Ganesh Chaturthi, one of the most important traditional festivals celebrated in Maharashtra was originally celebrated by families by making their own mud idol (the size of a palm), decorated with turmeric and kumkum.
The essence of this joyous, giving festival is to bring home the mud idol and shower it with love and affection. The idol collects all the positive thoughts and energies that we give it and once immersed in the river it is returned to the earth carrying our goodwill to others and the environment.
As the form of Ganesha (with the elephant head) symbolizes a deep connection with the human world and the animal world, a union of strength and wisdom, let us take this thoughtful step towards celebrating the true spirit of Ganesha by being conscious of our environment and animals.
We’ve curated the best vegan recipes for you to try this Ganpati . Happy Eco-Ganpati to all!
1. AMARANTH FUDGE BALLS
- ½ cup amaranth (rajgira) flour
- ½ cup dry coconut flakes (ground)
- ¼ teaspoon ( or less ) salt
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ½ cup date paste
- 2 tbsp dried dates powder
- Broken nuts (optional)
In a wide pan, roast the amaranth flour on medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the ground coconut flakes, dried dates powder, salt and cardamom powder. Now mix this with date paste and broken nuts till a soft dough consistency is achieved.
Transfer the dough to a tray and flatten out. Make into balls or flatten in a dish. The fudge can be refrigerated for upto a week.
Contributed by Nutritionist and health coach, Bhavna Kapoor, www.healthnut.in
Sheera is traditionally made with cow’s milk but this recipe uses almond milk to make it healthier. You can also use an additional banana to reduce the amount of sweetener needed.
- 1/4–1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup uncooked millet rava
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 or 2 saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 large ripe banana, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins, soaked in water
- 1 tablespoon date paste or to taste (optional)
In a small skillet, toast cashews. Set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, toast rava on medium heat until it turns just a couple of shades darker and tastes nutty. Remove to a dish and set aside.
In the same sauce pan, combine almond milk, saffron, cardamom, and banana and bring to a boil. Add reserved rava, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. It will take just a minute or two before the rava absorbs most of the almond milk and becomes quite thick. Before taking off the heat, stir in toasted cashews and raisins. The bananas and raisins bring a lot of sweetness to this dessert, so taste before you add a sweetener. If needed, add date paste
Makes 4 1-cup servings
Note- Semolina or cream of wheat is a refined product and not recommended in a whole food plant based diet. Millets like sorghum, pearl millet and ragi are available in the semolina form. Use these instead of cream of wheat.
Contributed by Sharan India, www.sharan-india.org
3. RAW MODAK
- ½ cup finely grated carrots
- ½ cup freshly grated coconut
- ¼ cup dates without seeds squished by hand.
- 1 tsp elaichi powder (cardamom)
- ¼ cup raisins
- 8 to 10 slivered almonds
- Mix all the ingredients really well except the almonds.
- Mix the almonds at the end and make modaks out of this mixture.
Contributed by Vegan chef, Mayavi Khandelwal, My Pure Path
4. TENGAI BARFI | COCONUT CANDY SQUARES | NARALI PAK | NARIYAL KI BARFI |KOPERAPAK
Allergen information : Gluten and casein free | Nut free | Dairy free | Free of added fat | Grain free
- Freshly scraped coconut (only the white portion) – 280g | 3 cups
- Granulated sugar (I used white) – 280g | 1 + 1/3rd cups
- Freshly crushed cardamom powder – 1 tsp.
- A few strands of saffron (Optional)
Grease a 7 x 9 inch jelly pan with a drop of neutral oil
Run coconut in a mixer for a short burst, just enough to crush it slightly but let it remain granular. Just a quick run. Careful! Don’t grind into a chutney.
Place the coconut in a heavy bottomed wok and mix granulated sugar into it.
Cook on medium flame for 7-10 minutes. Keep turning and tossing the mixture, mixing it well. Keep a watch on the flame and reduce it if even a few specks of brown start appearing. By now the sugar should have melted completely into the coconut, and the mixture should turn sticky.
Reduce flame, cook further for about 5 minutes. The mixture should be translucent and swell slightly now. To test, swipe the mixture on the ladle along the edge of the wok. If the sugar starts to crystallise and turn white, the candy stage has arrived.
Pour into the greased jelly pan. If rightly prepared, the coconut barfi should slide off the wok easily without sticking to it. Pat with a greased ladle. Or, cover the jelly pan with foil and smoothen the top with a flat surface till even.
Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes at room temperature. Mark the surface with lines cut with a sharp knife into desired size. When it cools completely, about 30-40 minutes, cut along the lines completely. Remove carefully, lifting the edges with a knife.
The best time to enjoy would be after the squares cool totally. For complete setting it takes about 12 hours. Store in an airtight container.
Contributed by Food blogger and photographer, Harini Prakash, www.tongueticklers.com
5. GAJAR KA HALWA
One dessert most people look forward to during Ganpati is Gajar ka Halwa. Who would have thought that this indulgent dessert, traditionally laden with clarified butter and solidified and evaporated milk could be adapted to a dairy free version that tastes just as delectable. Here’s for you the vegan version of ‘gajar ka halwa’.
- 1 kg carrots, grated
- 1 grated coconut
- Cardamom powder
- Jaggery Syrup
- 1-2 Tbsp cashew nut paste
- 7-8 raisins
- Blanched almonds, for garnishing
For the halwa:
In a stainless steel heavy bottom pan add grated carrots.
Mix the grated coconut and jaggery syrup with the carrots and cook until all liquid has reduced. This will take about 20 – 30 minutes.
Add cashew nut paste & cardamom powder. Cook for 5 more minutes.
Add raisins, top with almonds.
Serve warm or cold.
Key Ingredients: Carrot, Coconut, Cashew nuts, Raisins, Jaggery Syrup, Green cardamom, Almonds
Contributed by Vegan Bites, veganbites.com
We hope you enjoyed our recipes for Ganpati festival, if you’d like to read more about the significance of the festival, we recommend this article- here. Do stay tuned by signing up to our newsletter for a lot more exciting vegan, eco-friendly news and updates.
Check out the interview with an animal communicator – here