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Side view of Kesar Mawa Modak arranged on a plate

Kesar Mawa Modak

Shweta Arora
Kesar Mawa Modak is an easy Indian sweet made with mawa or khoya (milk solids), sugar, and flavored with cardamom and Kesar (saffron). This modak-shaped Kesar peda is made without stuffing, is melt-in-the-mouth delicious, and is the perfect offering (prasad) to Lord Ganesha for Ganesh Chaturthi. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert, Sweet
Cuisine Indian
Servings 25 modak
Calories 88 kcal



  • 2 cups mawa (Khoya)grated, using frozen, thawed
  • ½ cup white granulated sugar adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 teaspoon ghee to grease the molds


Make Saffron Milk

  • Heat the milk in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds and add a pinch of saffron strands to it. Mix and you will see the milk turn yellow because of saffron infusing its color. Keep it aside.

Make Mawa Mixture

  • In a thick bottom pan, start heat to medium and add the grated mawa and sugar to the pan.
  • Using a spatula, stir continuously until the mixture begins to melt. This takes about 2-3 mins. It will get aromatic as the mawa melts and roasts.
  • At this point add the milk and saffron mixture and mix until well combined.
  • Keep stirring for another 5 mins or until the mixture thickens, leaves the pan, and comes together like a dough not sticking to the pan anymore. It will also ooze some fat which you see as the shine on it. This indicates the mixture is ready. Do not overcook as that makes this mixture chewy and dense.
  • Another way to test is to take a small portion between your thumb and index finger and roll it into a ball. If you are able to that indicates the mixture is ready!
  • Remove on the plate and let it cool to lukewarm. Keep mixing in between using a spatula to cool it faster.

Make Kesar Mawa Modak

  • While the mixture cools, grease the modak molds with ghee.
  • Divide the mixture into portions roughly. Take one portion and roll it between your palms with gentle pressure to smoothen it out. It should turn smooth and shiny.
  • Add this smooth ball to the mold. Make it slightly oblong to fit the mold size. Similarly, fill all the remaining slots of the mold (mine had 4).
  • Close the mold, and remove excess dough from the bottom and sides. Press the bottom open end of the mold to ensure the filling is well packed.
  • Open the mold and remove any access dough surrounding the modak using a knife or by hand. Carefully remove the modak out of the mold and place them on a clean plate.
  • Repeat until you are done with all the dough. Allow them to sit for 10 mins.
  • Easy delicious Kesar Mawa Modak is ready!



Use a good quality mawa, it should not be stale or rancid. You can use fresh or frozen. 
For frozen mawa, thaw and allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. Heating up frozen mawa can lend a bitter taste.
Preferably, use a nonstick pan for making modak as it makes cooking with mawa easier. Also, use a silicone spatula which provides flexibility to mix the mixture like you are kneading it to make it smooth.
Do not overcook the mawa mixture as it will result in denser/hard modak.
Mold the modak while the mixture is still warm and make the mawa mixture smooth before molding for that clean smooth finished look. 
This modak will be shiny and soft at the beginning and turn matt and firm (not hard) as they set. They should be firm to touch but still soft, and creamy in taste.
Use smaller molds for that bite-sized modak.
You can easily half or double this recipe. Adjust sugar to taste.
For variation, you can add nuts like cashews and pistachios or nuts of choice to this modak peda mixture before shaping.
You can also add rose water or Kewra essence in combination with cardamom powder for flavor variation.
If you don't have molds shape them into regular round pedas. 
If you don't have saffron, use yellow food color and skip the milk and Kesar from the recipe.
You can store this mawa modak in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3-4 days, up to two weeks in a refrigerator. 


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 87IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 0.005mg
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