Bhubaneswar: The much-awaited Ganesh Puja is here and several confectionery stores in the city are leaving no stone unturned to surprise their customers with their gastronomic recipes of sweets.
Sweets are inextricably linked to this festival as the elephant-headed god himself is considered to be hooked to Modak, a dumpling dessert made from freshly grated coconut and jaggery which is usually served with hot ghee.
Odisha, which is known as the birthplace of syrupy dessert rasgulla, has also been associated with sweetmeats like chenna jhilli and chenna poda. However, in view of the current occasion several twin city-based confectioners have been cashing in on Modak, Motichoor, Gond laddus, and Anjeer sweets.
Orissa POST interacted with some of the confectioners and homemakers who divulged the finger licking recipes and talked about the seasonal demand of the sweets, which according to them, is sky high this time.
Vanita Uday Devkar, a Marathi homemaker at Alamchand Bazar in Cuttack, said, “In Marathi households both Modak and Sattori are made to appease Lord Ganesh who is known as a connoisseur of Modaks.” She said Modaks can be of various types but coconut and besan modaks are the Lord’s favourites.
Siddhartha, a famous sweetmaker of Bhubaneswar, elaborated about the changing pattern in the confectionery market saying, “Earlier people didn’t have many choices, but now they are spoilt with them.” He added that currently the market is flooded with Rajasthani, Marwari and Marathi sweets and consequently, the Bhog sweets are available in multiple forms such as dry fruits, gulab, pan and many more. Every year he receives mammoth orders for Bhog sweets. “It is sometimes in quintals for high-profile households, corporates and clubs,” he added.
Sheetal Sahoo, a customer at a confectionery store, said, “Gradually with time, traditional Odia sweets are being replaced by signature sweets of different states.” She said “our taste buds do get bored” trying the same local sweets every time, so when occasions like Ganesh Puja is around, everybody wishes to try something new.
Virendra, a Marwari businessman in Bhubaneswar, opined it is the demand that has brought changes in the pattern of confectionery industry. “It’s not the sweetmakers, but it’s the taste of the devotees which have led to this variety of choices we have now,” he said.
Whatever maybe the reason but indubitably traditional sweets are getting replaced in this Ganesh Chaturthi and everyone is looking to treat their taste buds.
Sweets on display at a shop