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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Ganesh Chaturthi: New-age ‘modaks’ for the millennials and how to make them

From vegan to beetroot preparations, the favourite confection of Ganesha and his devotees gets new twists. Here are a few preparations:

Pune |
Updated: September 10, 2021 11:51:15 am
During the 10-day-long Ganesh chaturthi festival, “modaks” are the special delicacy. (Express photo)

Written by Apoorva Sinha

While devotees bring Ganpati idols with much fervour and excitement, grand feasts are being planned for the homecoming. Of all the sweets and savouries prepared during the 10-day-long festival, “modaks” are the special delicacy. It is offered as “bhog” to the deity and served to devotees as “prasad”. In kitchens across the city, home chefs are experimenting with varieties of modaks to create modern alternatives.

While Sangeeta Chandrashekhar Patil uses whole wheat flour to create healthier versions, Manjusha Nanaware adds the goodness of beetroot to it. There are also sinful delights such as dark chocolate “modak” and peanut butter fudge “modak”, both being vegan. We spoke to a few home chefs to get you their recipes:

Wheat Modak by Sangeeta Chandrashekhar Patil (Express photo)


Wheat flour — 1 cup

1 pinch of salt

Pure Ghee/clarified butter — 1 tablespoon

Method of preparation:

1. Mix everything well.

2. Knead the dough by adding little water.

3. The dough should not be very tight.

4. Cover with a muslin cloth and keep it aside till you prepare the filling.

Ingredients for the filling:

Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup

Grated Jaggery – 1 cup

Cardamom powder – 1 tablespoon

Roasted gram flour – 1/4th cup

Mixed dry fruits – Half cup (chopped really fine)

Roasted sesame seed – 1 tablespoon

Method for preparing the filling:

1. Heat up a pan.

2. Roast the coconut and the jaggery together.

3. Add roasted gram flour to this. Give it a good mix.

4. Add the mixed dry fruits.

5. Add roasted sesame seeds.

6. Add cardamom powder. Mix everything well.

7. Filling is ready. Cool the filling well.

Method for preparing the final “modak”:

1. Take a lemon sized ball.

2. Roll out a thin chapatti of 5 to 6 inches.

3. Put about 1 tablespoon filling in the centre of the prepared chapatti.

4. Apply some water on the edges.

5. Pinch the edges and make pleats.

6. Bring them all together and tightly seal the edges in the shape of modak.

7. Ensure that the filling is intact and edges should not leak.

8. Heat up ghee or refined oil.

9. Deep fry the modak on a very low flame till golden in colour and it’s ready to serve.

Beetroot “modak” by Manjusha Nanaware (Express photo)

Beetroot “modak” by Manjusha Nanaware


Gram flour (besan)- 2 cup

Semolina (rava/sooji)- 2 tablespoon

Beetroot colour or two oven cooked beetroot paste- 1|4 tablespoon

Water- 1/2 cup

Oil (for frying)

For sugar syrup:

Sugar- 1cup

Water- 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder- 1/4 tablespoon

Lemon juice- 1/2 tablespoon

Cashew (kaju), chopped- 2 tablespoon


1. Take a bowl and mix the above modak ingredients with water, let it sit for 30 minutes.

2. Prepare oil for frying and use perforated spoon to jerk and make small globules.

3. Make sure it is slow cooked and deep fried, remove from the oil and place it in paper towel to remove oil.

4. Cool down to mix it with sugar syrup.

Method for preparing sugar syrup:

1. To the hot sugar syrup, add above prepared “modak” mixture.

2. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar syrup thickens.

3. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.

