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Lord Ganesha is always portrayed with a sweet in his hand. It is a sweet dumpling called Modak , which is believed to be his favourite sweet. “Ganesh chaturthi” marks the birth of Lord Ganesha and modak forms the integral part of this festival.
Modak is popular in Western and Southern India. This sweet dumpling has different names –
With different name plates, Modaks are of different types too...
This traditional sweet dumpling has taken a modern twist today with innovative fillings –
RECEIPE FOR THE TRADITIONAL STEAMED MODAKS:
For the traditional steamed modaks, we need the dough and the fillings
Ingredients – 2 cups of rice flour
Preparation – Take 2 cups of water and boil well in a non-stick pan with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of oil. As the water boils, add the flour and keep stirring simultaneously for 5 minutes. Do not allow lumps to form. Take a wet white cloth and spread it over a plate. Empty the hot cooked flour on to it and tie up to a bundle and keep it aside for sometime. This will keep the flour free from lumps.
1. Coconut fillings:
Ingredients – 1 cup of grated coconut,
¾ cup powdered jaggery,
Preparation – In a pan, add a small ladle of water and heat. Add jaggery and let it dissolve. Once the water begins to boil and the syrup thickens and froths up, add coconut gratings. Keep stirring over slow fire. Cook till the water is fully absorbed and the filling becomes sticky. Remove from the fire and add cardamom powdered and let it cool.
2. Gingelly seeds fillings:
Ingredients – ½ cup of gingelly seeds,
1/2 cup powdered jaggery,
Preparation – Fry the gingelly seeds for a little while in a pan and make a powder of the same. Mix powdered jaggery , powdered cardamom and powdered gingelly seeds together well.
3. Dhal fillings:
Ingredients – ¼ cup red gram dhal (toor ) or Green gram dhal (Moong )
a small ball of jiggery,
2-3 teaspoons of coconut grated,
Preparation - Half cook the dhal in water. Remove from the fire and drain the water. Crush the dhal in a churner. Add ½ cup water in a pan and add the jiggery and allow it to dissolve. Add the coconut gratings and the powdered dhal and cook till the water evaporates. Add the cardamom powder , mix well and remove from the fire and let it cool.
4. Chocolate fillings:
Ingredients - 1/4th cup chocolate syrup
½ cup grated chocolate
3/4th cup desiccated coconut
Preparation - mix together the coconut, chocolate syrup and grated chocolate
5. Almond fillings:
Ingredients - 1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup jaggery
1 -2 tsp cardamom powder
Preparation – Add a little water in a pan and heat it . Add the powdered jaggery and allow it to dissolve. Add ground almonds and stir the mixture together till jaggery melts and forms a uniform mixture with almonds. Remove from heat and add cardamom powder. Mix well.
PREPARATION OF MODAK
Without the modak mould:-
Take the dough from the white cloth bundle and knead well. Grease your palms with a little oil. Take a lump of dough and shape it nicely like a cup. Fill it up with a little of one of the aforesaid fillings and close it giving the shape of a modak.
With the modak mould-
Grease a modak mould using very little ghee . Take a portion of the dough, press it into the cavity of the modak mould till it is evenly lined on all the sides. Fill the dough cavity with a little of one of the fillings. Take a smaller portion of the dough and spread it evenly at the base of the modak mould so as to seal the filling. Demould the modak from the modak mould.
Finally Steaming the modak -
Prepare all the modaks (generally 11 or 21 modaks are prepared as Prasad for the Ganesh chathurti). Place a steamer plate in a steamer and place a banana leaf on it. Moisten all the modaks with little water using your finger tips. Place 11 modaks on the banana leaf and steam on a medium flame for 10 minutes. Repeat this till all the modaks are steamed.
Serve hot modaks with ghee!
Mango modaks Recipe
2 cups mawa
2 cups castor sugar
1 cup cashew nut powder
1 cup mango pulp
1 cup milk powder
1/2 teaspoon mango emulsion (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ghee
1) In a non-stick pan, heat ghee, add mawa and roast for 5 minutes on low flame.
2) Add mango pulp and stir and cook continuously till it thickens, add emulsion and sugar, stir and cook till all ingredients bind together.
3) Add cashew nut powder and milk powder and mix well. Cool and give shape of modak with greased mould.
Serve Ganesha a mixed modak platter instead of a single kind of modak this year!