Make these super easy and authentic udakiche modaks to please not just Lord Ganesha but everyone at home 🙂 This is a very simple recipe and believe me when I say that if I can make it, you can make it too! I’ve been staying away from making modaks for last 4 years but finally after missing them for so long, this year during Ganesh Chaturthi, it was finally the time when I made some of these delicious little sweet dumplings.
Modaks and Ganesha Festival
It is the season for celebrating the most loveable Hindu God — little Ganesha. And while he loves all kinds of sweets, his favorite is the steamed modak called Ukadiche modak in Marathi and Hindi. In Sanskrit, Lord Ganesha is called modakapriya – one who likes modak!
Ukadiche modaks are steamed flour dumpling filled with a sweet coconut and jaggery filling. While there are also fried modak varieties, and you can find many fusion fillings as well, the most authentic modak is steamed and filled with this coconut and jaggery stuffing. Ukad literally means the covering, it is a very thin dough covering made either of rice flour or wheat flour. In this recipe, I have used wheat flour as it is easier to shape.
If you are in India (especially in Mumbai), you can’t miss the chants of “Ganapati Bappa Morya” during this week. Ganesh Chaturthi was on September 13th and from September 15th, visarjan started with the biggest one being tomorrow. Over the years, awareness about eco-friendly Ganesha has increased and more and more people are going for mud Ganesha statues that do not add to the pollution in the rivers and oceans. Below is this year’s Ganesha idol made at the Gandhi Ashram where I regularly volunteer.
When we lived in Bombay, the 10 days of Ganesh Chaturthi used to be fun days with many fairs around the city. Every day, for the 10 days, we were invited at one friend’s home or another who had brought the little Ganesha home and were celebrating either the bringing of the statue or the immersion of it. So we had different varieties of modaks every day and so I never really tried making one. I used to think it will be super complicated, especially to make the modak shape.
Since last 4 years, we have been staying out of India and missed the festival every year and also the modaks. This year, I decided it was time to try them out 🙂 I found this very nice video by chef Archana explaining the recipe for the authentic Udakiche modaks. It is in Marathi with English subtitles and I don’t know if it is against Food Blogging rules or not to link to someone else’s video but this one really made it easy for me to make the modaks, especially shaping them without using a modak mould [check out the video from 4:21 to 4:54 to see how exactly to shape a modak with your hands]
This is a very easy recipe for the steamed modaks with just 6 ingredients. No fancy variations or fusion with another recipe. While the Ganesha festival is over, I’m planning to make these easy steamed sweet dumplings for my Diwali dinner menu as well. They can easily be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight box.
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Ukadiche Modak | Sweet Steamed Dumplings Recipe
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ghee
- a pinch salt
for the filling
- ½ cup fresh coconut , grated or use dried desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup jaggery , grated
- 1 tbsp dry fruits powder (I used a mix of cardamom, saffron, and pistachio powder)
- Add ½ cups of water with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of ghee in a stock pot. Bring to a boil on medium heat.
- Once the water comes to a boil, switch off the heat and add ½ cup all-purpose flour to the pot. Mix well. It will be a very lumpy, sticky mass. Cover and leave it aside to cool down while you prepare the stuffing.
- To make the filling, heat 2 tsp ghee in another pot. Once the ghee melts, add grated coconut and jaggery. Mix well until the two are well combined. It takes some time for the two to combine properly. Around 5 mins.
- Next mix in the dry fruits powder.
- Remove from heat and let cool, while you knead the dough for the modak covering or ukad.
- Remove the flour from the pot into a flat plate and lightly knead it with a little more water and ghee into a smooth dough. Just like parathas or any other bread, the trick here is to knead the dough really well otherwise the modak might break while rolling.
- Prepare a plate by greasing it with a little oil or ghee. Divide the dough into 10-12 pieces and shape into balls. For each dough ball, make a well in the center with your right thumb and then roll it into a thin cup using your fingers. It will be about 3-4” in diameter.
- Add a small spoonful of the sweet filling in the center and bring the edges together on the top and press to close. Place it on the prepared plate and repeat with the remaining modaks. You can view the video from 4:21 to 4:54 to see how to best shape a modak with hands]
- While you prepare the modaks, add water to your steamer and keep it on high heat for boiling.
- Place the prepared modaks on the steamer plate and steam for about 15 mins. To check if they are done or not, just touch the modaks, if they don’t stick to your hands, they are done. Be careful as you open the steamer to check and to remove, as there will be a sudden gust of steam as you open the steamer and the modaks will be very hot inside the steamer.
- Sprinkle with some more dry fruits mixture and serve as an offering to Lord Ganesha and your loved ones!
- I have used desiccated coconut in this recipe as fresh coconut was not available in Bucharest but if you have access, it is best to use freshly grated coconut for the filling.
- Nutritional Info is the approximate information for 1 modak
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Freda @ Aromatic essence
Lovely modaks! I like the fact that you tried shaping them the traditional way! When I tried making one for the first time they were nowhere close to looking like a modak..haha 😀 I had to use the mold then 🙂
Yes, I wanted them to be as authentic and without using a mould! Found a good video on youtube that explained it very well 🙂
Thank you so much for your encouragement! I am sure they are still a bit away from the true shape!
