¤ VINAYAKA | PILLAYAR | GANESH CHATURTHI NEIVEDHYAM | THENGAI KOZHUKKATTAI | UPPU KOZHUKKATTAI ¤

Ganesha | Ganapati | Vinayaka is one of the most popular and much loved, amongst the pantheon of Hindu gods!

He is the Lord of success, education, knowledge, wisdom, wealth and the one to be invoked for an auspicious start of any venture or beginnings in life, as he nonchalantly removes all obstacles and evils on the way!

Ganesha, the elephant headed deity with a mouse as his vehicle – His unique form has great significance!

Ganesha’s elephant head symbolizes, the Atman or the soul – the ultimate supreme reality and his huge pot-bellied human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The elephant head denotes wisdom and its trunk represents Om (or Auṃ, Sanskrit: ॐ) – the sound symbol of cosmic universe.

In his upper right hand Ganesha holds a goad, which helps him to smoothly propel mankind forward, on the eternal path, by destroying any obstacles encountered. The noose in Ganesha’s left hand is an implement to capture all difficulties.

The broken tusk that Ganesha holds like a pen in his lower right hand is a symbol of sacrifice for writing the Mahabaratha. The rosary in his other hand suggests that, the pursuit of knowledge is continuous.

The laddoos | Modaks | Kozhukattais (sweets) he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the Atman. His fan-like ears convey that he is all ears to our petitions. The snake that runs round his waist represents energy in all forms. He is also the destroyer of vanity, selfishness, pride and riding the mouse exemplifies the need to control our ego.

The festival to celebrate his birthday and glorify him is ‘Ganesh Chaturthi | Vinayak Chaturthi’. Eco-friendly materials are used to make Ganesha idols, primarily wet mud or clay is used  for moulding and either done at home or bought. On the day of the festival, the idol is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoors, for people to view and pay homage. In the state of Maharashtra this festival is celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. Most elaborate, huge and gigantic idols are displayed and the celebrations last for 10 days, culminating on ‘Ananta Chaturdashi’. When the final day dawns, all join in a procession, carry the idol to the river, immerse it and shout “Ganapathi Bappa Morya, Purchya Varshi Laukariya” (O father Ganesha, come again early next year)

Modaks | Kozhukkatais are his favourite. In many versions and variations, this is one of the main items made as an offering for him – a win-win activity to get his blessings and gorge on these rare delicacies!

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Offerings for Vinayaka Chaturthi. First row – the making of Thengai pooranam Kozhukkattais | Steamed Sweet dumplings . Second row – the making of Ulutham pooranam Kozhukkattais | Steamed Savoury dumplings.
 VELLAM KOZHUKKATTAI  | THENGAI POORANAM KOZHUKKATTAI (same as Varalakshmi Vratham naivedhyam) 

Prep time : 15 mins; Cooking time : 1 hr; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients for the Thengai pooranam :

  • One big fresh Cococnut
  • 200 gms powdered Jaggery
  • 9 green cardamoms

Method for preparing the Thengai pooranam :

  1. Grate the coconut. Peel and powder the cardamoms in a mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  2. Powder the jaggery. Heat it in a vessel along with about 2-3 tbsp water. Let the jaggery dissolve in the water, come to a boil, froth up and thicken to form a syrup with a divinely sweet aroma. Add the grated coconut and stir over low flame. Cook till all the water is absorbed and the fillings become sticky. Add the powdered cardamom, cool and keep covered.

Ingredients for the Kozhukkattai covering :

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1- 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil

Method for preparing the Kozhukkattai covering :

  1. In a wide bottom vessel, bring the water with salt and oil, to a rolling boil. Now add the flour in installments and simultaneously turn it with the handle of a long spoon for about 5 mins making sure no lumps are formed. Switch off heat. Keep covered till it cools down a bit and is bearable to touch. Knead well to a smooth dough.

