19th of September, on the morning of Ganesh Chaturthi, we celebrated the birth of Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. I woke up early to make sweets called Karigadubu to offer in gratitude to him. My mom gave me the instructions on how to prepare them.
Recipe for Karigadubu:
I made a tough dough by kneading a cup of maida with a quarter cup of sooji and a pinch of salt. This I prepared the night before as they had to be ready for puja at 7 the next morning.
For the filling, I mixed half a cup of coconut with half a cup of jaggery ,a quarter cup of ground dalia and a teaspoon of cardamom powder.
I pinched out a tiny ball of dough and thinly rolled it. I spooned some filling in the center of the circle of dough; Then I folded the dough over the filling forming a semi-circle; After pressing the edges so as to hold the filling within, I twisted them like the pleats of a Saree. Then I deep-fried the beauties in oil and fished them out after they turned a golden brown in hue.
The simple activity of preparing the sweet, one at a time, folding its edge and dropping it into the pan of oil brought back memories of the times spent at my aunt’s place. The night before Ganesh Chaturthi, almost everyone in the family gathered in a hall turning out hundreds of these karigadubus,chatting and singing hymns, while at it.
I also kept thanking Ganesh for all his blessings; especially the blessing of an ordinary life. I appreciated his placing me in this bountiful country instead of tossing me into a war-ridden Afghanistan or a famished Sierra Leone. I thanked both for the family I was born into and the one I’m blessed with as a result of my marriage. Yes. I drowned in a sea of gratitude that holy morning.
The atmosphere was festive; There was devotional music playing in the background while Prasad performed the ritual of praying and offering the sweets to the Lord with our daughter excitedly helping him out.
Festivals are hard work even though the end result can be bliss and blessings. But we want to do this for Medha; We want her to know and appreciate the beauty of our traditions and the richness of the heritage that she inherits.