It’s yet another time of the year when Lord Ganesha is festively invited into our hearts and homes with great pomp and show. Ganesh Chaturthi is an Indian Hindu festival celebrated in honor of the birth of Lord Ganesha. On this very auspicious day, He is worshiped and prayed for peace and prosperity, and so any work that we have started is completed successfully without any obstacle (Vighna). The festival lasts for 10 days, and people worship him at homes, offices and public places. Today, I really miss Mumbai. Ganeshotsav is a festival celebrated by Hindus across the world, in various cities of India, most popularly in Mumbai. Apart from the heavy Mumbai rains, this festival is a major event in the city that marks an epitome of devotion, food, celebrations and music. One should be present in Mumbai in order to witness the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the sights and the hype that goes on during the Ganpati Visarjan. And the beauty of it lies in the fact that in Mumbai, this festival is celebrated by people from all religions! Everybody just gives in to His charm and for once, we all belong to the religion of humanity. 🙂
Apart from the colors, decorations, music and prayers, one major thing that ensembles Ganesh Chaturthi is FOOD. Good food is cooked with great love by the females of the family for friends, relatives and neighbors. Like every other festival, there is a set of recipes cooked on Ganesh Chaturthi. The most popular ones being sweet Modaks. Lord Ganesha loves modaks and boondi laddoos (Indian sweets). Among other Vinayak Chaturthi dishes, few popular ones are poori bhaji, varan bhaat, puran poli, sabudana vada, alu vadi and many more. Today, at my place I prepared Modaks and Poori bhaji in His honor. Out of all other dishes, I made this especially because my daughter loves to eat Pooris and she always tries finding out an excuse to savor this beautiful dish.
The bhaji / potato curry is prepared without onions and garlic. It is a simple dish prepared with mininal spices and it goes really well with the puffed soft pooris.
For the pooris:
Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
Oil / ghee – 2 tsp
Sugar – 1/2 tsp
Salt – as per taste
For the Bhaji (Dry Potato Curry):
Potatoes – 3 (boiled and peeled)
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder – 1/2 tsp
Lime juice – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves -finely chopped
Green chillies – finely chopped
Salt – as per taste
For the Bhaji:
Boil and peel 3 medium to large sized potatoes. Cut them into small cubes.
Take some oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and hing. Once the cumin seeds splutter, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Mix for a min.
To make sure the spices don’t burn in the hot oil, add a little water. Then add the cubed potatoes, amchoor powder, salt, chopped coriander leaves and green chillies. Mix everything well and cook until the moisture is absorbed. In the end add some lime juice, mix and turn off the heat. The simple yet delectable potato bhaji will be ready.
For the pooris:
In a mixing bowl, take the wheat flour, salt, sugar and oil. Mix well. Add cold water, very little at a time, knead and make a stiff dough. This helps the pooris puff when frying in the oil.
P.S: For pooris, the dough should be a little stiff, whereas for rotis / parathas you should make a soft dough.
Divide the dough into small sized balls.
Dip each dough ball into a little oil and roll it out into a circular disc. For poori, keep it a tad bit thicker than what you would usually do for a standard roti.
The oil should be sufficiently hot before you dip in the poori for frying.
When you place the poori inside the hot oil, immediately it will start to puff up. Once it is puffed on one side, flip it over and cook on the other side.
Poori Bhaji will be ready to serve.
On the pious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, we enjoyed a delicious meal of hot pooris served with a no-onion-no-garlic potato curry full of flavors. It certainly reminded us of home! ❤