I’m kicking off Season 2 with a guest post from my dear friend, Meghana! Meghana and I grew up together – we went to the same school – K.G. through high school, then met again as our husbands became buddies…and we got even closer when we both had our babies around the same time.

Meghana lives in the Bay Area with her husband, Kos and their little boy, Neer. On one of our trips to California, I happened to have Meghana’s Chicken Satay – grilled to perfection by Kos.

Inspite of her hectic schedule, she loves keeping our Hindu traditions alive. When Ganpati Bappa visits their home every year, she whips up simple and delicious food for Him … and she makes sure to keep it totally tradional! Check out her easy-to-make traditional menu

ganpati diya

So a few days back, Vasanti asked me if I can contribute my ganpati menu recipes to her blog. I felt so honored and challenged at the same time. With a toddler at home, I am almost always for shortcuts and easy-to-make recipes (or even ready made stuff occassionally) so that I can save time. So making an elaborate meal (which I had not done since last Diwali) was a challenging task. But I took it on, thinking this was my chance! 😉

Ganesh Utsav celebrations at Meghana's

Ganesh Utsav celebrations at the Ghate’s

And what better time than this to do it. Ganesh Chaturthi is a special day for me as it brings back so many fond memories! And like most other festivals in India, it is a food centric festival too with modaks galore (sorry, no recipe from me), and the whole poori-bhaji-koshimbir-bhaat meal! YUM!  I decided to stick to it with a few variations (and less number of dishes)  🙂

Here’s what I made – and don’t worry I had my husband, my son and 2 other friends taste these before I posted the recipes 😉

Bharli Wangi (Stuffed Eggplants)

Kadhi (Spicy Buttermilk)

Batata bhaji (Boiled Potato Stir-fry)

Koshimbir (Cucumber Salad)

Masale Bhaat (this has been covered by Vasanti before, so I won’t repeat the recipe)

Pooris (covered on this website before)

Finished off with some store-bought Motichoor Laddoos 🙂


Stuffed Eggplants

(Microwave Method)

bharli vangi

(1) 8-10 small eggplants
(2) 1 tsp mustard seeds
(3) 1 tbsp oil
(4) 1 tsp each of asofotida and turmeric powder

For the stuffing
(1) 1 medium finely chopped onion and sauteed in a little oil for a few minutes
(2) 2 tbsps fresh grated coconut
(3) 1 tbsp roasted peanut powder
(4) 1 tbsp chopped coriander
(5) 1 tbsp goda masala
(6) salt, chili powder, Jaggery (or sugar) as per taste

(1) Cut the stems of eggplants and give perpendicular slits to each
(2) Prepare stuffing by mixing all the stuffing ingredients above
(3) Stuff the mixture into the slits of the eggplants
(4) Place the stuffed eggplants in a microwave safe bowl in a single layer
(5) Make tadka – heat oil, add mustard seeds and add the asofotida and turmeric powder after the mustard seeds start spluttering
(6) Spread Tadka and 1/2 cup water over the eggplants and cover. Also add any remaining stuffing to the bowl.
(7) Microwave 5 minutes on high power, followed by uncovered for 5 minutes on low power (30%). Let stand for 5 minutes
(5) Remove from microwave and garnish with chopped coriander



(1) 5 cups buttermilk
(2) 2 tbsps besan (gram flour)
(3) 1 tsp cumin seeds
(4) 2 chilis – cut into 3-4 pieces
(5) 1 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
(6) 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
(7) 1 tsp oil
(8) salt, sugar,

(1) If the buttermilk is thick, add some water to it to make it a little thin
(2) Add the besan to the buttermilk and break lumps if any
(3) Add salt and sugar and mix well
(4) Make tadka – heat oil, add cumin seeds and add the asofotida powder, ginger, methi seends and chilis after the cumin seeds start spluttering
(5) Add tadka over the buttermilk mixture and bring it to a boil
(6) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Batata Bhaji

batata bhaji

(1) 5 medium sized potatoes – boiled, peeled and cut into small cubes (you can also mash them if you prefer)
(2) 1 tsp mustard seeds
(3) 1 tsp asofotida powder
(4) 1 tsp turmeric powder
(5) 2 chilis – cut into pieces
(6) 1 tbsp grated ginger
(7) 1 sprig curry leaves
(8) 2 tbsp oil
(9) salt and sugar
(10) chopped coriander for garnish

(1) In a large pan, make tadka – heat oil, add mustard seeds, and then add asofotida and turmeric powder when the seeds start spluttering, followed by chilis, curry leaves and ginger
(2) Add the potatoes and mix so that the tadka coats all the potatoes
(3) Add salt and sugar and mix well
(4) Cook covered for about 5 few minutes, and uncovered for a few more minutes
(5) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves



(1) 2 large chopped cucumbers
(2) 1 tbsp peanut powder
(3) 1 chili – cut into 2-3 pieces
(4) 1 tsp cumin seeds
(5) 1 tsp asofotida
(6) 1 tsp oil
(7) Salt and sugar
(8) Chopped coriander for garnish

(1) Mix the chopped cucumbers, peanut powder, salt and sugar in a bowl
(2) Make tadka – heat the oil, add cumin seeds. When seeds splutter, add asofotida powder and chilis
(3) Spread tadka over the cucumber mixture and mix well
(4) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Masale Bhaat

masale bhaat





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