A simple recipe for Ganesha’s favorite sweet — Ukadiche Modak — steamed dumplings with a sweet coconut and jaggery center. A traditional Maharashtrian sweet, modaks are now prepared across India as the whole country celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi and Visarjan.
1tbspdry 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