Type of food—Dumpling
Place of origin—India
Main Ingredients—Rice flour, or wheat and maida flour, coconut, jaggery
Modak is a sweet dumpling popular in Western, Eastern and Southern India.
The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the soft shell is made from rice flour or whear flour mixed with khava or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed.
Modak is having a special importance in the worship of the Hindu God Ganesh. It is believed to behis favorite food, which begets him, the moniker ‘ModakaPriya’ (the one who likes modak) in Sanskrit. During the Ganesh worship ceremony, known in India as Ganesh Chaturthi the puja always concludes with an offering of twenty-one modaks to the diety as Prasad.
Story behind Modak
It is believed in India that Modak was first food given to Lord Ganesha after his birth, by his mother Devi Parvathi, and kept him as a gatekeeper out of her room when she was going for Abyangana Snan. From that day onwards it is said that Lord Ganesha is fond of Modak and is the reason to worship him with modak on his birth day ‘Vinayak Chaturdhi’.
Modak is traditionally made from rice flour and jaggery. However, one can also use wheat flour.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the stuffing
- 1 bowl grated coconut
- 1/2 bowl sugar
- 1/2 bowl jaggery
- Dry fruits (almonds,raisins, pistachio, cashews) as per your choice
- 2 to 3 tsp pure ghee
- A pinch of kesar, cardamom and nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp poppy seeds (khas khas)
- 2 tsp mawa (optional)
For the cover
- 2 bowls rice flour
- A pinch of salt
- 2 tsp of oil or ghee
- Hot water as per requirement
For the cover
- Boil water.
- Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of ghee to the flour and mix it thoroughly.
- Add 1 tsp of ghee in the boiling water.
- Add the dough to the boiling water. Lower heat. Mix well.
- Cover the vessel keep it for 5 minutes on low flame to let the rice cook.
- Knead the dough into a smooth paste without lumps.
For the stuffing
- Heat ghee in a pan. Add poppy seeds and saute for a minute.
- Add grated coconut, sugar, jaggery (broken into small pieces or grated), cardamom and nutmeg powder and all dry fruits. Mix thoroughly.
- Cook till all moisture from the sugar and jaggery begins to dry.
- It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the mixture to dry on low flame.
- Do not overcook as it will harden up and lose its taste.
- Stir every 2 to 3 minutes till it turns golden yellow.
- You can add more ghee if the stuffing becomes too dry.
Making the Modaks
- Apply pinch of oil/ghee on your palms and make small balls of the dough.
- Flatten it to give it the shape of a katori or cone.
- Press the edges of the katori-shaped dough with slight pressure at every 1 inch distance.
- The edges of the katori will now look like the petals of the flower.
- Put some stuffing in the katori and close the ends to give them a shape like fresh figs or momos.
- Take a leaf of banana or a soft cloth like muslin, and apply bit oil/ghee on it and place it in the steamer pan.
- Place all the modaks on the leaf or cloth and close the lid.
- Steam it for 5 to 6 minutes and turn off the flame.
- Your delicious modaks are ready to be served.
Tip: Do not over steam the modaks, else they will become hard.
For Fried Modaks
- Instead of steaming the stuffed modaks, heat oil in the frying pan and deep fry the modaks on low or medium flame till they turn golden brown from all sides.
Other forms of Modak:
- Kaju modak
- Khava modak
- Anjir modak
- Churma modak
- Chocolate modak
- Coconut modak
Modak is also rich in calcium. It also contains some amount of sodium, iron, vitamin A etc. Coconut stuffing, especially, is rich in calories, carbohydrates and saturated fats. Addition of ghee or coconut milk further increases its calorie and fat content.
It can be a good dish for those who want to gain weight but those who are on weight loss diet, beware… Excessive consumption of Modak will ruin your goals! Moderation is the key!! Enjoy Modak with a good amount of exercise!!!
“Worship Lord Modakapriya with these delicious modaks, fulfil your wishes”.
Jai Bolo Ganesh Maharaj Ki Jai