In this festive season I am sharing Traditional Steamed Modak recipe. This recipe is from Maharashtra (India) made specially for our beloved Ganesha. In local language it is known as Ukdiche Modak. Ukad word in Marathi language means ‘to boil’, So sweet dumplings are made by boiling rice flour in a mixture of water and stuffed with aromatic and sweet coconut and jaggery filling. I have made it simpler with step by step pictures and important tips to remember. This has made this post longer, however I hope it helps you to prepare a delicious Prasad for our beloved Lord Ganesha.
For Outer covering (Rice flour)
- 1 Cup Rice flour
- 1 Cup Water
- Salt a pinch
- 1 Tsp ghee
- 1 tsp extra ghee for working on the dough
For Traditional Filling
- 1 Tbsp ghee
- 1 Cup grated fresh Coconut
- 1/2 Cup grated jaggery for medium sweet, If more sweet then take 3/4 cup
- 1 Tsp cardamom powder
- Few chopped Cashews and Raisins
Method of making outer cover :
In a pan take one Cup of water add in salt and ghee and on medium flame let the water to bubble. Most important in this recipe is proportion of water and rice. When water starts to simmer, lower the flame and slowly add rice flour and simultaneously mix quickly with your spatula to bring everything together. Make sure there are no dry lumps, splash some water and try to mix well. If you are doing it for first time be patient, use less water and try to mix properly. When no dry lumps are there, switch off the flame and cover it with lid.
Now when the flour mix is resting we will work on our filling. Heat a pan on medium to low flame. Heat Ghee and add in grated Coconut. You can take frozen one also. Saute it till some aroma starts coming from coconut, remember we don’t want brown color, it takes around 1-2 minutes. Then add grated jaggery, mix it nicely. Jaggery will start to melt at this time add nuts and cardamom powder and combine it nicely.Switch off the flame. This takes approx 5-6 minutes.
Now it’s time to work on flour mix.Wash your hands nicely. Bring it out on plate. By this time, it will be warm and easy to be handled. Add Tsp of ghee on dough and knead it nicely. Ensure the dough is warm and don’t let it cool completely. Cover it with kitchen towel so it stays warm inside and doesn’t dries up.
Now be patient, take a deep breath and try. If not first time for sure second or third attempt will take shape of nice Modak.
- Take water in a bowl near you and wet your fingers.
- Take a small portion of dough, make a smooth round ball and try to flatten it up with your fingers.
- Then with help of index finger and thumb make impressions as shown in pictures all around so that it takes shape of a cup.
- Now stuff your filling in center which is at room temperature by this time.
- Now slowly and calmly bring all edges together, press from all sides gently so all edges will come closer in center.
- Pinch on top gently so that all sides are closed and take a shape of Modak.
Repeat the process to make remaining Modaks. I was able to make 8 medium size Modaks and one very small one. Quantity will vary upon the size of ball you take for making Modaks. You can use readymade moulds also to make modaks.
Now come the Steaming part. So those who don’t have dedicated steamer, Boil water ( approx 1-2 inch deep) in a kadai or pan on which you can place a sieve on top of it.
Grease sieve with some ghee on it evenly. Place Modaks on to the sieve gently. Don’t overcrowd them, as it will lead to sticking to each other. You will feel the steam coming up. I could keep 5-6 modaks at one time. Cover it nicely with a lid. Modak’s will take 10-12 minutes to cook properly in steam.
After 12 minutes, open the lid and allow it to cool completely. Then carefully lift one by one and place on serving plates. Repeat the process of steaming with rest of modaks. After steaming a nice shinning glaze can be seen on modaks.
- Important thing to keep in mind is proportion of water and rice that is 1:1.
- At time of mixing rice flour to hot water,If you see dry lumps, splash some water and try to mix properly.
- Ghee added in water helps to soften the dough.
- Remember to close the lid and give standing time of at least 5 minutes before working on dough.
- Ensure to knead and work on dough when it is warm, and you are able to handle it with your hands. Take little ghee on fingers at time of kneading dough.
- Cover the dough so dough doesn’t cools and dries up.
- When making modak, dip your fingers in water to shape it gently and carefully. Be patient as Practice makes ones perfect.