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Modak
Sweet Steamed Dumplings

Lord Ganesh's favorite sweet is the Ukadee che modak. These are like steamed rice (flour) dumplings filled with a mixture of jaggery and coconut.  It is customary to make these on the very first day of this festival. They are very delicate and tender. 

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The above shape is called a "modak" shape. Many pedhas too are shaped like this and sold at this time in many Indian sweet stores. It does take practice to make this delicate dessert. The inside is filled with a coconut and jaggery filling. 

Modak #1

First these special sweets are prepared and offered to god as "naivedya" and then distributed as "prasad" to family and friends.

Prepare the filling first. 

For the filling

2 cup shredded fresh coconut
1 cup jaggery or sugar
1/2 cup a mixture of unsalted pistachios and unsalted cashews.
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 a pinch of cardamom powder
 
To prepare the filling, mix the coconut, milk & jaggery or sugar together and cook on a medium flame. Stir continuously until they are mixed properly. If you are using sugar the mixture will start to caramelize and bubble. Add the cashews and pistachios. Cook for another minute. Lastly ad the cardamom powder. Mix well. Let it cool. Set aside. 

For the outer cover

1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
1 teaspoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon salt

Boil 1 cup of water. When it has reached a steady boil, add ghee, salt and oil. Now immediately add the rice flour and stir quickly so as to remove all lumps. Cover with a lid for some time. Remove the lid & stir again & again, cover again. 

Note : The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry. 

Now remove pan from the heat. Take off all the mixture on a flat plate. Knead it thoroughly while hot. Make a soft dough. Keep covered aside. 

To make the modaks
 
It is best to make the modaks when the dough is slightly warm.
 
Grease the palms of your hands well. Take a ball of dough. Flatten the dough to form a cup shape.  Place about  3/4th teaspoon coconut filling into this cup. Dip thumb & index finger in the oil & make 5-6 small pinches side by side on the outside edges of the cup. Bring them together on top and join to form a peak. Your modak is complete. This should look like a whole garlic pod. .

Place the modak on a pre greased plate. 

Make the rest of the modaks. Place them on a pre-greased plate. Steam for about 15 minutes. Serve with ghee.

   Back to Festival of Ganesh Chathurti  

Ukadi Che Modak #2

2 cups of rice flour
2 1/2 cups of water
A pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 cup grated fresh coconut
1 cup of jaggery
2 tablespoons raisin
2 tablespoons cashew nut - chopped
1 tea spoon cardamom - grinded

Preparation of the filling:

Put 1 tablespoon of ghee in a kadhai and heat it. Fry the chopped cashew nut till it becomes golden brown. Remove from the kadhai. Put the kadhai on the gas stove again and put the grated coconut and jaggery into it. Mix well till the coconut becomes soft and till the jaggery melts and well blend with the coconut. When the mixture is well cooked and becomes quite dry, take off the kadhai from the heat Allow the mixture to cool. After cooling add the raisins, fried cashew nut and the cardamom powder to the coconut and jaggery mixture. Mix well. The filling is ready.

Preparation of the modak:

Now for the modak heat 2 cups of water in a vessel. Add salt to the water. As the water starts boiling, add rice flour to the water. Lower the flame. Mix well. See that lumps are not formed. It should be a smooth paste. If you find the mixture is becoming too dry add the remaining 1/2 cup of water Keep the vessel on the gas stove till the rice flour is cooked. Take the cooked dough from the vessel and put on a wet cloth. Cover the dough with the cloth and mash it with any metal tumbler base. This will make the dough softer. 

Rub little ghee on you palms and take small portion of the hot dough. Make a ball out of it. At one portion, press the ball with your finger to make a ditch into the ball. From inside the ditch press side-wise to make a small round vessel-kind thing out of the ball. Put 2 teaspoons of the filling in the small vessel-shaped dough. Merge all the sides of the vessel to make in the shape of a fresh fig. Take a colander spread little ghee in it. Place the modak in it. 

Make such 10-12 modak out of the remaining dough and place all in the colander. Place the modak in such a way that they don't touch one another. Take a big vessel. Pour 4 glasses of water in it. Put the vessel on the heat. As the water starts boiling, cover the vessel with the colander full of modak. Now cover the colander with a tight lid so that the steam should not come out from anywhere. The modak should be steamed for 10 minutes. Serve hot modak with a teaspoon of ghee on it.

 





 
 
 

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