Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi, the birthday of an elephant headed idol so adoringly worshipped in greater parts of India. The name "Ganesh Chaturthi" rings the same spell for Maharasthrians as Durga Puja does to Bengalis. Throughout Maharasthra, in the sanctum of one's home or the pompously decorated outdoor pandals, prayers are offered to the deity. It's a huge festival lasting up to ten days that brings people from all corners of India closer, irrespective of religion, creed and caste. Muslims take active participation in arranging the puja, same way as we have witnessed pujos taking place in some Muslim predominated areas in Kolkata.
In celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi, one of my hubby's colleagues who is a Marathi by origin held a small pujo in his home giving foodies like us a momentous opportunity to dig in with pleasure. Of the many delicacies, the sweet dish called 'modak' struck my taste bud precisely, reminding me of puli pithes with coconut stuffing inside soaked in milk that is very popular in Bengal. Through the discussion on Ganesh Festival, many a thing that was hitherto unknown to me came to my knowledge, making my heart yearn for actively partaking in the jubilation and excitement involving the festivity. I have seen visuals of the celebration being covered in news channels over the house of Bollywood celebrities celebrating the occasion in the most grandiose way possible, but have never witnessed the fervour myself.
My Mumbai and Pune stay were so short that I never got to spend a day of Ganesh Chaturthi there. I swear once I return to my country, I would definitely like to take a trip down to Maharashtra to see the madness through my eyes.
About the dish, keema is basically a dish cooked with minced meat. Since the following egg curry is concocted in a similar fashion of a keema curry, the dish has become popularly known as egg keema. For my own convenience I have finely chopped the eggs instead of grating as eggs sometimes crumble haphazardly under pressure of a grater.
Ingredients: Cooking time: 20 minutes
ü 8 hard-boiled eggs (peeled and chopped)
ü 1 large onion (chopped)
ü 3 tomatoes (pureed)
ü 1/2 cup green peas (frozen)
ü 4-5 green chillies (chopped)
ü 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
ü 1 inch stick of ginger (chopped)
ü 1 heaped tsp turmeric powder
ü 1 heaped tsp kashmiri red mirch
ü 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
ü 1 heaped tsp coriander powder
ü 1 tsp garam masala powder
ü Salt to taste
ü 2 tsp sugar
ü Coriander leaves, for garnishing (chopped)
ü White oil for cooking
ü 2 green cardamoms
ü 4 cloves
ü 1 inch cinnamon stick
ü 1 bay leaf
ü 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2) Then add chopped ginger and garlic and shallow fry. Add onion and fry till onion changes color.
3) Add green chillies and tomato puree. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and kashmiri red mirch. Bhunao or sauté the ingredients for some time till the spices combine into a heady flavour with oil floating on the surface.
4) Add salt, sugar, green peas and 1/4 cup of water. Bring the gravy to a boil. Toss in the chopped eggs. Mix well.
5) Sprinkle garam masala powder and simmer away the curry, covered, for 2-3 minutes.
6) Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or chapati.