Ganesh Chaturthi came and went away. This is Incredible India, where festivals come and go. But festivals don't have their own time of appearing. There is the Almanac which is followed to know the date and auspicious time of the Puja rituals...otherwise what a bizarre it would be...
For Ganesh Puja idols made of clay...I say clay as clay was used to make idols when I was a child...but now we can find they use plaster-of-paris to make the idols. While natural colours were used earlier, now enamel paint is used. So when they immerse the idols in water bodies, these modern idols pollute the waters.
For the Pujor Ghar/Puja Room many of us will be having framed photos or little brass idols of Ganesh to pray everyday.
My special offering from my kitchen for this festive occasion was Murir Moa. Murir Moa is made with Muri/Puffed rice, cooked in jaggery/gur and then made into balls.
This is simple, easy but difficult to mould them into little balls...reason being...be careful of the heat...
For the Moa need:
Muri/puffed rice: 6-8 cups
Jaggery: 200gms (I grated the jaggery/gur so that it melts quickly)
Cooking time: will take about 10-12 minutes.
Place a kadhai/wok on the burning stove and add the jaggery/gur and about 1/4 cup of water.
Let it cook and keep on stirring.
Once the gur starts caramelising, take a little of it in a spoon and drop it. If it releases two threads on dropping, the jaggery has been done. Can also take a little of it on the first finger and then with the thumb give a pull and see the two threads coming.
Quickly lower the flame to minimum and start adding the muri/puffed rice.
Once the muri has been mixed well and has got the stickiness, switch off the flame.
The difficult part begins now.
The balls have to be made very quickly before it cools down.
Rub some oil on the palm and fingers.
Take a small portion and shape it into a ball. As it is very hot the palms will get a burning sensation. Go on till the last one is done but be quick.
Have the patience and go on. Better if you have another hand to help.
Anyway once all the balls have been made, there comes the shine in the eyes which says, 'all is well'.
Let it cool.
With every bite you can get the crunch.
And Lord Ganesh is happy with the offering.
Store in an air-tight jar as this can be enjoyed for some more days...of course if the quantity is big.
With every crunch enjoy the munch.
© gouri guha 2013