4. After 10 minutes, sugar syrup is absorbed completely by the mixture.

5. Add 2 tablespoons of cashew and pistachio. Mix well.

6. You can see the mixture is dried and all the sugar syrup is absorbed.

7. Prepare the “modak” taking a small amount of mixture. Add milk if required to moisten the “modak”.

8. Finally, the “modak” is ready to be served or can be refrigerate for a week.

Vegan modak by Dipali Chavan (Express photo)

Steamed traditional vegan modak:


Rice flour- 1 cup


Salt to taste

Grated coconut-1/2 cup

Grated jaggery- 1/2 cup

Cardamom seeds- 1 tablespoon

Almond milk- 1/2 cup

Oil – 2 tablespoon


1. Add grated coconut in heated oil in a pan and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Once the coconut is cooked properly, add some jaggery and mix well.

3. Later, add some cardamom seeds and almond milk or coconut milk and stir the mixture for 5 minutes.

4. The filling is ready, keep it aside to cool.

5. To prepare the covering, add rice flour to a mixture of boiling water, oil and salt.

6. Stir the mixture well so that there are no lumps.

7. Assemble the dough and make small balls, stuff the filling and put them in a vessel for steam. Serve the modaks immediately.

Vegan chocolate “modak” (Express photo)

Vegan chocolate “modak”:


Vegan dark chocolate bars – 2-3

Almonds- 1/2cup

Cashew- 1/2 cup

Raisin- 1/2 cup

Cranberries- 1/2 cup


1. Grate vegan dark chocolate and melt it in a double boiler or microwave.

2. Grease the modak mould with oil and add melted chocolate to the moulds.

3. Grate almonds, cranberries, and cashews into chunks and add them before the chocolate is set.

4. Freeze it for 4-5 hours and it’s ready to serve.

Vegan peanut butter fudge “modak” (Express photo)

Vegan peanut butter fudge “modak”:


Peanut butter – 1cup

Powdered sugar – 3 cup

Vanilla extract – 1 tablespoon

Almonds – 1/2cup


1. Melt some peanut butter in a pan and add some oil to it.

2. Add few drops of vanilla essence and chopped almonds and mix it with a spoon.

3. Add sugar, mix well and set it into the modak mould.

4. Refrigerate it for an hour and your vegan Peanut Butter fudge modak is ready to serve.

Sugar-free dates and coconut “modaks” with jowar flour by Supriya (Express Photo)

Sugar-free dates and coconut “modaks” with jowar flour by Supriya:


Sorghum (Jowar) Flour- 1 Cup

Chopped Dates- 1/2 cup

Grated Fresh Coconut- 1/2 Cup

White Sesame Seeds- 2 tablespoon

A big pinch of salt

Ghee – 1 tablespoon


1. Dry roast the sesame seeds on a medium flame till they turn light brown and allow it to cool. Grind them to a fine powder and set aside.

2. Grind the chopped dates into a paste. In a bowl, add the dates paste, ground sesame seeds and grated fresh coconut – combine well. Roll this mixture into small round shape balls and keep them aside.

3. Combine the flour and salt in a wide bowl. Add boiling water little by little to the flour, mix very well with a spatula and make soft dough.

4. Allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes then knead it well. The dough should be soft and smooth.

5. Grease your palms with a little ghee. Take a ball of the rice flour dough and flatten it.

6. Place dates mixture ball in the middle and cover it from all sides towards the middle and shape into a ball.

7. Place in greased idly plates and steam cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Oats and jaggery “modak” by Surekha Gaikwad (Express photo)

Oats and jaggery “modak” by Surekha Gaikwad:


Oats- 1 cup (powdered)

Ghee- 1 tablespoon

Jaggery- 1/2 cup

Almond- 1/4 cup

Cashew- 1/4 cup

Raisin- 1/4 cup

Cardamom powder- 1 tablespoon


1. First, powder the almond and cashew in a grinder and then add raisins to the grinder. Adding raisins will turn the powder into a stick paste.

2. In a wok add ghee and roast powdered oats till its light brownish and then add jaggery and cardamom powder.

3. Now put this in a plate and start mixing dry fruits with fingers gently as it is still warm.

4. Once they start coming together after 5 mins put them in mould and your oats and jaggery “modaks” are ready.

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