Food Bytes: Top Four Places For The Yummiest Traditional Foodie Delights This Ganesh Chaturthi

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Having been born and raised in Dadar, at the very vortex of the city’s Maharashtrian bastion, I truly consider myself a pseudo Marathi manoos who loves his usal pav and kothambir vadi with manic gusto. And this obsession with traditional Maharashtrian nosh reaches a fevered crescendo during the Ganesh Chaturthi festive season as I get to indulge in the festive goodies that take the shape of the sweet dim sum-like silken skinned ukadiche modak, soft puran polis, crunchy shankarpallis and my all time favourite rawa laddus among scores of others. But knowing where to get the best sweets and savories in this megalopolis is something of an insider’s secret that I am only too happy to share with you all today as we come close to the first day of the festival. So, here are four of my all-time favourite places dishing out Ganesh Chaturthi festive goodies that I’m sure Lord Ganesha himself would only be too happy to approve of!
Rawa Laddu
Rawa Laddu
Panshikar Not to be confused with the restaurant Panshikar Aahar at Girgaum, this Dadar place is all about the sweets. And these guys just know how to put the ‘F’ into festivity with their mindboggling range of goodies that take the form of velvety doodhi halwa, soft rawa laddus and unctuous shreekhand. This was, is and will be the place that my entire family flocks to whenever we have a celebration that needs sweetening, with their special kesar pedas that literally melt in your fingers as you try to pop them into your eager mouth. For Ganesh Chaturthi they do the special steamed ukadiche modak that they very sternly ration out in one dozen packs so that all get a chance to partake in its coconut and jiggery goodness, all enveloped in a rice flour blanket of deliciousness. Where: NC Kelkar Rd, Dadar West. Call, 09322232155
Modakam
Modakam
Modakam As the name suggests, this is the go-to place for Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweet—modaks. Located right next to the city’s most popular Ganesh temple, the Siddhi Vinayak Mandir, Modakam’s giant modak adorning its store front is an inviting icon. Although their soft ukadiche modaks are available through out the year, the festive season sees a virtual frenzy unfold at their doors with customers thronging the pace for their bite of divinity. But be warned, make sure you get there early and place your order, or you might have to be turned away due to them being sold out! Where: 8/1, Kamana Co-operative Society, RSBK Bhole Marg, Prabhadevi. Call, 022 30401011
Aaswad
Aaswad
Aaswad With everything from the Maharashtrian milk pudding called kharvas to puran polis to doodhi halwa available here, Aaswad is a haven for the lover of simple home-style sweets and savouries. The obligatory wait outside on the footpath for a table here is well-worth it when you tuck into a plate of gajar halwa or bite into a modak that I guarantee you will never forget the taste of. During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival, they also take orders for their special kesari ukadiche modaks that need to be booked way in advance. And while you’re there, don’t miss out on imbibing in a tall glass of milky piyush. Where: LJ Road, Shivaji Park, Gadkari Chowk, Dadar West. Call, 022 24451871/76
Ukadiche Modak
Ukadiche Modak
Ladoo Samrat With a moniker like ‘King of Laddus’ and located a stone’s throw away from the legendary Lalbaugcha Raja’s pandal, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the folks at Ladoo Samrat know their laddus inside out! But strangely, they are more well-known for their fasting food items called farali jhevan and other festive savouries like the leafy aluvadi, kothambir vadi, usal pav and thalipith that are a must for Ganesh Chaturthi. Among the sweets, they do a very tasty kharvas, doodhi halwa and malpua that though not traditional festive fare, is a nice spin on the regular sweets. Where: Shop No 1/2, Ground Floor, Habib Terrace, Dr Ambedkar Road, Lalbaug, Parel. Call, 022 24710127 A few pictures of the dishes may be for representational purposes only. Pics courtesy: www.soogran.com, www.festivals.iloveindia.com, www.wonderwoman.intoday.in, www.lifestyle.sulekha.com, www. finelychopped.net, www.justdial.com

Raul Dias

Raul Dias
Lists travel, food and luxury as the tantalizing trifecta that defines him. When he’s not travelling, eating or getting pampered at a spa, you'll find him assaulting his notebook's keyboard with a feral vengeance, churning out what he hopes are intelligent, informative and entertaining stories.