A sweet fried Poori that has a great significance during the 10-days Ganesh festival in Maharashtra. Laal Bhoplyache Gharge is made with grated Red Pumpkin and Jaggery that are added to the Rice flour and kneaded into a Pooris like dough. This dough is rolled into small Pooris and which are served hot with some equally delicious Kheer . This is a delicacy that is hard to resist.
The 10-day long Ganesh Festival commences from tomorrow and the atmosphere during these 10 days will be nothing short of electrifying. Ganesh Chaturthi, which is believed to be the day on which Lord Ganesh was born is celebrated with lot of excitement and happiness. There are many stories that I have heard and read about Ganesh which are worth sharing in this blog
Ganeshji is also known as Vinayaka (he who was conceived without a man). The tale of his birth itself is unique. As per Shiva Purana, Parvati tried to convince Shiva for a child. However, Shiva being an ascetic was not in favor of taking up responsibility of a child and refuses her. However, she being a form of Shakti, created one on her own. She rubbed herself with a mixture of Oil and turmeric and when it dried, scraped it out and molded Vinayaka using this. Ganesh was beheaded by Shiva, on being denied an entry in cave, as Ganesh was not familiar with his mother’s consort. When Parvati found out that her dear son has been beheaded, she was enraged and took one of the most dangerous forms that threatened to destroy this cosmos. In a bid to pacify her, Shiva brought Ganesh back to his life, however with a different appearance, with a head of an elephant, but blessed him to be the Ganapati (lord of his ganas-followers) and a god who will be prayed first in any religious ceremonies or Poojas. Since it was Mother Parvati (Gauri) who gave birth to Ganesh, Gauri puja became an important part of Ganesh festival. This is also the reason why the image of Gauri is made in turmeric paste.
Besides, worshiping Lord Ganesh during these 10 days, a section of people also welcome Lord Ganesh’s mother-Gauri in their homes. In Maharashtra, it’s a widespread belief that the two sisters in form of Gauri follow Ganapati to every home that he visits and they represent health, wealth happiness and prosperity. Also known as ‘Mangala Gauri’, Gauri Puja is regarded as festival of Women. An ancient mythological story exists about Gauri Pujan. In the fight between Gods and Demons, wives of Gods asked for help from Mahalakshmiji. MahaLaskshmi ji defeated demons and to celebrate this victory, she is worshipped. In Maharashtra, Mahalakshmi’s Gauri avatar is worshiped. It is also said that Gauri (Ganesh’s mother) comes to her mother’s home during this month. She is worshipped with lot of love and affection and treated with many delicacies. Female Members of family come together and play different games like Zhimma and Phugdi. It is an occasion for women to enjoy along with their friends.
Laal Bhoplyache Gharge is especially made on the day of Gauri Pujan and offered to the Goddess as Naivedhya. Celebrate these festivities this year with some authentic delicacies- Laal Bhoplyache Gharge and Rice Kheer .
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- 1 Cup=200 gms Rice Flour (Get the link in description box)
- ¼th Cup=50 gms Whole Wheat Flour
- ½ Cup=100 gms Jaggery-grated
- 250 gms Red Pumpkin
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- ½ tsp Cardamom Powder
- Pinch of Salt
- Oil for deep frying
- Water as required
- In this recipe, we are specially using Red Pumpkin (Lal Kaddu/Lal Bhopla). Wash and Clean the Pumpkin. Peel off the skin. Grate Pumpkin with a medium size hole grated. Grated Pumpkin is now ready. It now weighs 150gms=1½ Cups.
- Heat 1 tbsp Ghee in a Pan. Add grated Pumpkin and cook for a min on medium heat. Add grated Jaggery. I am using ½ Cup Jaggery for 1½ Cup grated Pumpkin to make mildly sweet Gharge. It is typically enjoyed with Kheer so it is made less sweet but if you like you can increase the sweetness of Gharge.
- Let the Jaggery melt in the Pan. In about 3 mins, Jaggery has melted completely but this mixture looks a bit too thin. So we will cook this for few more mins until we get rid of excess moisture. We have cooked this mixture for another 3-4 mins to get rid of excess moisture.
- Add Cardamom Powder and mix. Remove from heat. Now mixture has cooled down completely. Keep it aside.
- In a large bowl, take rice flour. Add Whole Wheat flour and Salt and mix well. Add cooked Pumpkin mixture. Now mix the cooked Pumpkin well with the flour.
- Meanwhile, I have put 1 Cup water to boil on heat. We will use hot water for kneading into dough. Take ¼th Cup boiling water. Knead into a dough of Poori like consistency. Typically, hot water is preferred for kneading dough of rice flour. Gharge dough is now ready. Cover and keep is aside for 15 mins
- After 15 mins, let’s start making Gharge. Take a flat board and a wet cloth. Spread this cloth on board. Pull a small lemon sized ball and roll it between your palms. We have taken a bowl of water as well. Dip your fingers with water.
- Gharge is not rolled with a rolling pin but you can use your palms to make it like a Poori. Dip your palms in water to prevent it from sticking to your palms. Gharge is now ready to be fried. Similarly, we will make 4-5 Gharge and fry it together.
- Let's start frying Gharge now. Heat Oil for deep frying. Add small portion of dough in hot Oil. If it rises up immediately, then Oil is sufficiently hot. Fry Gharge on low heat.
- Wait for the Gharge to rise up on the surface of Oil. Change sides and now gently press with the ladle. Cook until Gharge becomes golden brown from both the sides. Gharge is now cooked. Remove it from Pan. Similarly, we will make all the Gharge. It takes about 1 min for a Gharge to fry. Always fry on low-medium heat. Frying on high heat will make it brown but it will remain uncooked. Remove from Pan
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