Steamed modak or ukadiche modak is a recipe I always wanted to try. Thanks for sharing such a detailed recipe. I am definitely going to make this
I am so glad the recipe inspired you to try it 🙂 Would love to know how it went!
Sasmita Sahoo Samanta
Love this simple recipe for Ganesha which is his favorite dish
Such a traditional Maharashtrian sweet must to be prepared for festival !!!
Thank you, Sasmita!
First of all I just loved your cute Gannu Bappa , and nothing can be better than these traditional modaks to offer him , lovely share.
I found them in a village where an artist was carving them out of small stones. We ended up talking for a long time on the roadside and ultimately he just gifted me that little black idol :-).
Wish i get a box of ukadiche modak from you, how cute and beautiful those modak looks.. Love this authentic modak anytime of the day.
Thank you so much, Priya.
Well if you live anywhere close to Udaipur, I would love to send them to you next year probably! 🙂 his was my first time and I was anxious of how they will turn out that I only made a small batch.
Your Ganesha is super cute and so is the modak. I am particularly fond of the teeny tiny ones… so cute
Thanks, Seema! 🙂
I started with teeny tiny modaks and then slowly got the confidence of making them in regular sizes :-p
Super delicious modaks!! Normally we use rice flour, your maida ones look so good…must try it! Ganapati looks so cute and divine!
and I want to try rice ones next time as they would be gluten-free as well! Since this was my first time making modaks, I made with maida because I knew I would be able to easily roll them
The ukadiche modak platter looks divine ! We use rice flour to make the outer covering for the modak which has to be worked well to form pleates. Lovely share !
Exactly the reason why I went with all-purpose flour for the first time. I wasn’t too sure of working the rice flour into pleats as rice flour dough breaks easily. But would love to have tips on how to do it with rice flour for my next time!
Fabulous modaks and I loved the way you shaped..Those two small modaks looks cute..I never used all purpose flour for the outer covering…will give a try
It is bit easier with all-purpose flour than with rice flour, but I am going to try with rice flour next 🙂
What a beautiful and informative post on Ganesh Chaturthi and modak, Your eco-friendly Ganudada looks so cute. I have never tried making traditional modak at home as I have no faith in me to make them as good as yours 🙂 Lovely share.
Well, I was in that boat for the last 4 years… every year that we missed the modaks because of not being in India! But this year was the year when I finally made the leap! 😀 You should try them out too! And given how amazing you cook, I have no doubt you will get them easily 🙂
I make the same way as you prepared, only the difference is I use rice flour instead of maida. I love the way you explained.
Ganpati Bappa Moriya. These ukadiche modak looking perfectly cooked and stuffed.I have not yet tried these. This year we too are out of India. I had been welcoming Ganesha from last few years for 5 days. This year did for 3 days. Though I find a bit difficult but really enjoyed 3 days. I love this festival.
I am so glad you enjoyed the festival even when you are outside India. I love Ganu and everything around him 🙂 Not for religious reasons but more because he is just so cute 😀
Great post Ashima! Your Ganesha Idol and Modak is very cute and Beautiful. My mom always makes this traditional Modak for Ganesh Chaturthi, after quite some years, I joined with her this year and I had the opportunity to make this Modak with her. It may not be perfect as yours. But I enjoyed my moment.
By the way, my modaks are not perfect 🙂 I have seen such beautiful ones at aunt’s and friend’s homes in Mumbai… I am just aspiring to be like all those moms!
I loved reading your post and the way you have clearly explained the process of making modak. Always love to celebrate ganesh chaturthi, unfortunately now being outside India sometimes seems not possible to enjoy as much as I enjoy in India. Overall a great share Ashima.
Yes, being outside of India makes it difficult to enjoy the festivals in all their true authenticity but I guess with festive food we can at least bring in some of the celebrations home 🙂
Love these traditional modak and you have made them perfectly. Lovely share for the festival, though I am late here.
We use red rice flour with the same stuffing. Perfect share for Ganesh Pooja.Awesome share .
Yes, a lot of people shared that they use rice flour. I too am going to try with rice flour next Ganapathi season! 🙂
I’m yet to make modak. You post is certainly going to be helpful once I plan to make some. Bookmarking
I am glad you found it helpful! 🙂 I hope you make some soon!
Hard to believe these are hand moulded. Definitely nailed it. Beautiful presentation
Yes, they are and thank you so much for your kind words. I am sure they aren’t perfect and I need more practice but your words really encourage me! Thank you so much.
Lovely recipe. But in terms of calorie count, is it 53 calories per modak or 53 calories for entire mix, which is 10 modaks? Would be too low if its the latter given that there is coconut and jaggery in it 🙂
Thanks, Rekha. It is 53 calorie per serving… so per modak. I’ve also mentioned it in the recipe notes that nutritional info is for 1 modak. 🙂
Beautifully explained the recipe. Thanks for such a traditional recipe. Looks amazing. Loved the idol of little Ganesha. Love the post.