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.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp ghee
- a pinch salt
- 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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