Ukadiche Modak (Sweet stuffed Rice Flour Dumplings)
Ganapati festival feast is synonymous with Modak. Lord Ganesha’s favourite food…Taste it and you know why!!!
I have very fond memories associated with Modak. When I was at my mom’s place ,on Ganesh Chaturthi (first day of Ganesh festival) my Mom would make the dough for the Modaks and since it has to be shaped and filled when hot, we all -my father, brother and myself- would help her make the Modaks.It was a fun family activity! I have this beautifal picture embedded in my memory forever!
To make about 10-12 Modaks:(Recipe source…obviously my Mom)
For the cover:
1 cup fine , fresh Rice flour
1 cup water
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp oil
For the filling:
1 cup freshly scrapped Coconut-only the white portion
1 cup crushed jaggery
2 tsp Khuskhus (poppy seeds) roasted
First make the Stuffing. Put the Coconut and jaggery in a heavy bottom pan and cook on medium flame, stiriing in between. Cook till the jaggery melts and the mixture becomes homogenous. Add the roasted poppy seeds and cook for few more minutes.Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
(You can also add raisins, saffron and cardamom to the mixture if you like.)
Now make the rice flour cover.The cover has to be made a bit carefully. So keep aside all your other jobs and take 1 cup water in a pan and boil it. Once it boils add salt and oil to it . Add the rice flour immediately with one hand and stirring the mixture continuously with the other.Take care that no lumps are formed in the mixture.Cover for 1-2 minutes. Remove the dough on a flat surface and knead well with your hands while still hot…You can apply a little oil to your hands to avoid the dough from sticking.
This is a very important step. You have to knead the dough properly to avoid the cover from cracking. Now take a small lemon sized ball from the dough and keep the remaining dough covered with a cotton cloth in the pan.(The remaining dough should not be allowed to cool)…This is where extra help is welcome…
Flatten the small ball shaped dough with both your hands like a puri.Don’t make it too thin. Now hold the flat dough in your left hand and add the coconut stuffing.Apply little oil to your right hand and pinch the edges of the flattened dough at 4-5 places,like this:
Bring them together to join them at the centre of the Modak. Shape resembles that of garlic bulb from top(I am not supposed to say garlic,especially since the Modaks are made for God…but I couldn’t find any other analogy!!)
Repeat this prpcess for the remaining dough and make more Modaks before the dough cools down. If you are alone you can guess how fast you have to make it!!!
After all the Modaks have been made steam them.Take a steel sieve.Grease it with oil. Keep the Modaks one by one in it taking care that they do not stick to each other.
Keep this sieve on a steamer(You can use a deep vessel with 1/3rd water.) Cover the Modaks and cook for about 12-13 minutes.
Congrats..You have just made one of the most delicious ,traditional Maharashtrian Sweet!
Top each hot steaming Modak with Ghee generously ( You will need the ghee after all the hard work.) Offer them to God….and don’t waste any time putting the entire Modak in your mouth…Blissful isn’t it…Worth the effort??? Of course it is!!!
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