Prayed at this Ganpathy, (the remover of obstacles) temple.
The temple’s plan is unique but perplexed me.
People have to get down from their buses, cars or whatever, access from the road leading to a big platform, go down a considerable number the stairs, walk quite a distance, to again go up the stairs to reach the shrine on a bigger platform. Sculpted and carved out of a white marble, the idol is pretty small in size. Temple is spacious surrounded on the sides by an artificial pond which is full of water lilies with broad leaves.
There are vendors on the platform selling tidbits. Noticed a senior citizen wiping dust off a weighing machine charging rupees two to read each person’s weight, a decent way to earn his livelihood in old age. Myself being a senior citizen at 62, wished to help him in some way. I weighed 70 Kgs in Nov., 2015 after which i had no opportunity to check my weight not that i am weight conscious either. His verdict, i weighed 65 Kgs. I asked if it was 68? After all i had been getting in and out of this bus to see so many places in 1 day and may have lost at least 2 Kgs in the bargain! He said it was 65! Not sure if it was right, but maybe to please me he reduced 3 kgs! Some girls were offering him a packet of Peda, while i paid him his charges to visit the lily pond below.
Peda is one among popular offerings made to Gods in this part of India, it’s a traditional Indian sweet, made by mixing of refined powdered sugar and milk solids, cardamom, nutmeg, butter or clarified butter in a certain proportion, processed on low heat with continuous stirring of the mixture until it becomes almost dry and quickly pinched into bite sized roundels. Very tasty and available in flavors such as cardomom and saffron besides plain ones. Pedas can be made instantly with condensed milk and in no time using the microwave.
Below picture shows lily buds in the pond at Siddhi Vinayak Temple, Pune.
Dassana an Indian cooking enthusiast who experiments has shared his microwave recipe for instant Peda which is reproduced below with picture.
- 200 gms sweetened condensed milk – half a can of condensed milk
- ½ tbsp ghee or butter
- ¾ cup milk powder
- a pinch of saffron/kesar
- a pinch of nutmeg powder/jaiphal powder
- 3-4 green cardamoms/hari elaichi/choti elaichi
- mix the condensed milk, milk powder and ghee/butter in a microwave safe bowl.
- make sure there are no lumps.
- crush the cardamoms in a mortar-pestle to a fine powder. discard the peels.
- microwave on high for one minute.
- add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron strands.
- stir and microwave on high for one minute. remove and stir again.
- microwave for 30 seconds on high and check.
- if the mixture looks a bit liquid, microwave again for 30 seconds on high. the mixture would thicken.
- it took me exact 3 minutes on high power to get the right consistency.
- if the mixture still has moisture and is liquidity, then microwave again on high for 15 to 30 seconds more.
- when the mixture becomes mildly hot or warm, shape into small balls.
- the mixture is sticky, so apply some oil or ghee while shaping into small balls.
- once cooled, store the milk pedas in an air tight box in the refrigerator.
- serve the milk pedas or doodh pedas when required.