Megha Shenoy

No festival is complete without its share of food and traditional delicacies and the same goes for Ganesha Chaturthi. From small joints and sweet shops to well-known restaurants, all eateries in the City are all set for the big festival.

And many families across the City who have been celebrating the festival over the years have been getting together days in advance to start the preparations. And the reason why so much attention is given to food during this festival is because the items, made for the festival, are the favourites of the Lord himself. And interestingly, despite starting the preparations early, nobody eats any item before offering it to the God.

Deepthi Shekhar, a housewife and an avid food blogger, says that Ganesha Chaturthi is by far the grandest festival when it comes to food. “The Lord himself loves food. Being a big foodie, it is on this day when all of his devotees make his favourite items like chakulis, modakas, kadabus, ladoos and kai obbattus and offer it to him. They eat the items only after taking his blessings,” says Deepthi. 

 Having seen her mother, grandmother and mother-in-law prepare some of the dishes over the years, Madhuri, a homemaker, says that this is one festival where women really get to bond over food. “The festive spirit in many of the households, who still celebrate it the traditional way, starts in advance. All the women get together to decide the menu and the younger ones learn traditional preparations from the elders in the family,” she adds.  

Traditionally, the women of the house stock up the ingredients required for the festive food a few days in advance. They then prepare all the snacks and majority of the sweets two days before and keep only a few items especially the naivedya or the prasada for the day of the festival. “This is more for a practical reason than religious one. Generally, it is a day when we call many guests and it doesn’t make sense preparing each dish on the very day of the festival. That’s why items like chakuli, obbattu or kodbales are made few days before and stocked up for the big day,” says Shamala, a homemaker. 

Though sweets and savouries are the highlight of the day, special rice items like coconut rice, lemon rice and even bisi bele bath are made for the main course. “Many even say that Ganesha likes idlis and we also include that in the menu,” adds Deepthi.  

But not all of them get to prepare these elaborate items at home. Those, who are working, get the items from some of the eateries and sweet shops who take in orders weeks in advance. 

Halli Mane in Malles­waram is one such place that is known for its festive lunches. People book in advance to either go there and eat or even take parcels back  home. Says a representative from the eatery, “Every festival has its own set of special dishes. 

Obbattus, modakas and chakulis are some of the popular items that are always on demand apart from the festive meals.” Be it homemade food or one ordered from outside, one thing everyone agrees upon is the fact that people should come together and celebrate the festive season as one-