Paan-flavoured modaks, chocolate modaks, strawberry modaks, and even modak-flavoured cakes - the ongoing 11-day Ganesh festival is witnessing a unique spread as customers seek variety in their sweet offerings to the Elephant God.
This year, several halwais such as MM Mithaiwala and Chandu Halwai have introduced a chocolate twist to the traditional modaks. "The trends are changing, and the younger generation wants to try new varieties of modaks," said Jasdeep Singh, general manager of MM Mithaiwala, which also sells the traditional modaks made from mawa, coconut and dry fruits. MM Mithaiwala has also introduced sugar-free modaks for those who cannot indulge their sweet tooth.
Amore Gourmet Gelato, an Italian ice-cream brand, is offering modak-flavoured cakes at several of its city outlets. "Modak is the season's favourite sweet, and we wanted to be part of the celebrations," said city director Yasser Ali. "We started this concept in 2009 when we realized the need to adapt to cultural events in India," he said. The festive cakes are available in outlets at Bandra, Powai, Ghatkopar, Malad and Andheri, and a one-kg cake costs Rs800.
Neeru Mehra, who runs a confectionery service from her Kemps Corner residence, has introduced strawberry and blueberry modaks, gold-plated modaks, chocolate fudge modaks, and even paan-flavoured modaks. "Customers are always looking for more variety and innovative packaging," said Mehra, who has been running her home business for 28 years.
However, some halwais claim that traditional modaks are still the most popular. Panshikar Mithai Kendra in Dadar swear by their mawa modaks with more than four tonnes sold at their store every Ganesh festival. "We get a lot of orders for our mawa modaks and we don't find the time to make new varieties," said owner Sanjeev Panshikar.
"Though we introduce new varieties every year, it the traditional mawa modaks that customers buy in bulk," said Kishori Lal, manager at Chandu Halwai.