As Maharashtra prepares for its most loved God to come home, we at Chatore Dairies thought of giving you a quick lowdown into the making of Ganpati Bappa’s most favourite mithai: The Modak!
In Maharashtra they are referred to as Ukdiche Modak (Steamed Modaks).These modaks stuffed with a decadent filling of fresh coconut and jaggery make for those heavenly melting moments.
We totally love it, and present you with an easy step by step recipe.
Ingredients for the filling
- 1 cup freshly grated coconut
- 1 cup jaggery( remember, the jaggery and the coconut should always be used in equal portions)
- Some green elaichi powder
- Some saffron
Ingredients for the covering
- One cup rice flour
- One cup water
We should get cracking first with the covering, so it can rest for a while, before we begin making our modaks.
The Making of the Covering dough
- In a pan bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water starts boiling, tip in the rice flour.
- Quickly whisk the flour so that no lumps are formed.
- Turn off the heat.
- If at this point you feel you need to add some more water, add a bit. But remember, too much water will make the covering very moist and the modaks might fall apart later, so be very careful.
- Once a rough mound of dough is formed, cover the pan for around 2 minutes.
- Bring out the dough onto a plate and knead with your hands, so you have a very smooth looking mound of dough.
- Cover this dough with a muslin cloth and set aside.
The Making of the Filling
- In a hot kadhai (deep pan), tip in the coconut and the jaggery together.
- Work your ladle through this mixture.
- The flame needs to be on low heat throughout this process.
- The jaggery will begin to melt.
- Keep working your ladle through the mixture till all the jaggery melts and a beautiful brown mixture is formed.
- The texture needs to be slightly coarse.
- Once a smooth kind of texture is formed, turn off the heat.
- Be careful not to overcook the filling, otherwise you might end up with a very hard mixture. We don’t want that.
The Moulding of the Modaks
Now …comes the part which needs a little attention and blessings from Bappa.
A slow and steady hand and following the instructions to the ‘T’ is all that you need to get those beautiful modaks on the other side.
The step by step video should help you through this.
- Grease your hands very well, yes very well.
- Next, generously oil the insides of your mould (saancha).
- Take a blob of the dough, the size of a small lemon.
- Mould it into a round ball.
- Close the mould
- Pop in the dough into the mould.
- Press the dough onto the walls of the mould with your index finger.
- If at this point you feel you need more dough, take another blob, smaller one this time round and pop it in.
- Carefully press all the dough to the walls of the mould
- Pop in a little filling with a spoon.
- Be careful not to stuff too much of the filling, else the modaks might fall apart.
- Take another small blob of dough and seal the opening of the mould.
- Keep the mould closed for a about a minute
- Now carefully, very carefully, open one side and then the others.
- Remove your modak from the last side very gently.
- Check all the sides and use your fingers to seal any open ends
- Follow all of the above steps for all your modaks.
- Some useful tips
- Your hands need to be well oiled throughout the process
- Once you finish with each modak, check the insides of your mould for any dough that may have stuck onto its walls from the previous one. Clean up the insides and oil the walls again after each modak. This is very important.
The Final Step: The Steaming of the Modaks
If you have a steamer, then you could use that. A regular cooker or a deep vessel will work as well.
For the steamer, take a steel sieve and oil it well. Place the modaks one by one on top of the sieve. Place this sieve on top of your steamer.
If you are using a cooker or a deep vessel, fill it with water to 1/3rds of its capacity. Use an inverted sieve that you can perch your thali of modaks on.Grease a steel thali or a vessel with some oil and place your modaks on it.Cover your vessel.If you are using a cooker, cover with the lid without the whistle and invert a katori on top of the whistle vent.There..a natural steamer is ready!
The modaks should be steamed for around 12-15 minutes, not more.
Once you have offered these to Bappa, top them with oodles of hot ghee and enjoy!
Ganpati Bappa Morya!