Come Ganesh Chaturthi and mounds of red, green, saffron and white moneybag-shaped sweets decorate sweetshop windows. The Elephant God is back in town and so are his favourite sweets — modaks. And while mawa modaks, in all colours and sizes, are omnipresent, Amore presents the real thing with a contemporary twist.
The gelato parlour has introduced Modak flavoured Gelato cakes that combine the goodness of gelato with the traditional coconut and jaggery flavour of the original steamed ukadiche modak.
Maharashtrian chef Shyam Telang has tried to recreate the taste of the traditional ukadiche modak he associates the festival with, since his childhood. The modak gelato cake comprises of a layer of sponge cake at the bottom, a layer of caramelised coconut and frozen gelato above it and is topped with another layer of jaggery-caramelised coconut. The taste of the coconut and jaggery mix add a completely new dimension to the gelato.
Charan Narang, director and GM, Amore Gourmet Gelato Company, says, “Gelato is an Italian ice cream but our sincere effort is to combine it with desi flavours. We try and introduce traditional flavours – like yogurt gelatos for Janamashtmi and paan and thandai flavours for Holi.”
The modak cake is available on 24-hour notice till the end of the festival and is 100 per cent vegetarian. It is priced at Rs 600, as opposed to all their gelato cakes that are priced at Rs 800. The 25 per cent discount, Narang says, is, “Our way of being a part of the celebrations along with our customers. It’s not always about economics after all.”
Besides the gelato-cake version of the traditional sweets, the market is also flooded with a range of modaks from mawa modaks in all kinds of flavours to chocolate modaks and now, even sugar-free modaks.
A hit, at Regal Sweets, in Bandra, Matunga and Punjabi Ghasitamal Sweet Shop across the city, this season are sugar-free modaks. These modaks are flavoured with natural sweetners like dates and figs. The famous Ramanlal Vithaldas & Co, at Fort, is also serving up a variety of diet modaks for diabetics. Devotees, however, feel this is a complete departure from tradition, as Lord Ganesha should ideally be served something sweet.