Every year, at this time, we eagerly await visit of our beloved guest, Ganesha. No guest leaves my home without relishing my food. And Ganesh Utsaav is incomplete without Modak.
Till date, if anyone ask me what’s my favorite sweet, my instanteneous response is Modak. Modaks are must for Ganesh Chaturti, my Ganapati Bappa’s favorite food and my kids absolutely devour them.
Modaks are basically steamed rice dumplings with a coconut and jaggery filling in them. This recipe is unique because you need to cook the dough twice. Rice flour is very dense hence Needs extra round of cooking. First round of cooking happens with Ukad, where rice flour is added in boiling water and mixed well and made in a dough.In the second round of cooking, the Modaks are filled, molded, and then steamed.
The traditional way of eating Modak are by splitting them and releasing ghee over them, so they don’t stick to your throat.
However, like me, most people like them plain without the ghee.
Yields: 11-12 servings.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Molding time: 10 minutes
Steaming time: 15 minutes
Skill level: Advanced
You will need:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp of ghee( for vegan recipe substitute with vegetable oil)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup fresh grated cocount
- 1/2 cup jaggery
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Steaming basket
- 1 tbsp of oil for greasing hands
You may steam the Modak on a banana leaf, it gives a sweet aroma to the Modak’s (optional).
You can use Modak molds as well.
Place a pot on low flame, add jaggery.
Once Jaggery starts to melt add grated coconut and mix well. Be careful not to overcook the mix.
Add cardamom powder to it.
Keep aside. Let it cool completely.
How to make dough:
- Get water to boil, add a pinch of salt and ghee.
- Lower the flame, add all the flour at once and continuously stir the mixture till it comes together and looks lumpy.
- Switch off the flame. Cover and keep for 5 minutes.
- Empty all the mixture in a large plate or bowl and start kneading the dough while it’s hot. Do not add water to the dough. You can periodically immerse your hands in water so it’s easy to handle the hot dough.
- Knead till dough is smooth and pliable.
- Make small balls of the dough approximately 1” balls.
- Apply a little oil on your palms and fingers.
- Flatten the ball to form a disk. With gentle pressure start forming an cup with the help of your thumb placed in center of the dough and four fingers guiding from outside.
- Once the cup is formed add the coconut filling and start folding and pinching the edges of the dough. (About 5-6 time)
Place the pleated cup on one palm and with other hand start closing all the folds in.
Close all the pleats in till you get a pointy tip in the center. Take the excess of.
12. Place the Modak in the steaming basket on a banana leaf, if using one. I am using an antique copper steaming pot. You can use a bamboo or metal steamer. If using a metal steamer, oil it first before placing the modaks.
13. Steam the Modaks for 15-20 minutes.
Modak are ready. You can store them in an airtight container up to one day.