Chavde on Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganpati Bappa morya!
Pudchya varshi lavkar ya!

Ganpati or Ganesh is my favorite Indian God. He's full of mischief yet he's the God we seek blessings from before we start new chapters in our lives.

In our family, we didn't really do much for Ganesh Chaturthi. My mother would make modak, karanji and chavde. The last, I think, was for my now Buddhist sister who was born on Ganesh Chaturthi many moons ago. Well, like Mom, I made chavde and they were nearly as good as hers!

Also known as mande in Konkani, chavde are like a crunchy puri that has been folded over a deliciously sweet sprinkling of sugar, cardamom and coconut powder. This was such a hit that naivedya went for a toss. I consoled myself in the same way my mother did: my family is my God. And, since I am part of that family, I crunched away happily on the chavde before offering them to my favorite pot-bellied God.

We sang Jai Ganesh Deva and Sukhakharta Dukhaharta and did a little puja. This was followed by a frantic trip to McDonald's to return a Redbox DVD before 7:00 pm. I don't know if they made it in time as I was busy making dinner. Dinner, offered to the Ganpati Bappa first, was waran-bhath, til alu, with lime pickle and, of course, chavda. A little finger was quickly dipped in the lime pickle and I saw it even though my back was turned. But I don't think Bappa really minds...

One Chavda, many chavde

My recipe is an adaptation of Shanta's recipe, Shilpa's recipe and what the birthday girl told me over the phone, which in this case, was not very much.
  • 3/4 cup sugar, castor sugar or powdered
  • 3/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp coconut powder
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1 cup maida
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 cup milk

  1. Powder the sugar in a coffee grinder if you are using regular sugar.
  2. Mix it with cardamom powder, sesame seeds and coconut powder. Taste the mixture and adjust it to suit your taste-buds.
  3. Heat the oil
  4. Mix the maida, ghee and milk and knead into firm dough. If the dough feels soft or sticky, add more maida till it is very firm.
  5. Make small doughballs about the size of a quarter and cover with a damp paper towel so that the dough does not dry out.
  6. Set up two stations: one to roll out the puris (rolling station), another by stove (deep frying station). Place the sugar mixture by the second station and also prepare a large platter with at least 2-3 layers of paper towels. Also keep an extra paper towel handy. You will need another empty platter for the chavde when they are ready.
  7. Roll out thin puris about 5 inches in diameter. Make them in batches of 10 each, keep them covered with a damp paper towel till you are ready to move to the deep frying station.
  8. Move to the deep frying station with each batch of rolled out puris and fry a puri briskly in the oil, but not for too long. The puri should be limp and soft when you pull it out of the oil.
  9. The next few steps are where you have to move very quickly as soon as the puri is ready; so make sure that you do this one puri at a time. Place the fried puri on the platter with the paper towels. Use the extra paper towel to dab any excess oil off the puri. This may not be recommended by chavde experts but I recommend it as my puris were dripping oil when I pulled them out.

  10. Quickly sprinkle about 1 tbsp of the sugar mixture on the puri.
  11. Fold it about 1/2 inch from the top

    and then in half.

  12. Place it on the platter for finished chavde and allow it to cool. Do not pile finished chavde on top of one another. The puri hardens and becomes crisp as it cools and you don't want to interfere with this process!
  13. If you don't move fast enough, you end up with cracked chavde like so:

I never thought I would ever say: I made chavde!

I did! It wasn't all that difficult once I had the 'stations' set up.

1 cup of flour must have made at least 30 chavde. I didn't get a chance to count as Medha was stealing them from the platter as they cooled and eating them like there was no tomorrow. Then her Dad came in, famished after chopping down my favorite dogwood tree in the yard. I thought both of them might have a problem with the coconut but they loved it so much that I had to stop them from eating them all!

This was our first Ganesh Chaturthi here in Louisville. We celebrated it our own special way: a small puja, a new favorite food, followed by a very simple dinner.

Many Indian food bloggers celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi by making something special:
Shilpa of Aayi's Recipes made modak and her husband has written a wonderful piece reminiscing about Ganesh puja in his home

Asha of Foodie's Hope made besan laddu and cocktail idlis

Sailu made paala undrallu and kudumullu

Others went one step further and made their own Ganesh:
Luv2Cook of Cooking Medley and her friends made beautiful jewel-adorned Ganesh murtis

Mythili of Vindu also made her first Ganesh, displaying extra-ordinary skills at fashioning clay.


FH said...

Thanks for linking and visiting my blog!!

WOW!! beautiful Ganesha. I am not very religious but I do something so my kids atleast know who Ganesha is since we are in small town with hardly any Indians!! :)

Chevda: we call it Chiroti in Mysore and a must dessert for the weddings. I like them..Thanks..

