A naivedyam thali basically consists of chutney, koshimbir,one dry sabzi, one gravied vegetable, varan/dal, rice, poori and a sweet. For Ganesh Chaturthi the sweet i prepared was Modak. Many more accompaniments are also offered as per individual choice. 
1. Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is a simple recipe that’s tangy and spicy and goes well with appe, dosas, idlis, dal, rice

RECIPE :

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • A piece of tamarind
  • 1/4th” piece of ginger
  • 2 to 3 green chillies(adjust to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 sprigs of coriander leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida

METHOD:

  • Grind coconut,asafoetida,green chillies,ginger,tamarind,salt, coriander leaves along with little water coarsely. Transfer to a serving bowl. 
  • Serve this chutney with dal rice,appe, dosas, set dosas, pancakes etc.

2. Kakdi chi Koshimbir

RECIPE :

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized cucumber, skin peeled,ends sliced off and grated
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh chilled thick yogurt (as per choice)
  • 2 green chillies chopped fine 
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Version 2 : topping the salad with seasoning 

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chillies chopped fine(adjust to taste and do not add chillies while mixing if adding while tempering)
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 2 to 3 curry leaves(optional)
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD :

  • Peel and grate the cucumber and keep aside.Cucumber releases a lot of moisture when grated. Squeeze the grated cucumber and keep the liquid separate. 
  • Just a little while before serving, in a mixing bowl whisk chilled curds, add salt, sugar, chopped green chillies and mix well. Add the grated cucumber to the curd mix. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature with dal rice or rotis.

 Version 2 :

  • In a seasoning wok,heat ghee,add cumin seeds,when they crackle add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves and take off heat and mix well.
  • Pour this seasoning over the salad and mix well. Garnish with coriander leaves. 
  • Serve chilled or at room temperature.

NOTE :

  • Do check the cucumber taste as at times a cucumber may be bitter.

The water squeezed out from the grated cucumber contains nutrients, you could either drink it or add it to temperd dals.

3. Dry Potato Sabzi / Batatya chi Bhaji
RECIPE:

Ingredients

  • 5 medium sized boiled potatoes, skin peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 to 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/8 to 1/4th tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 5 to 6 green chillies chopped fine (adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • Coriander leaves finely chopped to garnish
  • 1/2 lime juice ( optional)

METHOD:

  • Heat oil in a nonstick/ ceramic pan mustard seeds, When they splutter add asafoetida,curry leaves, green chillies,ginger, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  • Add cubed potatoes, saute well till the spices coat the potatoes and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • If you like a slight tangy flavour add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Serve hot with puris or poli or even as a side dish with dal rice.

4. Vatana Batatyachi Rassa Bhaji

Recipe credit of vatana batatyacha rassa goes to my late mom-in-law NANDINI THAKUR. A very easy and very tasty recipe using easily available spices. A no onion,no garlic recipe, it is a regular on fasting and festival days in Maharashtrian cuisine. Simple flavourful recipe.

RECIPE :

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Green Peas
  •  2 Potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
  • 5 tbsp freshly scraped coconut
  • 3 cloves
  • 6 to 7 black pepper
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2″ piece of cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (adjust as per individual taste)
  • A piece of tamarind 
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

METHOD:

  • Heat a tsp of oil in a non stick pan, roast cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cinnamon till fragrant,remove and in the same pan add fresh coconut and roast till brown.
  • Grind the roasted spices, roasted coconut a pinch of turmeric powder, a little red chilli powder, tamarind to a smooth paste adding little water and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter add turmeric powder, red chilli powder , saute, immediately add green peas, cubed potatoes, saute well add hot water enough to cook the peas and potatoes.
  • Cover and cook till 3/4th done. Add the ground masala , a little water to get the desired consistency and salt and cook till done.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot as a side dish with polis, rotis or even dal rice. 

5. Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet: Modak 

Modaks are sweet stuffed deep fried dumplings steamed or fried and offered to Lord Ganesha as prasad or naivedyam.

RECIPE :

Ingredients

For the outer covering :

  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup refined flour/ maida
  • 3 tbsp fine(chiroti)rawa/ semolina
  • 2 tbsp sizzling hot clarified butter(ghee)
  • A pinch of salt

For the filling :

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut ( take only the white portion)
  • 3/4th cup jaggery (adjust to sweetness required. I have used organic jaggery)
  • 1/4th tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of nutmeg powder (optional)
  • Oil for deep frying

METHOD :

The outer covering :

  • In a mixing bowl combine whole wheat flour, refined flour, semolina and hot clarified butter and mix well with a spoon.Then rub the mix well with your hand. Next add little water in stages and knead into a smooth, firm dough (the dough should neither be stiff nor soft). Knead well for about 10 minutes. A sign that the dough is kneaded well is when you roll a small ball from the dough it should be smooth and should not show cracks. Apply a little oil, knead well and cover with a moist cotton/muslin cloth and set it aside for at least 30 minutes. 

The inner filling :

  • Heat a flat nonstick/ceramic pan and combine coconut, jaggery and cook it on low flame. The mix will first liquify and then start thickening. Cook till the mix is soft and moist(the mix should NOT be dry). Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, a pinch of salt, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the mix cool.
  • Knead the dough that has been set aside well and divide it into equal sizes ( say the size of a marble). Roll out into 3″ diameter discs. 
  • In each disc place about 1 tsp or a little more of the filling in the centre. Create pleates around the edges and gather them at the top ( it’ll look like a fig to be precise). Remove the excess dough at the top. The modak should be well sealed and there should be no tear anywhere, if not the filling will come out while frying. The top of the modak should’nt be very thick, it won’t get fried properly. 
  • Heat oil in a kadai/ wok. Once hot gently slip in 3 to 4 modaks at a time not more. Fry them between low to medium flame till golden brown and crisp on all sides. 
  • Once done remove them and drain on absorbent paper. Fry the rest of the modak in a similar way. 
  • Since fresh coconut is used the modak stay fresh for a day at room temperature. Store leftover modak in an airtight container in the referigerator.

NOTE :

  • As per custom when modaks are prepared at least one karanji should be prepared and vice versa. Modak and karanji go hand in hand.
  • To prepare Karanji/ Crescent shaped sweet deep fried pastry, place about 2 tsp of the filling on one side of the circle, keeping the edges empty. Moisten the circumference with a little milk and gently fold the upper semicircle over the filling and press down onto the lower semicircle. Gently press the edges and with a fork press gently all over the semicircle. A decorative cutter can also be used. There should be no gap anywhere, if not the filling will come out. 
  • Deep fry on low flame till golden and crisp. Remove and drain on absorbent paper.

TIP :

  • Adding a mix of whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and semolina gives crispier modak/ karanji compared to only whole wheat flour.
  • The modak/ karanji should be fried immediately if not the outer covering will crack. Cover the modak/ karanji with a moist cloth in case of delay in frying.
  • The modak/ karanji should be fried on low to medium flame. DO NOT FRY ON HIGH FLAME ( the inner covering will not get cooked). A little time consuming process,but it’s worth the effort taken.
  • Modak/ Karanji can be fried in ghee or oil. I use refined groundnut oil as it has high smoking point and the pastries come out crispier too. 
  • Instead of water, milk can be used to knead the dough. 
  • Modak/ karanji recipe is very versatile. You can also add thinly sliced almonds ( or any dry fruits you like) to the filling, but you have to be careful while sealing the modak as the edges of dry fruits may tear the outer covering. I prefer the simple mix.