Modak is a popular Maharashtrian dessert. It can be steamed or fried. Traditionally, modaks are offered to lord Ganesha since it is believed to be his favourite food. The steamed modaks are made out of rice flour with coconut-jaggery filling inside. The fried modaks are made with either all purpose flour or wheat flour with coconut filling inside. My personal favourite are steamed modaks. The outer cover is called 'Ukad' and the inner filling is called 'Saran'. Once you get the perfect outer cover, your modak will be perfect. Following is the full recipe for 'Ukadiche Modak' or 'Steamed Sweet Dumplings' with photos. I hope this will help you :)
For outer cover:
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon unsalted butter or ghee
- pinch of salt
For the filling:
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut
- ½ cup grated jaggery
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Pinch of saffron (optional)
To prepare the filling:
- Heat coconut and jaggery on a low flame in a thick bottom pan. Cook together on a low-medium heat.
- Stir in between to avoid sticking to the pan or burning Cook this mixture till it becomes thick. Turn off the heat. Do not overcook the mixture. It will become dry.
- Keep the ready filling aside to cool down. Add cardamom powder and saffron. Mix well.
To make outer cover:
- Heat a cup of water, butter/ghee, and salt in another pan. When the water starts boiling, reduce the flame and add the rice flour gradually.
- Quickly stir and mix the flour completely with water and cover it with lid for 2-3 mins. Reduce the heat to low. Let it cook on a steam inside.
- After 2 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the pan from the heat.
- Take all the steamed flour in a plate or on a flat surface. Wet your hands with the cold water and start kneading. You have to knead when the mixture is hot. Knead to a soft dough. (you can use little oil while kneading.) The more you knead the dough, it will be easy to shape the modak.
To prepare Modak:
- Make small balls from the dough. Cover them with a cloth.
- Apply some oil on your hands. Take one ball and flatten it with your fingers to a shallow bowl shape. Place the modak filling in the center.
- Wet your fingers and start pinching the edges of the bowl to make a petal shape. Bring the edges together and seal them together. Remove the extra portion of the dough from the top.
- Make all the modaks as above. Grease the steamer lightly with ghee. Put a damp cloth in the steamer. Slightly dip the modaks in cold water and keep them in a steamer pan. This will prevent them from cracking.
- Cover the pan with a lid and steam for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Drizzle some ghee on the modak and serve hot.