Anonymous said...

Lovely post Manisha. And the Chavde look absolutely great. (even I was not sure that I could make them when I tried first time).
Thanks for linking me and your kind words.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

I learnt a new sweet today..yum

Anonymous said...

Asha, you're most welcome! Interesting that you call this chiroti in Mysore! Shilpa made what we call chiroti recently.

Shilpa, they're almost all gone. I was hoping I'd be able to share them with my neighbors and save some for a friend who's visiting tomorrow. No such luck! Next time I will have to make more!

Shankari, it's yum! The puri gets crunchier if you bind the dough with water instead of milk. But then you have to work even faster!

indianadoc said...

Happy chathurthi and wonderful post...amazing snaps...Ganesha would have been pleased a lot with your offerings!!

Anonymous said...

Indianadoc, thanks and same to you! I'm hoping Ganesh was pleased. The family sure was! We're doing a short aarti every day for 5 days every evening. It gives Medha a chance to dress up in her salwar kameez or chania choli!

Ashwini said...

Manisha, thats it! I have to make these now. Your and Shilpa's posts have ensured that mere drooling wont get me anywhere :-)
I didnt know they are also called chawde..such interesting names all, mande/ chawde/ chirote...

Anonymous said...

Oh my !! What a lovely post. And look at the laurels you showered upon me. Humbling... you see I am not that extra-ordinary.


Vineela said...

Hi Manisha,
Happy Ganesh chathurthi to you and your family.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Manisha, Thanks a lot for the info. Yeah we heard that they will try to see if there is a match by calling the registry. They tried that route and since there are very few registered Indian donors, the chances are very little and they have thus asked people like us to volunteer and set up drives all over the country to see if we can find a match. There are organizations that are willing to come to a venue that we set as long as they have atleast 25 people. My blog is acting up on me, so thought I will reply to you in your blog

Anonymous said...

I could have sworn I had posted a response after simsim's comment but it seems to have disappeared on me! I am now wondering if I posted it to someone else's blog cos I don't even seem to have an email confirmation for it! Yikes!

Well, here goes, once again...

Ashwini, this, too, falls within the category: If I can make it, anyone can. My paternal grandmother was from Kumta and she used to make these. Perhaps the name comes from there?

Mythili, that is not for you to say, it is for us to observe!

Simsim, thanks and welcome! Montana is gorgeous! You must have had a splendid childhood! I took a long time to buy a slow cooker; now I have two. The large one for meats and soups and the small one for mulled wine.

If you're going to make chavde for your son, then I'd like to suggest not including the coconut powder in the filling unless you know that he likes coconut. Let me know how it works out, if you do try them!

Vineela, thank you and the same to you and your family! You made a superb spread for the occasion! Wow!

Shankari, that was precisely why my husband registered at the drive at the Lemont Temple. They said they had very few Indian donors. He gave a blood sample, I think, and they have his details with them. We received something from them recently so they have our new address, too. I hope something comes up soon for the little girl. I am including her in our prayers every day when we do the aarti. She is adorable and should not have to suffer this way.

Anonymous said...

Hmm lovely. I made modak too ( 21)and will write a post about that as well.

Anonymous said...

deccanheffalump, great to have you here! Ukadiche modak? Wow! Looking forward to the recipe and the significance of the number 21.

Anonymous said...

Wow, these look delicious! Also, I really really want to try your lime pickle. I think we get plenty of sun here in Florida, but I hope it's not too humid.

Also - I hope you don't mind - I tagged you for the "Five Things to Eat Before You Die" meme that's going around. I was curious to see what you'd say! :-)

Anupama said...

Manisha, i must say you have taken great effort for ganesh chaturthi. I did not do anything this year. Infact ganesh chaturthi was on a weekend and went sight-seeing with my parents who are currently in UK. My mother is going to make modak in a couple of days.

Anonymous said...

hi manish

thnks for ur concern.i hv try to rectify my mistake.i had no intention to take credit of others.


Anonymous said...

Faith, I had no clue you had a blog! And what a treat it was to read your posts! Thanks for the tag; I'll get to it after Labor Day - I have visitors coming in from California tonight. I hope that is OK!

As for the lime pickle, the only thing you will need to worry about it the humidity. Make sure that the jar is air-tight and when you open it up to stir it, make doubly sure that the spoon or spatula you are using to stir is very dry. Shut it as soon as possible to limit exposure to humid air and ensure that it is air-tight again. My sister makes this in Bombay, and her verandah (deck) is right on the ocean. So I think you should be OK!

