Ganesh Chaturthi is here, it is time to celebrate the annual arrival of our beloved friendly god, the First God of Hindus. Devotees lovingly call him as Bhappa or Big Brother. He is also known as Vighanvinashak or Vighankarta which just means the remover of obstacles. People welcome him home with lots of sweets and Ukadiche Modak is the most common one. Last year was my first time making them and I slowly perfected myself with the recipe.
This year I brought home an eco-friendly Ganesha. I have been doing so for the last few years. Absolutely hate the bad sight of our water bodies on the 10th day when everyone immerses their idols in water bodies polluting them. So I get eco-friendly Ganesha made by artisans using clay and moulding them into cute Ganesha idols. Here’s a click of my Ganesha this year. Hope you love it.
Here are some other Indian sweets that you can make for our beloved god – Ras Malai, Phirni, Gulab Jamuns, and Gur Rasgullas.
You can make different kinds of stuffing for flavoring your Ukadiche modaks. Some top favorites are:
a) Classic Coconut – Jaggery Filling: This is the most common and traditional filling made by mixing ground jaggery and grated coconut.
b) Chocolate Filling: For chocolate lovers, you can try adding melted chocolate to the coconut and jaggery mixture.
c) Fruit flavored Filling: You can use fruits like mangoes or berries to add a unique and modern flavor to your regular coconut-jaggery mixture.
d) Puran Poli Filling: Puran poli is another Marathi classic made by filling boiled and ground chana dal-coconut-jaggery mixture into parathas/flatbread. Use that same filling for your modaks and you will love it as well.
e) Gulkand and Mawa Filling: This filling can be made by adding gulkand (rose petal concentrate) and khoya (condensed milk) with coconut and filling in your modaks.
Of course, you can create multiple variations and enjoy.
2. Leaves while Steaming:
You can directly steam the modaks in a steamer without any flavors. But if you like, you can layer the steamer plate with either turmeric leaves or banana leaves for a unique flavor. You can also add a few saffron strands on a few modak while steaming for a pretty color.
You can either shape the modaks by making pleats in the dough like we make dimsums or you can use a modak mould to give them the shapes. You can also make D shaped modaks like Gujiyas/Karanji.
PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 25 modak
DIFFICULTY SCALE: Medium
For the modak dough –
- Rice flour – 2 cups
- Hot water – 2.25 cups
- Ghee – 2 tablespoons
- Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
For the filling –
5. Grated coconut – 2 cups
6. Ground jaggery – 1 cup
7. Ghee – 1 tablespoon
8. Green Cardamom Powder – 2 pods
For the rice flour dough –
- Take a non-stick pan and add 2 cups of water to it.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon ghee to it and let it come to a boil.
- Lower the flame and add in the rice flour. Keep stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it all comes together.
4. Turn off the heat and cover the mixture for 5 minutes until it absorbs all that water and cooks.
5. Open the lid and let it cool for 2-3 minutes. Remember the dough has to be warm while working, don’t allow it to cool completely.
6. Start kneading the dough by adding a tablespoon of ghee and a little water. Knead for 5 minutes until it becomes a smooth dough without any cracks. Keep it covered under a kitchen cloth.
7. If you still see some cracks, add a little more ghee and water. The best ratio of rice: water has to be 1:1.25. Which means you need just a little more water than the rice dough.
For the filling –
8. Grate a fresh coconut to get 2 cups of grated coconut. You can also peel the hard black cover if you like, but I let it be. Some people also prefer shredded coconut, but I didn’t have any other equipment other than the grater.
9. Take a non-stick pan and a tablespoon of ghee and add the grated coconut. Toss in for a minute or two until it turns fragrant.
10. Now add in ground jaggery. If you don’t have ground jaggery, just cut/break the lump into smaller pieces.
11. It will soon start melting, keep mixing constantly. Add in crushed cardamom seeds powder and mix well.
12. Cook the mix until the jaggery is well incorporated but the mixture still has a little moisture (so that it doesn’t dry out completely when it cools).
13. Rest for 10-12 minutes until it cools down completely.
For making the Ukadiche modaks –
14. Take the small ball size piece of the rice dough and make a smooth ball without any cracks.
15. Make a small hole with your thumbs and start making a flatbread of the ball.
16. Once you have a small flatbread, add a tablespoon or less of the cooled stuffing and start pinching the dough to make small indents throughout.
17. With little circular motion, round and gather all the pinches on the top to make a modak shape.
18. If you are using a mould, grease it before using it.
19. Then close the mould and add a small ball of the rice dough. Flatten it towards the walls of the mould to make a cavity in between.
20. Add a spoonful of the filling in between and then take another small piece of the dough and flatten it on the end to make a flat base of the modak.
21. Remove the modak from the mould with light hands.
22. Keep all the finished modaks under a kitchen cloth to keep them damp.
Steaming the Ukadiche modaks –
23. Add water in a steamer and allow water to heat to make steam.
24. Grease the steamer plate surface and place the modak on the steamer.
25. If you want, you can add a strand or two of saffron on a few or all the modaks for a lovely yellow color pattern.
26. Steam for 10-12 minutes until they are cooked properly and turn glossy/shiny.
Serve the Ukadiche modak to Lord Ganesha. Consume quickly. You can save them in the refrigerator for a day or two.