Have your ‘modak’ and eat it too!

Depending on the festival you celebrate, the ‘mithai’ associated with it is always a classic treat for all, and Ganesh Chaturthi means Ladoo/Modak season, a sweet treat which is Lord Ganesha’s favorite!!

The pot-bellied elephant god has arrived and he has brought tons and tons of ‘modak’ with him. Ladies and gentlemen, it is an exotic sweet, a piece of art, as not everyone can mold a modak! If you are the type who likes vintage wine, then you should really care about modak because the first reference to this delicacy dates as far back as the Mahabharat. A modak is made of rice flour, coconut, jaggery and is eaten with huge helpings of ghee. This makes it low/medium on glycemic index and high on nutrients. And if you are worried about coconut and ghee, know that even the USFDA is now on the same page as the Mahabharata and feels that modak must be celebrated. But then every Federal guideline for heart and public health has the burden of sounding scientific. As for all those who want to go sugar-free or add a low-calorie sweetener in the modak, know that the same USFDA is also saying since April 2015 that sweeteners should not be promoted for weight-loss or even blood sugar control.

Weight-loss obsession hasn’t taken away the sheen from our festivals, but has surely managed to cast a dark cloud over our traditional desserts. Take the modak, for example. It’s a traditional sweet made of rice dumplings filled with a coconut and jaggery mixture, sealed with ghee and steamed over boiling water, wrapped in a banana leaf. Now, as the modak is made using local ingredients at home, it is delicious and has all the virtues that make it “fattening”. At least that’s what the weight loss industry tells us. But Ganapati, who has a strong reputation as the the remover of obstacles, loves the modak because he sees it as a nutrient-filled, antioxidant, fibre-rich, low-on-the-glycemic index offering. The coconut and ghee provide a good combination of omega 3,6,9 fats, just perfect to mobilize fatty acids from stubborn fat areas. The jaggery and rice combination works at steadying the blood sugars, ensuring a slow release of all the nutrients in your blood stream, and a calmer state of mind. The virtues of the modak, along with the therapeutic nutrients from the banana leaf, don’t get marketed in your face like the gluten-free cake. But they work for your digestion, health, weight loss—and the taste is pure bliss!!

‘Modak’ and why you must eat it – 

Devotee – because it is Ganpati’s favorite.
Blood pressure – Medium chain tri-glycerides in the coconut have a heart protecting and BP reducing effect.
Cholesterol – the plant sterols found in coconut and the dry fruit stuffing helps reduce the LDL and improves HDL levels.
Diabetic – The rice, coconut, jaggery steamed cooked and eaten with ghee is medium to low on glycemic index and completely SAFE, actually beneficial for a steady blood sugar response.
Arthritis – The butyric acid found in ghee is a traditional therapy for reducing inflammation in every tissue of the body, more specifically in the joints.
Thyroid – Celebrated as an anti-ageing mixture, this is one delicacy that your thyroid gland will thank you for
Trying to lose weight – Medium to low on glycemic index, full of good fat, nutritionally there is just no reason for you to avoid it. In scriptures celebrated as a food for virya – means both vigor in the body and stability in the mind.

So eat guilt free!


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