Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Modak and its cousins bind two states

Pithey, puli, and modak offered to Ganesha

Recently, my wife prepared modak, a kind of sweet dumpling eaten during Ganesh Chaturthi, the start of the Indian festive season. Modak is a Maharashtrian specialty. We grew fond of modak in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra, where we stayed for 5 years before returning to our home state of Bengal earlier this year. Modak, like the festival of Ganesha itself, is a strong connection we have developed with Maharashtra.

My blog is about the food of Bengal, yet here I am writing about modak and Ganesha, both part of Maharashtrian heritage. For Bengal and Maharashtra share a food connection. In Bengal, home-makers and shops prepare pithey and puli, sweet dumplings akin to modak. My wife even created a clay idol of Ganesha to replicate the Maharashtrian home on Ganesh Chaturthi. On that auspicious day, the elephant God reigned in our home, feasting on modak, pithey, and puli. How similar our festival customs are and how unified all of India is in spite of differences! And God is one. Dear reader, do you find any common food connections among states during the festive season?


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