What is the significance of offering food to the divine? To each their own, but I have my learning and theories to call it logical. You cannot offer food to someone unless you are content and full yourself. And when it comes to God, you don’t have to be a requester all the time, you can be happy, relaxed and at peace without asking for anything.
This year, we welcomed the divine with new norms. Nothing was missed, because it was staying at home for the lord. This made me think how we have learnt to adapt, and how this pandemic has become a teacher. And the good thing is, we are more organised and aware than ever before.
I can vouch for this because now my online workshops on millets and live webinars are reaching to people across countries. People are waking up to the reality, wanting to be healthy and fit. This Tuesday, I am coming up with a live webinar on ‘mistakes we do while cooking with millets’, and I am already amazed by the response of my Instagram followers. Many have already claimed their ticket to enter the webinar on August 25. If you wish to join, too, you can reach out to me on my Instagram.
But before anything else, I would want to tell you if you really know the kinds of millets, their textures, and most importantly, the right cooking techniques, you can cook anything with them. All you need is a little patience and an open mind for these wonder grains. My live webinar on Tuesday is all about breaking some myths and dropping some truth bombs while also ensuring that you receive abundance of knowledge and kick-start your millet journey with me.
Coming back to the divinity, here is a small attempt to add millet to Ganapati’s all time favourite modaks. While traditional recipes have a charm of their own, this year, let the Lord be spoilt.
Read more for the step-by-step recipe of millet modak and figure out why I avoided using millet flour directly, and prefer whole grains instead. Cooking with millet has to be just right so as to claim its health benefits. Covering more of it in my live webinar.
Little Millet Modak
Ingredients: (for 20 modaks)
For the outer covering:
- ½ cup little millet (soaked for 6-8 hours)
- 2 cups water to boil
- 1 tsp cow ghee or oil
- A few strands of saffron mixed with 2 tbsp warm milk
- ½ tsp salt (optional)
For the stuffing:
- 1 cup grated fresh coconut
- 1/2 cup organic powdered jaggery
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds (optional)
- 1 tbsp sliced pistachios (optional)
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- 1.5 tbsp cow ghee
- Wash the soaked millet thoroughly.
- In a deep pan, allow 2 cups of water to boil. Add salt, ghee (or oil) and washed millet grains. Cover it and boil till millet soaks up all the water.
- Once boiled and tender, allow it cool down a bit. Add saffron and milk mixture. Give it a nice whisk and transfer the mixture onto a flat tray to allow the boiled millet set and dry up a bit.
- Now for the stuffing, heat 1 tbsp cow ghee in a pan.
- Add grated coconut and let it cook till it starts to get crispier. Add nuts followed by jaggery powder.
- To help jaggery mix well, add a little more ghee. You can even avoid this step.
- Add cardamom powder and allow the mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes with continuous stirring. Transfer it in a bowl.
- Now to start making the modaks, you need a modak mould. If you don’t have a modak mould, divide the mixture in 20 equal gooseberry sized balls.
- With the help of your greased palms, make an evenly shaped round puri. The edges have to be thinner than the centre. Now with the help of thumb and index finger, gently pinch the mixture to make a pleat. As you learn the skill, you get better at it. Place a teaspoonful of cooled coconut jaggery stuffing in the centre. Bring together the pleats and gently make a good shape. Keep them aside on a greased plate.
- Steam the shaped modaks for 7 minutes.
- Allow them to cool and offer it to the deity and everyone else in the family.
Health benefits of immunity-boosting little millet
Compared with rice, little millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous and alkaline food. It is high in minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. It is a smart carbohydrate with lots of fiber and low simple sugars. Little millet is a good source of protein for vegetarians.
(Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative Millets Cooking Workshops for all age groups)
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