ganesh chaturthi or vinayaka chaturthi is one festival with which many of my childhood memories are associated. having grown up in mumbai, i have witnessed and been a part of this awesome festival all through my growing up years. this year ganesh chaturthi is starting on 5th Sep 2016 and as usual will last for 10 days.
ganesh chaturthi is celebrated with equal festivity and devotion in many states of india like maharashtra, karnataka, andhra pradesh, goa, gujarat and so on. the recipes which are prepared during ganesha chaturthi festival varies from state to state. e.g. modak or kozhukattai which is one of the favorite food of lord ganesha is prepared differently and sundals which are prepared in south india are not made in maharashtra.
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the outer modak covering:
1 cup rice flour
1.5 cups water
¼ tsp oil or ghee
a pinch of salt
for the inner sweet filling:
1 cup fresh grated coconut
¾ cup powdered or grated jaggery, for a more sweeter taste, you can add upto 1 cup of powdered jaggery
3 to 4 cardamoms, powdered in a mortar-pestle, about ¼ tsp cardamom powder
a pinch of nutmeg powder or grated numeg
½ tsp poppy seeds
½ tsp ghee or oil
½ tsp rice flour (optional)
how to make the recipe:
making the sweet filling for ukadiche modak:
heat ghee in a pan. add poppy seeds, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder. saute for a minute.
then add grated fresh coconut and powdered/grated jaggery.
mix well and cook this coconut-jaggery mixture on a low flame. the jaggery will melt first.
stir at times and cook this mixture till the moisture from the jaggery begins to dry. switch off the flame. don’t overcook as the jaggery then hardens. keep this coconut-jaggery filling aside. on cooling the mixture will thicken more.
you can also add a bit of rice flour to this mixture. this is an optional step. the rice flour helps to absorb moisture, if any from the filling.
keep the filling aside to cool.
making the outer cover of the ukadiche modak:
in a pan or dekchi add the water, oil and salt. keep it on the stove top.
let this mixture come to a boil.
reduce the flame and add the rice flour gradually. quickly stir and mix the flour with the water.
stir till all the rice flour is mixed with the water.
switch off the flame. remove the pan from the stove top and then cover this pan with a lid for 4 to 5 minutes.
now take all the dough in a plate/thali or in a bowl. gather the dough together and begin to knead it.
the dough will be hot when, you begin to knead. so apply some water on your palms and knead the dough. knead the dough very well.
if you feel the dough looks dense or hard or dry, then just add a few teaspoons of warm water and continue to knead.
make small balls from the dough. roll the balls till smooth in your palms.
you can also apply some water on your palms, while rolling the balls. keep the balls covered with a kitchen towel.
the balls should be smooth in appearance and should not have any cracks.
assembling & shaping modaks:
before you start shaping the modaks, keep water for steaming in a pan.
grease the steamer lightly with oil or ghee.
take a ball and flatten it with your fingers to a round disc or a shallow bowl shape. you can apply ghee/oil in your
palms, while flattening.
place the modak filling in the center.
press the edges as shown in the pic below. you can also press the edges first and then add
bring together all the edges and join them. remove the extra portion of the dough from the top, if any. shape and taper the top of the modak with your fingers.
make all the modaks this way. keep them in a steamer pan.
cover the pan with a lid and steam for 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame.
some modaks may crack whilst shaping or steaming, buts its alright. you can forgive yourself if you are making this first time.
once the ukadiche modaks are steamed, drizzle a few teaspoons of ghee on the modaks. the ukadiche modaks are ready to be offered to lord ganesha.