The life-size idols of Lord Ganesha, the gravity-defying dance moves by followers on the streets, and the general madness surrounding Ganesh Chaturthi always gets us excited. This year, the grand 10-day celebrations will begin on August 25 with the Isthapana of the Ganesh idols and will end on September 5 with the Ganpati Visarjan.
The markets are already flooded with Ganpati Bappa’s favourite sweet, Modak and people are busy stuffing their bags with these delectable dumplings. If frenzied, last-minute shopping isn’t your thing and you would prefer to try your experimental hat in the kitchen, then here are a few Modak recipes for inspiration.
We have interesting versions, from the time-tested classic steamed modaks to the fried ones. Also, chocolate modaks for the quintessential chocolate lovers!
Fried Modak by Jaypee Hotels & Resorts, New Delhi
For the stuffing
1 cup – Grated coconut
1/2 cup – Sugar
2 1/2 tbsp – Grated low fat mawa (khoya)
1 tbsp – Chopped cashew nuts
1 tbsp – Chopped pistachios
1 tbsp – Almond slivers
1/2 tsp – Cardamom powder
For The Dough
1 cup – Whole wheat flour
1 tbsp – Semolina
2 tbsp – Ghee
A pinch of salt
Oil for deep frying
For the stuffing
* Combine the coconut, sugar and mawa in a broad non-stick pan. Mix well and
cook on medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes or till it turns light brown in colour,
while stirring it occasionally.
* Add the nuts and cardamom powder, mix well and cook on medium flame for
one minute, while stirring continuously.
* Divide the mixture equally into 11 portions. Keep aside to cool completely.
For the dough
* Combine the whole wheat flour and semolina in a deep bowl and mix well.
* Heat ghee in a small non-stick pan on medium flame for 2 minutes or till it
is smoky hot. Add it to the flour mixture with a pinch of salt and mix well.
* Knead it into a semi-stiff dough and divide it into 11 balls.
* Roll each ball into a 75 mm wide circle and put a portion of the prepared stuffing in the centre. Fold the edges to create a fluted, inverted cone.
* Heat the oil in a deep non–stick pan and deep fry the Modak till it’s golden brown in colour.
* Drain on an absorbent paper and serve immediately.
Traditional Modak by Sumalya Sarkar, executive chef, The Gateway Resort Damdama Lake, Gurgaon
For the wrap
1 1/2 cups – Rice flour
A pinch of salt
1 tsp – Oil for greasing
1 1/2 cups – Grated coconut
1 cup – Grated jaggery
A pinch of green cardamom powder, nutmeg and roasted poppy seeds
* Heat 1 1/4 cups of water with salt and one teaspoon of oil in a deep non-stick pan.
* Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, and add a portion of the rice flour slowly, while stirring it continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
* Cover the pan with a deep lid and pour some water on the lid. Now cook on low heat for three minutes.
* Remove the lid, sprinkle some cold water on the rice flour and cover again. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and add a little more of the rice flour while stirring it continuously for another three minutes. Repeat this process two more times and then take the pan off the heat and keep it covered for two minutes.
* Transfer the mixture to a large plate, grease the palms of your hands with oil and knead the dough till it is completely smooth. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest.
* For the stuffing, combine the coconut and jaggery in a non-stick pan and cook on medium heat for one or two minutes till light golden brown. Make sure that you do not overcook the mixture. Add the roasted poppy seeds, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
* Divide the dough into twelve equal portions and shape them into balls. Grease the palms of your hands and spread each ball to form a three-inch bowl. Press the edges of the bowls to reduce the thickness.
* Place a portion of the stuffing in the centre; pleat the edges of the dough and gather them together to form a bundle. Pinch to seal the edges at the top.
* Heat sufficient water in a steamer. Place the modak on a perforated plate in the steamer and steam for ten to twelve minutes.
Chocolate Modak by Sanjay B Dasari, executive chef, The Ashok
150g – Khoya
50g – Sugar
1g – Elaichi powder
25g – Chocolate compound
* Grate khoya and mix it together with the grated chocolate, sugar and elaichi powder.
* Divide the mixture into small, equal sized roundels.
* Put the roundels into modak-shaped moulds and let it set.
* Once set, take it out of the mould and serve it with garnish of chocolate sticks.
Modhakam by Navid Sayyed, executive chef, The Orchid
250g – Chana dal
250g – Jaggery
10g – Elaichi Powder
* Boil chana dal till soft and keep aside.
* Melt jaggery to a thick syrup.
* Add the chana dal to the jaggery syrup.
* In a pan, boil water and add salt and butter. Reduce heat, add rice flour and stir the mixture continuously till cooked.
* Knead the mixture to a dough and then divide it into balls. Roll each ball into a thin circle of 3-5 inches wide and place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the centre.
* Fold the edges to create a fluted, inverted cone. Ensure the filling is tightly sealed in the cover.
* Steam the modaks for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot.
Coconut Saffron Modak by Rohit Joshi, chef de cuisine, JW Café, JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar
250g – Desiccated coconut
75g – Castor sugar
100g – Water
20g – Desi ghee
200g – Mawa/khoya
50g – Saffron
* Boil sugar and water till you get a soft thread consistency. Now add desiccated coconut to it.
* Add mawa to the mixture and cook until dry. Now add saffron and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator for an hour.
* Once firm, shape into modaks by folding the edges to create an inverted cone.