The modak is an offering to Lord Ganesha, and is also distributed as prasad during the festival.
But with more and more families not getting the time to prepare it nor knowing the recipe, homemakers have found a way to make money, preparing modaks and other traditional delicacies for families during the season.
Various types of modak are available in the market, but the original Ukadiche modak, prepared from rice, requires skill and time. Now, working women are ordering the delicacy from shops or women’s groups.
Suvarna Ketan Durve, residing at Durve Niwas, Dombivli, has been in this business for the last ten years. The wife of ex-ETV reporter and corporator Ketan Durve, Suvarna has been in this business for 10 years.
“I work throughout the year and earn more than any average working woman,” she says.
Currently more than 25 groups are involved in this business, with the Mahila Bachat Gut (Woman Saving Groups) joining it recently.
Durve’s business is not restricted to Ganeshotsav, with orders for foods such as puran poli, laddu and aalu vadas piling up during the month of Shravan. “During the Ganpati festival, people order ukadiche modak, chiwada and besan laddus. I have now completed around 15 orders, with many more coming in.” Her group wakes up by 5.00am to start work on the orders.
“Ten years back, we would sell the modaks at Rs 2 per piece, but now we sell it for Rs8 to 15. Earlier we were using the Ambe-Mohar rice, but some want modaks from basmati rice, and some with dry fruits.”
“We charge them accordingly,” she adds.