Anant Chaturdashi food is especially significant since the occasion holds dual meaning for the people of India. While the Anant Chaturdashi is the last day of the Ganapati Utsav which culminates in the Ganapati Bisarjan or immersion of the Ganesha idol into water, it is also an occasion to commemorate the 14 year Vrat Katha dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
A hooded cobra fashioned out of grass (Darbha) is usually worshipped during Anant Chaturdashi. Special Anant Chaturdashi food including the dishes of Gharga and Anarse atre prepared and placed before the grass idol along with a string coated with red kumkum powder. The men tie the sacred string on their right wrists after the puja while the women tie it to their left hands.
Number 14 is particularly significant on this day as it falls on the fourteenth day of the moon with 14 floral decorations being made along with 14 aartis and 14 different Anant Chaturdashi food items being offered to Lord Vishnu. The Vrat has to be kept for 14 years as well.
The fourteenth day of the first fortnight in the month of Bhadra of the Hindu calendar is the day celebrated as Anant Chaturdashi across Northern India and Nepal.
Traditional Anant Chaturdashi Recipes And Anant Chaturdashi Food Menu
Gharga – A hard cookie made of grated pumpkin and jaggery is a traditional Anant Chaturdashi Food.
Ukadee Che Modak –Steamed and sweetened rice dumplings filled with a coconut and jiggery filling are offered as Prasad to Lord Ganesha.
Kheer –A thick rice pudding or a similar milk based sweet is prepared with semolina instead of rice. Jaggery or sugar are the chief sweeteners for this traditional dish prepared in accordance with the Anant Chaturdashi Recipes.
Besan Ke Ladoo- A delicacy prepared as Anant Chaturdashi Food it contains gram flour and ghee shaped into round balls.
Anarse- A hard sweet made with rice flour and shallow fried in ghee, it can be stored for a long time in air tight containers.
Significance Of Anant Chaturdashi Recipes
14 different Anant Chaturdashi Food items are prepared and placed before the idols of Ganesha as well as the snake on this day. The dishes are usually hard sweets with the Ukadee Che Modak being prepared in all households across Maharashta and Karnataka as it is considered to be a favorite of Lord Ganesha.
Customary Ways To Serve And Eat Anant Chaturdashi Food
• Some women folk across the country observe a fast on this day as they pray for opulence and hope to retrieve their lost wealth.
• Maharashtrians worshipping Lord Ganesha do not usually fast on the occasion with every household distributing and preparing sweets according to the traditional Anant Chaturdashi Recipes.