaque in the arteries. On the other hand, fruits have high nutritional value and are rich in fiber.
- steamed modaks
Some healthy tips to follow
A healthy diet increases energy, improves mood and promotes good health. During these festive days, our daily schedules get disturbed and thus it becomes even more necessary for us to check our health. Our ‘Guests’ will enjoy their stay only when the hosts are in their best health. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Avoid fried snacks: Of course, you can have puri bhaji or sabudana vada on special days. But try to limit consumption to one or two meals and keep portions under control.
- Cook at home: When you cook, you control the cooking method and the freshness of the food. Use ghee, coconut or mustard oil for cooking and cooking.
- Use of Spices: Spices such as black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and saffron can be added to dishes to give them a unique flavor and speed up the metabolism. Additionally, you can prepare basic spices like coriander, cumin, turmeric and garam masala at home by roasting and grinding the ingredients to maintain cleanliness.
- Include salad and yogurt in all meals: If you add salad or curd to them then your food will be healthy and full. This will reduce your carb consumption and increase your fiber and protein intake. Fiber, as we know, acts as an appetite suppressant and thus will help in keeping your calorie budget in check. Fiber also aids in digestion, which keeps gastronomic related problems at bay.
- Pay attention to household chores: People clean their houses extensively to welcome and please Ganesha. The houses are beautifully decorated with flowers and garlands. The process of cleaning, sweeping, sweeping, etc. is a great way to keep yourself active. Try to meet these requirements yourself and give a few days off to your domestic help and other attendants who make our life easy. Let them enjoy the festival with their family.
- Eat right after the evening aarti: Don’t extend your eating hours too late at night. Instead, mix your meal times with your puja prasad. Have a quick meal with everyone in the family, focusing on conversation and laughter. We’re not asking you to call it a night too early. During the later hours, you can indulge in healthy snacks like roasted peanuts, makhana or just some herbal tea to keep yourself satiated.
A festival like Ganesh Chaturthi is the time to purify oneself in every way. The popularity of Lord Ganesha cuts across all regions. He is revered as the remover of obstacles and seems to have all the luck a devotee needs. He represents wealth and knowledge. Please keep it simple, spend time with your kids and elderly relatives and eat healthy this year. Committed to learning something new to embody the true soul of the Elephant God. For example, you can start reading regularly or take up a new hobby. In the end, be happy, and you will always be in good health.