Modak is a sweet dish which originated in the Indian state of Maharashtra and it is considered to be the favorite dish of Lord Ganesha. It is customary to offer twenty one or hundred and eight modaks to Lord Ganesha. You can make fried or steamed modak. Coconut - jaggery mixture is the main sweet ingredient which enhances the taste. You can also add dry fruits.
Makes: 6 - 7
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Steaming Time: 15 minutes
Please prepare coconut filling first
For Coconut Filling:
1/2 cup ( 125 g ) grated coconut or 9 tablespoon grated coconut
1/2 cup ( 60 g ) melted jaggery or 7 - 8 tablespoon melted and sieved jaggery
1 teaspoon ghee
1 pinch cardamom powder
1 tablespoons chopped dry fruits (optional) raisins or chopped cashew nuts
For Coconut filling:
In a frying pan, heat ghee. Add melted jaggery and fry for 5 minutes on a low heat till fragrant.
Add grated coconut and mix it well. Do not cover with lid. Stir continuously and fry for 10 - 12 minutes on a low heat till the moisture content from the coconut - jaggery mixture dries up. Add cardamom powder and keep aside. Sweet filling should be dry in consistency.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix grated coconut and jaggery and microwave high on 750 w for 2 minutes. Then it will be a thick mixture without water and almost dry in texture (if a small amount of water remains from the jaggery or coconut, keep in microwave again for 1 minutes ( until the water dries up).
For Outer Covering:
I'm not recommending to use normal rice flour to make outer covering. If we use normal rice flour, it may break and won't get proper shape. One of my friend told me special rice flour for modak is available in Mumbai. Modak rice flour is not available in Chennai. Another option is to use any good quality Appam / Instant appam / idiyappam mix – Popular brands are Nirapara and Double Horse (those appam flours are in super fine flour category).
Please use same measuring cup to measure rice flour and water (1 : 1 1/2 ratio, 1 cup water : 1 1/2 cup rice flour / appam flour).
1/2 cup / 100 ml (Indian standard measuring cup of 100 ml / 4 oz capacity) Nirapara Appam flour (rice flour) or any very good quality rice flour.
1 1/2 cup water (150 ml)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ghee
Extra 1 tablespoon oil
For Outer covering:
Sieve Rice flour.
In a bowl, boil water. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon ghee. When the water starts boiling , remove the lid, reduce heat to minimum. Pour sieved rice flour evenly with one hand and simultaneously stir with a spatula with the other hand (like Upma / Uppumaav preparation). Mixing of rice flour in boiling water is very important while making dough. It should be mixed evenly (until rice flour well combined with water). Switch off the heat. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and cover with a tight lid. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
Transfer this rice flour mixture to another wide bowl, knead again for 5 - 7 minutes on a moderate heat (sprinkle 1 teaspoon oil if required) and make an extra soft dough. Now the dough is very elastic in structure. You can fold / bind it into any form.
Divide rice dough into 6 - 7 portions and make round balls. Prepare modak immediately. Do not keep rice flour balls too long. Apply little oil on your palm.
Cut 2 banana leaves (or good quality plastic sheets or zip lock bag) into 7 – cm pieces. Grease with ¼ teaspoon oil.
Take a piece of banana leaf or a clean plastic sheet. Keep a lemon sized rice dough portion over it. Keep another piece of banana leaf or plastic sheet or zip lock bag smeared with oil (with oiled portion facing down) the dough. Press evenly to form a thin circle of rice dough (like puri) of approximately 8 - 10 cm (3.5 to 4 – inch) diameter. Carefully remove the leaf on top. Now one will see a thin circle of rice dough.
Keep 1 tablespoon coconut - jaggery mixture in the centre and bring the edges together and seal the potli (gently press the top portion, then all the pleats come together). See this photo.
Repeat this process for the remaining dough / filling. There will be slight color change in outer cover after steaming. It won't be pure white.
In a flat bowl (or in a steamer bowl) grease 1 teaspoon oil. Arrange potli modak carefully and steam in a steamer / pedavan / pressure cooker ( without weight ) for 15 minutes on medium heat or until done and soft. Serve warm with ghee.
Here's the recipe of Modak / Modakam / Kozhukattai / Kolukattai