Modak is a famous sweet dumpling popular in India.The sweet filling is made of fresh coconut and jaggery while the shell is of rice flour. Modak is prepared especially on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is known to be Lord Ganesha’s favorite sweet. Thus, majority of the people consider it a must to make Modak on the very first day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
For rice dough:
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
2 tsp ghee
A pinch of salt
For the stuffing:
1 cup freshly grated coconut
1 cup grated jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
For the stuffing:
Heat a pan over medium heat and put jaggery and coconut in it.
Keep stirring for 10-15 minutes until jaggery is completely melted and the mixture is moist.
Add a tsp of ghee and mix. Add cardamom powder and cook for another minute.
Avoid overcooking, else the mixture starts drying out.
Now turn off the heat and let the mixture cool.
This is the stuffing for Modaks.
For Rice Dough:
Boil 1 cup of water. Once it starts boiling, lower the heat and add ghee and salt.
Add rice flour to the boiling water and mix well, stirring continuously. Cook covered for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix properly. Turn off the heat.
Remove the rice dough in a flat plate (dish).
While the dough is still warm, knead the dough, so that there are no lumps and it is soft and smooth.
Divide the dough into equal sized balls. While working on one ball, keep the rest covered under a damp cloth.
Flatten the small ball shaped dough with both your hands like a puri. Hold it in your hand to form a bowl.
Spoon some stuffing at the center of the bowl.
Dip thumb and index finger in water and make small pinches side by side all along the outer surface of the bowl.
Bring all the ends together at the top and seal to form a peak. The pleated shape looks like a whole garlic bulb.
Trim off the excess part of the peak. Seal cracks (if any) with some dough.
Similarly, make rest of the modaks. Dip the bottom of each modak into water. (This helps to lift them out easily when they are done)
Put these modaks in a steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes.
Serve the modaks hot with ghee drizzled on top.
* If using, pressure cooker for steaming, do not put the whistle.