The Better India

Modak, Puranpoli & Laddu: 5 Millet Recipes To Kickstart Your Ganesh Chaturthi!


The rhythmic beats of the dhol and tasha act as alarm clocks, waking the city to the surreal energy of celebrations. Lord Ganesha has arrived. And the city is abuzz with zeal and enthusiasm. As the family gets ready for the morning Puja, an irresistibly sweet aroma permeates the home. Modak: Ganesha’s favourite delicacy.

We eagerly wait to bite into the white dumpling stuffed with jaggery and coconut and steamed to perfection. Add a dollop of ghee on it, and let the feast begin.

Here’s a kickstart for your journey towards a healthy diet. Buy your choice of millet grains, ready-to-make batters or ragi snacks on our shop here.

My mouth is already watering at just the thought of eating steaming hot Modaks, and while I salivate, why don’t you read about the five sweets you must prepare this festive season.

Keeping in mind your health, we have brought together recipes that use millets. But worry not, your sweets are going to be just as delicious and what’s better, healthier! Guilt-free sweet binge? Count me in!

Millet Modak/ Kozhukattai

How could I not begin with a Modak recipe? This pearl millet (bajra) recipe was shared by TBI reader Vijaya Venkatesh, who runs a website called The Millet Table (TMT).

She recently shared a tasty millet breakfast recipe with us which you can read here.

Image Courtesy: Vijaya Venkatesh.


For the dough:

1 cup bajra/Kambu flour

1 cup water

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp salt

For stuffing:

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/2 cup powdered jaggery

1/8 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp ghee (for a vegan version, replace ghee with oil)


Ragi Vermicelli Payasam/ Kheer

Arka Pudota’s YouTube channel, Millet Mantra features amazingly simple recipes featuring the ancient grain. The 15-year-old has uploaded several recipe videos from breakfast to desserts. If you wish to read about him, click on this link. And if you are excited about the Payasam recipe, watch the video.

Ragi Dates Laddu

Image Courtesy: Vijaya Venkatesh.

Another culinary marvel by Vijaya, this laddu recipe is a perfect prasad option. Especially if you are making something in bulk and/or in a short period of time. This recipe takes about 20 minutes for a serving of two people and depending upon the guests you are expecting, you can increase the quantity of each ingredient.

What you will need:

1 and 1/2 cups ragi flour

1 and 1/2 cups deseeded dates

1/2 cup seeds and nuts powder (Choose seeds from flax, melon, cucumber, pumpkin, sunflower and nuts from cashews, pistachio and almonds)

1/4 cup ghee

1 Tsp cardamom powder


Jowar Puranpoli

Representative image. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Known by names like Puranpoli in Maharashtra, Holige in Central Karnataka, Obbattu in North Karnataka and Bobbatlu in Kerala, Goa, Tamil Nadu etc, this dessert is a hot favourite on special occasions. And Ganesh Chaturthi is one of them. This season, make it with jowar (sorghum).


Ingredients you will need:

For the stuffing:

1 cup Bengal gram dal (soaked)

1 cup date syrup

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder

4 cups of water

For the roti/poli:

1 cup jowar flour

½ cup groundnuts or peanuts

½ cup besan flour

¼ cup flaxseed powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

Water as required


For the stuffing:

For the poli:

Preparing the Puranpoli:

Millet Kesari

Image Courtesy: Vijaya Venkatesh.

Vijaya shares her recipe to make the South Indian sweet called Kesari. Traditionally, the sweet is made using rava or sooji. However, she has replaced this ingredient with little millet rava and what’s more, Vijaya says that replacing the ghee with coconut oil will make the recipe vegan too!


1/4 cup little millet

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

1 big pinch of cardamom powder

1 big pinch of kesari colour

3 tablespoon ghee

1.5 tablespoon water for sugar syrup


Recipe sources:
Vijaya Venkatesh/ The Millet Table.
Millet Mantra/ YouTube
Nutrition Science.

You may also like: A Healthy Beginning: 6 Easy & Quick Millet Recipes to Power up Your Breakfast

Feature image source: Wikimedia Commons.

(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)

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