Method for preparing the Kozhukkattai :

  1. Dip your fingers in little amount of sesame oil, grease your palms with it. Take a lump of the flour (arecanut size) and shape it into a cup with your hand and fill it with the coconut filling | thengai pooranam and seal it on all sides forming a conical shape. Make similar kozhukkattais with all of the flour and the filling.
  2. Place a few of them on Idli plates and steam cook them in batches, in a pressure cooker without the whistle for about 10 – 15 mins. Repeat the procedure till all the kozhukattais are cooked.
  3. Ready for neiveidhyam.

ULUTHAM POORANAM KOZHUKKATTAI  | UPPU KOZHUKKATTAI :

Prep time : 1 hr; Cooking time : 45 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients for Ulutham Pooranam :

  • 3/4 cup black gram lentil | udad dal
  • 3 tbsp bengal gram lentil | channa dal
  • 9 – 12 green chilies
  • 3 stems of curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida | hing
  • 3 tsp of sesame oil
  • salt as required

Method for preparing the Ulutham Pooranam :

  1. Soak the black gram lentil along with the bengal gram lentil for atleast 1 hour.
  2. Drain off the lentils completely and grind it in a blender along with the green chilies and salt.
  3. Steam the smooth ground lentils paste after placing it on Idli plates stand, in a pressure cooker for 15 – 20 mins, till cooked. Check with a spoon if the mixture does not stick then it is cooked, else steam it for another 5 -10 mins. Once cooked, cut it into small pieces and crumble it onto a plate.
  4. Heat oil in a bandli | wok, add mustard seeds, let them splutter then add curry leaves and asafoetida. Fry for a few secs, then add the crumbled steam cooked lentils and fry for another 10 mins. Switch off heat.

Ingredients for the Kozhukkattai covering :

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1- 2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp sesame oil

Method for preparing the Kozhukkattai covering :

  1. In a wide bottom vessel, bring the water with salt and oil, to a rolling boil. Now add the flour in installments and simultaneously turn it with the handle of a long spoon for about 5 mins making sure no lumps are formed. Switch off heat. Keep covered till it cools down a bit and is bearable to touch. Knead well to a smooth dough.

Method for preparing the Kozhukkattai :

  1. Dip your fingers in little amount of sesame oil, grease your palms with it. Take a lump of the flour and shape it into a cup with your hand and fill it with the black gram lentil filling | uluthum pooranam, fold and seal it on the side forming a half moon shape. Make similar kozhukkattais with all of the flour and the filling.
  2. Place a few of them on Idli plates and steam cook them in batches, in a pressure cooker without the whistle for about 10 – 15 mins. Repeat the procedure till all the kozhukattais are cooked.
  3. Ready for neiveidhyam.

Tip :

  1. Children and hubby can be involved in the last step activity of preparing the Kozhukakattai and make them feel a part of the ceremony. They love to prepare the kozhukkattais and do a great job of it. One need not get too fastidious about the shape, round is a shape too! The larger picture is to go ahead and enjoy making these lovely treats, which taste great in any shape!
  2. There are ready made moulds available to shape the kozhukkattais but personally I prefer hand moulded ones, they have an old world charm about them!
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9 thoughts on “¤ VINAYAKA | PILLAYAR | GANESH CHATURTHI NEIVEDHYAM | THENGAI KOZHUKKATTAI | UPPU KOZHUKKATTAI ¤”

  1. You have justified this Post of Ganesh Chaturthi giving every detail.
    I was looking to some blog to have written this.
    Ganesh _ the Lord sent me here.
    To receive VINAYAKA | PILLAYAR | GANESH CHATURTHI NEIVEDHYAM | THENGAI KOZHUKKATTAI | UPPU KOZHUKKATTAI .
    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so very interesting! You’ve given your readers such an interesting and detailed account of of Ganesha. I have long been curious about the representation of this god. Thank you! Also, your recipes sound so interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

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