Ganesh Chathurti & Modak (sweet dumplings) are synonyms for me. Modak is Lord Ganesha's favorite food & hence these are patent offerings to the Lord during this festival season.
Modak are basically of two types, steamed & fried. Steamed are usually made using Rice flour dough & fried ones with all purpose flour (APF). The filling is made of coconut & jaggery & is same for both types. I decided to make Fried Modak this time mainly because I find steamed modak requires more practice & patience to get the correct shape compared to the easily mold-able APF dough modak. For making steamed modak, more hands to help the better as you need to work quickly ensuring the rice flour dough is warm to help shaping the modak. Last but not the least reasons is, I prefer the fried ones to the steamed ones as I like the combination of crunchy exterior & soft & sweet interiors. But will definitely be trying the Steamed ones soon after all they are healthier. So stay tuned for that recipe.
Which is your favorite type of Modak - Fried or Steamed?
For the Filling:
1 cup of grated coconut (am using frozen)
1 cup of grated jaggery (gur)
3-4 pods of cardamom or 1/2 tsp of cardamom powder
pinch of saffron (optional)
For the dough
1/2 cup of All purpose flour (maida)
1/4 cup of wheat flour
1 tbsp of ghee (clarified butter)
salt to taste
water as required
1 tsp of oil
In addition you will also need oil for frying
For the Filling:
- Heat a flat bottom vessel on medium flame & once hot add the grated jaggery to it. As soon as it starts melting add the grated coconut & mix well so that they are well combined i.e. the jaggery has melted & integrated with the coconut. Keep stirring continuously (Approximately 2 mins).
- Crush the cardamom seeds & add to the mixture.
- When the mixture is well combined switch off the gas, add the saffron threads & mix well. Keep aside & allow to cool
Tip: Don't overcook the jaggery coconut filling else it will turn hard.
For the Dough:
- Take the wheat flour & all purpose flour into a bowl. To this add salt & ghee. Mix.
- Using water as required knead into a smooth & soft dough.
- Sprinkle some oil & knead the dough again to coat it with oil.
- Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap & allow to stand for 15 mins.
For making Modak:
- Make small balls (marble size). Always keep the dough covered & work with small quantity of dough at a time. This prevent the dough from drying.
- Using a rolling pin, roll into a thin circle (thinner the better).
- Take 1 tbsp or as much the dough circle can hold & place it in the center of the circle.
- Using a pinch action, pinch the dough edges from 5 or more sides as shown.
- Pull all the pinched edges together into a peak as shown & seal firmly.
- Line a dish or tray with parchment paper & keep this modak on it to prevent the bottom of the modak from sticking.
- Continue making the remaining modak in similar manner. Always keep them covered with wet cloth. (I was able to make 25 Modak)
- Once you are done making all the Modak, heat oil for deep frying.
- Once sufficiently hot (test by dropping a small dough ball into the oil. If it turns golden that means our oil is ready)
- Now add the modak to the oil (as many as your vessel can hold). Once they turn golden remove & drain on absorbent paper. Keep frying till you have completed all.
- Cool them completely & store in airtight container, Consumer within 3-4 days.
That's it, our crunchy Fried Modak are ready. Enjoy !!