Anupama, this is our first Ganesh Chaturthi since we moved to Louisville. Before, in Chicagoland, I didn't need do anything. Seriously! One of my closest friends always had a pooja or a satsang or some sort of celebration for just about every occasion in the Hindu Calendar! The Lemont Temple was also within a half hour's drive. We got all the wonderful prasad, we sang, we danced and the kids got a load of culture with it all. It's different now. The temple is over an hour away and there are hardly any other folks who celebrate festivals such as this. Therefore...

Have a great time with your parents! Nothing is more important than that!

Prajakta, thank you for your comment and I am happy that you took my comments in the right spirit. Kudos to you!

We all take inspiration from one another; we share recipes and our experiences. We cook foods that others may have blogged or from books, and display the results on our blogs. However, we give credit to the source, be it a recipe or a photo or an image. Please take the time to acknowledge your sources. I believe you still have some editing left to do.

Krithika said...

Delicious !! Your thali looks mouth-watering. Love your ganesha idol, lamp and bell.

Anonymous said...

Manisha, thanks! I look forward seeing what you choose - you always put up such great recipes.

I will try the lime pickle and be careful of the humidity. I can hardly wait to try homemade lime pickle!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

I used your Turkey Kheema recipie and it turned out delicious!..even though I used a little too much of oil :)

Your blog is excellent for single working guys like me..! Hope to use some more useful recipies in the near future!

Keep it up and Bon Appetit!

Manjusha Nimbalkar said...

hey Manisha,

Chavde looks so good and so do that varan bhat thali.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Manisha,
I have a question regarding an Indian dessert I had once in a cultural diversity class in college. It was similar to a rice krispie bar, but with puffed wild rice. It was amazing. I've tried searching on the internet, but cannot locate anything, most likely because I cannot remember the name of it. Any idea?

Anonymous said...

Krithika, that's my special Ganesh murti. I've had it for years now. The lamp dates back to the 1950s - I think. It is a registered design from someone called D.L. Khedekar. The bell is a Buddhist bell that you can get at Bombay Stores (previously called Bombay Swadeshi) near CST (previously VT) in Bombay. I have gifted that bell to many of my friends. It has that authentic temple like sound. And if you get the wooden stick with it and run it around the mouth of the bell, it makes the deep resonating sound of Aum.

Faith, for some reason when I take time off work, everyone puts in extra hours and I have a phenomenal backlog to work through! I will get to it this week. Let me know if you try the lime pickle. My visitors loved both my pickles but preferred the lime pickle. They left with a little jar of the lime pickle. I must make more while the sun shines!

Saurabh, welcome! I'm thrilled you like the Turkey Kheema recipe. My daughter used to call it Sloppy Joe when she was little. Try the turkey burgers next. They're super simple and can be made in a pan, too.

Manju, it was simple yet delicious! Good to know that you are busy!

Anonymous, it sounds like it could be kurmura ladoo. (Kurmura or churmura or mamra is puffed rice). Was it shaped like a bar or was it spherical? It could also be a type of chikki but that is more like a brittle than a rice crispie bar. Let me know if this helps you any!

Anonymous said...

Oh THANK you for responding about the rice treats. I believe that they were bars, cut out of a pan, like rice krispies. But perhaps I will try this link you gave me and it will be similar? great site you have. If you come across anything let me know! Jen

Anonymous said...

Jen, you're most welcome! You can press the mixture into a pan and then cut out bars or squares. It would then be called chikki . The ingredients may vary slightly from those in the ladoo. Here's a picture of one such chikki: kurmura chikki.

YCH said...
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sushilsingh said...
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Indian Food Rocks said...

Yash and sushilsingh and ALL of the marketers for desievite - Please stop spamming my blog with your link drops. Your link drops are not welcome.

Pelicano said...

You made chavde! Congratulations, and happy Ganesh Chaturti to you and your family! I am sorry I'm late in seeing this post.

I recall eyeing up Shilpa's recipe for these; they look so light and crisp and sweet and I think my potential hard work would disappear quickly!

So, til alu with your lime pickle? Good combo to try? I discovered a really good combo recently: had an old friend staying with me recently and he's quite fond of hard-boiled eggs at breakfast. With ketchup, sliced on toast. So...I thought I'd try it with one of my Desi tomato pickles instead of!

Chitra said...

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you and your family! We had a short pooja at home and also prayed for the families of all those lost on
9/11. I visit your blog often, but am ashamed to say, I have not yet left a comment! Love the way you write and have tried out a few recipes too! I tried out the Chavde today, as it is Ganesh Chaturthi. They were good...really good! My normally fussy husband has eaten so many, I've lost count. I followed all your instructions exactly (including setting up the stations)...thank you for being so precise. Finally, I too can say....I made Chavde!