Making Modak from scratch is an emotion for me!
I learned to make Modaks from my Aai (Mom) when I was in college but I have been seeing her make it religiously every Ganesh Chaturthi without any shortcuts for as long as I could remember. It has inspired me so much. I used to sit beside her just to watch her make them gently with so much love. The flavor of those modaks is The BEST! Making Modaks like Aai is my forever dream. I have been making Modak with Aai's recipe and direction for a few years now and getting better each time, hoping to get that perfection someday, I must say it needs a perfect recipe but a lot of love and passion too. It gives me immense pleasure to share the recipe with you all.
🌺Part 1: Ukad (Steamed rice dough)
1 cup fine rice flour 1 cup water 1 Tbsp Ghee Pinch of salt
- Pour water into a medium-size pot or pan on medium-high heat. Add salt and ghee to it and bring it to a boil.
- As soon as the water starts boiling, turn off the flame.
- Now add the fine rice flour and mix it, just mix until you see water and rice are roughly combined. No need to over mix. It will look like a lumpy mixture. That is ok.
4. Cover it with the lid for 15 mins. This will help it cook through in the residual heat.
- After 15 mins, pour the mixture into a medium bowl and start kneading. Use the back of a small bowl or wooden masher for kneading. Be careful as the mixture will still be hot.
- Keep kneading until the dough is soft and doesn't stick to your hands. You can use a splash of water while kneading if it’s sticky.
- Once done cover it with a damp cloth to avoid Cracking up or drying out.
🌺Part 2: Modak Filling
🌺Ingredients: 1 cup FRESHLY grated coconut 3/4 cup Jaggery powder 1 Tbsp Ghee 1 tsp Elachi/Cardamom powder Pinch of salt
- Heat a small skillet (Prefer nonstick here) on Medium-low heat.
- Add Ghee to the skillet and then add coconut to it.
- Keep stirring using silicon or wooden spatula slowly until it gets aromatic ( 3-5 mins)
- Add Jaggery, mix well, and cook for another 4-5 mins. Stir occasionally making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add Cardamom powder and salt and mix one last time.
- Turn off the flame and let it cool completely before using.
🌺Part 3: Making the Modaks
1. Take a lemon size dough ball, keeping the rest of the dough still covered under a damp cloth.
2. Roll the dough ball in between your palms and make it as smooth as possible. User drop or a two of water if needed if the dough is sticking.
3. Hold the dough ball in one palm, start pressing gently with your fingers, slowly flattening it into a small round (puri shape). Press the edges gently to even it out. Make sure edges are thinner than the center.
4. Now with the help of forefinger and thumb gently pinch very little dough to make a pleat on the outer side of the puri. Keep the pleats around ¾ to ½ inches apart.
5. Again use some water if it’s cracking or breaking while doing this.
6. Now Add 1 tbsp of filling in the center (or according to the size of the puri you made, make sure you fill it enough and not overfill it) Take the best judgment.
7. Bring all the pleats together gently and seal giving the best shape without disturbing the pleats.
8. Keep the ready Modak aside on a greased plate/pot covered under a damp cloth until you fold the rest of them.
🌺Part 4: Steaming the Modaks
1. On Medium-high heat, bring 1.5 to 2 cups of water to a rolling boil in a steamer or pressure cooker (without whistle) Grease the steam basket, Place the modaks in the basket (you can add thin cloth underneath as well), and steam for about 10-12 mins.
2. Switch off the flame and let it rest for another 5 mins.
3. Carefully take them out and place them on another plate.
Note: Alternatively you can also steam them in an instant pot, For that put the Instant pot on steam mode for 15 mins, add 1 cup of water in the pot, put the trivet inside the pot, Once you see the steam coming, place the steam basket (or pot) with modaks in the pot and close the lid.
After 15 mins, hit cancel and let it naturally cool down before opening the lid.
🌺Part 5: Serving the Modaks (Most Fun and delicious part)
You can serve the Modak with a generous amount of ghee on top. Add few saffron sticks to get a beautiful shade of orange and white.
You can eat hot or cold, either way, it tastes delicious.
Hope you make these delicious modaks at this Ganapati festival for Bappa.
✅ Use Fine rice flour (choose most fine available in the store, I prefer Bob's Red Mill brand)
✅ Do not skip the lid part and do it for 15 mins.
✅ You can add oil instead of ghee but ghee adds flavor.
✅ Knead at least 10-15 mins.
✅ Use fresh coconut it makes a world of a difference.
✅ I prefer Jaggery powder over crushed Jaggery as it gives a smooth texture and leaves no chunks.
✅ Always make the filling first and then move on to Dough as it gives time for the filling to cool down completely.
✅ Avoid using hot filling since it will give you hard time folding the modaks.
✅ You can store this filling in an air-tight container up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
Give this recipe a try this Ganesh Chaturthi and let me know how it turned out. Your feedback always means a lot.