|| Shree Ganeshaya Namaha ||
My first attempt at making Modak with Amchi Touch ....... Today's Naivedayam on the occasion of Angarika Sankashti Chaturthi ...........
Modak is a Maharashtrian sweet dish / Naivedyam offered to Lord Ganesh on the occasion of Ganesh Chathurti. These are similar to Patholi prepared by Konkani’s on turmeric leaves. There are very minute changes in the making of these. The original method of making Modak is achieved only after practice. I have tried my level best here to get the same.
However, this being my first attempt on making the Modaks, they are not so in perfect shape. But them I am really pleased that I have captured the correct taste of the modaks in my humble attempt of preparing the Modak’s for Lord Ganesha. Jai Shree Ganesh.
For the outer cover : In Mumbai we get a very good Rice flour ie. used for preparing Modak which is prepared out of Basmati Rice. You can use any rice powder available or you can make your own powder too for the outer cover. The ratio of rice flour and water is 1:1 ie. 1 cup water and one cup of rice flour. Bring one cup of water to a boil, I did it on microwave. Add a pinch of salt and a tsp of ghee to it. Add in the rice flour (1 cup). Mix well, taking care to see that the water and the rice flour is mixed well into a crumbled mixture. Now cover and keep aside for some time till it cools down a bit. Once it is bearable to handle smoothen the mixture well with hands to form a smooth dough. Cover with wet cloth and keep aside.
Note: The little bit of change in colour of the outer cover of Modak you see, which is otherwise always milky white, is because, I have add 1 tsp of grated jaggery once the water came to boil and mixed it well till it got melted. The original method of Modak does not have added jaggery to it. But since we wanted the outer cover a bit sweeter which is otherwise bland I have added in little bit of jaggery. You can leave out the same.
For the inner filling : Heat a thick bottomed kadai with 1 tblsp of pure homemade ghee, when it melts add in one cup of grated jaggery. Keep the heat medium and melt it by sprinkling a few drops of water on the jaggery. Do not allow the jaggery to get burnt. Keep the fire low if you find it getting burnt. Once it melts and comes to a boil, add in 1.5 cups of grated coconut and mix well. Fry for about 5-7 minutes till it get thicker. If you find the jaggery still a bit watery you can add ¼ cup of grated coconut. This is because the thickness of the melted jaggery differs with different types of jaggery. Remove and add ½ tsp of cardamom powder and mix well. Let cool to room temperature. Now add in layee pitto (puffed rice powder) and mix well till you get a mixture that does not have much of moisture. This layee pitto is added to ensure that the mixture does not leave water as it soaks in the extra moisture. So just add how much is needed only, on your judgement. You may need about a cup or so.
Now smoothen the rice powder dough again and prepare lemon sized balls out of it. Flatten it into small poori shape on you hand. Apply a bit of oil to your hands and dip in water to ensure that the poori turns out smooth without breaking. Now add in a tsp of sweet mixture in the centre and fold over on all sides, the outer cover and shape it into modak shapes giving it some vertical strips too.
You can use moulds available in the market for the same. Also you can watch any You tube video on Modak to get the exact picture of the making of Modak. Prepare all the modaks in similar pattern and keep them ready.
Meanwhile heat a pedavan or Idly steamer with plenty of water. When it comes to full boil, lower the heat and gently keep the vessel in which the modaks are placed, after applying ghee to the vessel in which you place the modaks. Steam on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
The modak will have a mirror glaze on it when done. Remove and let cool before you remove it from the vessel into a plate, lest it breaks. Serve after offering the same as Naivedyam to Lord Ganesha.