" At Rajiv Gandhi's memorial in Sriperumbudur, around 50 km from here, party leaders paid…
Ganeshotsav means grand celebrations, elaborate pandals and, of course, modaks. But few know that the festival can be a treat for food lovers across the country. From West Bengal to Tamil Nadu, each state has a special Ganpati dish. This year, give the modaks and puranpolis a break, and try one of these lesser-known recipes, to celebrate the festival with a twist.
Bellam Pasham, Telangana
• For the base, knead 350 gm maida with water to make it into a soft dough. Spread a blob of dough on a flat surface. Use a knife to cut strands of it. Roll each strand using your hands to give it a noodle-like shape.
• For the jaggery syrup, take 250 ml water and soak 100 gm of jaggery in it. Strain the syrup. Add the wheat noodles into the syrup and bring to a boil. Add half a handful of cashew nuts, 4 crushed cardamoms and 1/2 cup finely chopped coconut. Cook until the jaggery water is soaked in by the noodles. Before serving, pour a spoonful of pure ghee on top of the Pasham and serve with modaks and laddoos.
Recipe: Sandeep Raj, chef and organiser at the Ganeshotsav committee of Andhra Pradesh
Read: Environment comes first for Ganpati, Durga Puja organisers
Ello Jhelo, Bengal
Ello Jhello, also called Bengali churros, is a dish that literally signifies happiness. (Ananya Banerjee)
• Mix 2 cups maida with a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of poppy seeds in a bowl. Add 3 tbsp of oil and mix using water to knead into a soft dough. Make round puris from the dough.
• Flatten out each puri and use a knife to make vertical lines in the middle, without cutting it out from the edges of the puri — the ends should remain intact, with strands in the middle.
Sundal, from Tamil Nadu. (Ananya Banerjee)
• Pressure cook 1 cup chickpeas soaked overnight; keep aside.
• Roast 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 3 tbsp chana dal and 1 dried chilli in hot oil; blend to a powder.
• Heat 1 tsp hot oil and crackle 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp urad dal, 1 sprig curry leaves and a pinch of hing. Add roasted ingredients to pressure cooked chana and mix. Season with salt, chilli powder and ground masala; add 3 tbsp grated coconut to it and mix well.
• Garnish with coriander, nuts and raisins before serving
Recipe: Ananya Banerjee, home chef and author of Planet Gastronomy: 100 Most Popular Global Recipes