Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated on September 19 and it marks the beginning of the 10-day Ganeshotsav. Like any Indian festival, Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayak Chaturthi, is not complete without yummy treats. Modaks – sweet dumplings made from fresh, grated coconut and jaggery – are an intrinsic part of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations and are considered one of Lord Ganesha’s favourite sweets. Food Innovation Technologist, Marisha Baurai, at Farmley, offers a modern twist to this traditional delicacy. With a harmonious blend of dry fruits – almonds, cashews, pistachios, and raisins – these Modaks pay homage to tradition and also showcase devotees’ love for Lord Ganesha.
For the Outer Covering (Rice Flour Dough):
● 1 cup rice flour
● 1.25 cups water
● A pinch of salt
● 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
For the Filling (Dry Fruit Mixture):
● 1/2 cup mixed dry fruits (almonds, cashews, pistachios, & raisins), finely chopped
● 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
● 1/4 cup jaggery, grated
● 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
● 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
How To Make:
STEP 1: To prepare the outer covering, heat 1.25 cups of water with a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of ghee in a saucepan. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
STEP 2: Add the rice flour all at once and quickly stir to combine. Keep stirring until it forms a dough-like consistency and leaves the sides of the pan. Once done, turn off the heat & let the dough cool slightly.
STEP 3: To prepare the filling, heat 1 tsp of ghee in a separate pan and add the chopped mixed dry fruits – almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios and sauté for a few minutes until they become fragrant.
STEP 4: Add the grated jaggery and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the jaggery melts and combines with the dry fruits.
STEP 5: Add the desiccated coconut and cardamom powder and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes until the mixture comes together & forms a sticky filling and then remove the pan from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
STEP 6: To assemble the modaks, take a small portion of the rice flour dough & shape it into a small ball.
STEP 7: Flatten the ball into a small disc using your fingers or the palm of your hand, creating a small cup-like shape. Place a teaspoon of the dry fruit mixture into the centre of the disc.
STEP 8: To shape the modaks, carefully gather the edges of the rice flour disc & pinch them together at the top, forming a cone-like shape with the filling enclosed. Use your fingers to create pleats or designs on the outer covering (optional). Repeat the process with the remaining dough & filling.
STEP 9: To steam the modaks, grease a steamer plate or a banana leaf with a little ghee to prevent sticking. Arrange the modaks on the plate, leaving some space between them & steam the modaks in a steamer for about 10-12 minutes until they become glossy & cooked through.
“Once done, let the modaks cool for a few minutes and offer them to Lord Ganesha as a traditional offering or enjoy them as a sweet treat for your Ganesh Chaturthi celebration. These delightful dry fruit modaks, with their crunchy nutty filling and soft rice flour exterior, make for a divine offering to Lord Ganesha on this auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi,” shares Marisha Baurai.