Ganesh Chaturthi is almost here and most sweet shops in the city are preparing to make Ganpati’s favourite sweet in mass quantities, as they will start receiving bulk orders from homes and mandals in the next few days. However, most sweet shops have decided to stock up on ample of sugar-free modaks in different varieties as compared to their regular varieties.
According to most of them, demand for sugar-free modaks is more in Navi Mumbai as compared to the rest of the city.
Owner of a popular sweetmeat shop said, “Most people from Navi Mumbai seem to be more calorie conscious than people from other pockets of the city and hence go for sugar-free modaks during Ganpati. The calorie-conscious customers include elderly people, who probably are suffering from diabetes and youngsters as well.”
“However, the budget factor also plays a role. One kilogram of normal kaju modak will cost Rs650, whereas its sugar-free version will cost Rs1,100 per kg. The difference is that huge,” said Bajaj.
During Ganpati, the shop keeps a variety of modaks to woo the customers such as kesar, kaju, rice and coconut modaks and their sugar-free versions as well.
“We use splenda, a low-cal sugar substitute in those sweets. Not just it makes them calorie-free, it also has at least 60 per cent less calories than their normal counterparts,” said Bajaj.
Ram Surat, manager of Karachi Sweets, too, agreed that there is a demand for such modaks. “We will start stocking up on such modaks in the next few days. However, the only sugar-free version we usually keep is the anjir modak,” he said.
Sugar-free modaks during this season, salvage many from the pangs of guilt.
“During Ganeshotsav, we invariably put on weight, as it is impossible to control eating the assorted varieties of modaks that are brought to our house. Moreover, my parents are diabetics, so it can affect their severely,” said Rajiv Mangudkar, a Navi Mumbai resident, who brings home Ganpati every year. Mangudkar said he would not make having sugar-free modaks a habit. “We will have it only during the Ganpati festival,” said Mangudkar.
Dr Shashank Joshi, president of Indian Academy of Diabetics, however, doesn’t recommended having such modaks. “I would always recommend having normal modaks and then burn off the extra calories by working out. Sugar-free modaks are not better in any way, instead they can have several side effects. They can affect a person’s system to a great extent,” said Joshi.