A modak (Marathi: मोदक, Modaka) is a sweet dumpling popular in Western 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 wheat flour mixed with khava or maida flour. The dumpling can be fried or steamed. The steamed version, called ukdiche modak, is eaten hot with ghee.
Modak has a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is his favorite food, which begets him the monicker modakapriya (the one who likes modak) in Sanskrit. Ganesha Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha .During Ganesh Chaturthi, the puja always concludes with an offering of modaks to the deity and as prasad.As a child I remember Mom making ukadiche modak as prasad for Ganesh Chaturthi. We worship Gauri Ganpati every year at home during Ganesh Utsav.That time my job was only to eat them:) This time I decided to make it as a offering for Ganpati at my place. It was an amazing experience. I adapted this recipe from Madhuras Recipes Being a mumbaite, Ganesh Utsav has been always close to heart. The festive season begins from Ganesh Chaturthi. Ganesh mandapas (pandals) in every locality, the sound of dhols and arti, all types of sweets, installation of the Ganesh statues in colorfully decorated homes, friends and relatives visiting, etc there are so many things which I miss about Ganesh Chaturthi. But no worries.. place doesn’t matter…even though I am in US, it doesn’t stop me from celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi with same zeal, belief and enthusiasm:)
To make ukad
4 tsp Glutinous rice flour(You will get it in Japanese market)
2 cup of water
pinch of Salt
2 tsp Ghee
To make stuffing
2 cup shredded Coconut
2 cup Jaggery
4 tbsp Poppy seeds
Roasted cashewnuts and raisins
To make ukad
Mix rice flour and glutinous flour well and seive 2 to 3 times.
Boil water, to that add pinch of salt and tsp of ghee and pour rice flour and mix well.Cover with damp cloth and keep for 10 mts.
In a pan, roast the poppy seeds.
Once they are roasted well add the shredded coconut and jaggery. Mix everything well.
Finally add cardamom powder and cashewnuts. The stuffing is ready.
To make modak
Take ukad, wet hands with water as well as some oil and knead ukad in soft dough.
Now start to pat ball in to small bowl size shape, now stuff filling and start to make plates around stuffing.
Gather all plates at the center of stuffing and try to seal edges. Keep the modaks covered with a wet cloth as they can dry out.
Heat up 1 inch of water in Idly cooker, put one small round pot, over that place small thali or chalni. On top of the chalni place a banana leaf.
Now place modak on the banana leaf, leaving enough space around each modak.
Steam for 10 mts over medium heat.
Modak are ready to be served:)