Lesser-known food to feast on during Ganesh Chaturthi

Modaks might be synonymous with food prepared to celebrate Lord Ganesha’s birthday, but there are other specialties made across the country as well.

24 Aug 2020

The Godrej Food Trends Report 2020 predicted revival of culinary traditions to be among the top trends this year. And that is exactly what has happened. We have seen a deeper exploration of our culinary heritage and traditional wisdom is finding its way back into our “modern lives”, whether it’s cookware, family recipes or even using food as medicine. And what better time to celebrate our culinary traditions than during a festival? Ganesh or Vinayaka Chaturthi is one such example: from modaks and payasam to dalimbi usal and pulihora, it’s a bonanza for foodies. After all, Lord Ganesha is said to be an epicure, so could his devotees be treated to anything less than a feast? However, there are some lesser-known recipes prepared by various house-holds across south and west India that are worth a mention as well. Here’s a look at some lesser known festival foods that feature on the plate during Ganesh Chaturthi.


Khotto is a popular breakfast dish in the coastal regions of Karnataka. Jackfruit leaves are woven into little cups and idli batter is poured into these and then steamed. This gives the idlis a distinct shape. Khotto is usually served with alle gojju, a coconut and ginger chutney. 

Nugul untallu 

The sesame laddus from Andhra Pradesh are a tasty and nutritious offering. Traditionally made with black sesame seeds and dark jaggery, these sweet treats are easy to prepare and require minimal ingredients. 


This traditional Konkani dish is made up of rice flour dumplings or rolls stuffed with a fudgy-like mixture of coconut and jaggery. What sets this dish apart is that the dumplings are steamed in fresh turmeric or haldi leaves, which gives them a distinct flavour. Pattoli is best enjoyed served hot and with a generous dollop of ghee. 


Panchakhadya or khirapat is a powdery mixture that is popularly prepared as prasad. It is made from five ingredients whose names begin with ‘k’: dry coconut (kopra), dry dates (kharik), rai-sins (kishmish), rock sugar (khadisakar) and poppy seeds (khus khus). Though simple, the dish has to be prepared with the ingredients in specific ratios. 


Legend has it that Lord Ganesha is fond of laddus and undulka or undlka are a variant commonly prepared in the Udupi-Mangalore region. Marble-sized balls of rice flour are steamed and mixed in a coconut-jaggery mixture. This festive sweet is simple to prepare, yet tastes divine. 

Cheppi kheeri 

This unique dish is a popular festive recipe in the Saraswat community. ‘Cheppi’ means bland in Konkani, so as the name suggests, this rice kheer has no salt or sugar. What makes it unique is that it is flavoured with turmeric leaves. Rice is cooked with fresh turmeric leaves and coconut milk, which makes the dish flavourful, fragrant and creamy in texture. Popular combinations include spicy raw mango pickle, mixed vegetable curries and even pattoli!

Are there any other lesser-known festive recipes prepared during Ganesh Chaturthi that you would like to share with us? Tell us in the comments section below.

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