Artisanal treats with a twist this Ganesh Chaturthi

This Ganesh Chaturthi, skip the traditional variant and try artisanal, quirky flavours in modaks offered by a few Delhi-NCR brands.
Chocolate modak image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Chocolate modak image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

A day before streets across the country reverberated with the rhythmic sound of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’, Pooja Manocha’s kitchen is already stocked with mithai, particularly modaks—a sweet dumpling that is offered to Lord Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi. Manocha and her family have been actively celebrating this festival for the last few years.

In fact, over the course of joining in the revelry year after year, Manocha has also incorporated novel varieties of this traditional sweet. “I usually prefer making modaks at home but since last year, I have started getting a separate batch of chocolate modaks as well… my son loves them,” shares the 43-year-old from Ramesh Nagar.

Modaks are an integral part of Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival that ushers in a period of joy and positivity. In fact, for many, this sweet brings about nostalgic memories of childhood. However, steering away from the conventional coconut and jaggery combination, many brands are now offering eclectic varieties of modaks in distinct flavours to help add a delectable twist to the festivities.

Satisfy your sugar cravings

Varieties such as Rose and Kesar [saffron] have been popular among patrons. “Kesar is popular in India and people love to try it out. This flavour is usually a go-to for those who want to try something new,” shares Gaurav Chauhan, owner, Gur Chini, an artisanal mithai brand—Defence Colony, Punjabi Bagh, MG Road, and in Mumbai, and they also take online orders at (price starts at Rs. 500/box). Chanakyapuri-based luxury mithai brand, Khoya Mithai (—they have a flagship store at The Chanakya, New Delhi, and are also present at the Oberoi Patisserie—is also offering unique variants (Rs. 1,800 for a box of 16 pieces)—this season.

Their Rose Modak has a base of rose infused with khoya, and the filling is made with dry fruits; the Kesar variant comes with a base of kesar khoya and the filling includes dates and nuts. Khoya also has Til Modak—it is smeared with roasted sesame (til)—and a Chocolate Chip Modak that is loaded with chocolate chips on the inside.

Those who would like Indian flavours at the core of their mithai experimentations can take a pick of the re-imagined variations from Rajouri Garden-based brand Meethi—starting price Rs. 900, order on—that is offering flavours such as Mathura Peda, Khajoor, Anjeer, etc. "Mithai has traditionally been an integral part of Indian celebrations. However, as times changed, traditional Indian mithai recipes have slowly lost their relevance. It is this loss of cultural significance that we want to address by recreating the charm of these original recipes while keeping the authenticity alive,” explains the brand’s founder, Bobby Gujral.

Experimental creations

If you are looking to surprise your taste buds, Chhatarpur-based Shakkr (—price starts at Rs. 80 per piece—has a decadent mix of fusion sweets including Blueberry Coconut, Orange Mandarin, etc., and many novel flavours such as Aam Papad, Hazelnut, Rose Badam, Butterscotch, etc.

“We try to experiment with mithai every two to three months, and chefs from Jodhpur especially join us for the same. The idea is to innovate and allow people to go beyond the traditional sweets that have been there for ages,” shares Pooja Gogia, director, Shakkr. Keeping the presentation of their products a priority, the makers add edible garnish to these modaks. The wide array of packaging options also make for great gifts for loved ones.

Keep your diet in check

With health taking precedence in most people’s lives, it isn’t unconventional for many to relish sweets while ensuring they do not pack in the extra calories. For guilt-free eating, pick modaks made with dry fruits—Gur Chini, Shakkr, and Meethi have similar offerings. “The section of people that relishes eating extra sweet products is limited, which is why they prefer modak with almond or pistachio,” adds Chauhan, whose team at Gur Chini is also offering a charcoal-based modak that is made with “edible charcoal, and is good for detoxification”.

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