September 18, 2016

Making modaks and a food blogger comes to the rescue

Making modaks with the help of a blogger

This year Ganesh Chathurthi coincided with long weekend in the US. We planned on making a big feast for Ganesha which included idlis, payesam and modaks.

While the first two were easy to make (have experience doing it) the third was a little tricky. Modaks are sweet, steamed dumplings that are made especially for this festival.

Making modaks with the help of a bloggerThe few times I made modals was with my MIL. This time she was not here. So Aswin called her and she gave him the recipe for the filling. For the modak rice outer covers, he looked up a website (vegrecipesofindia) for making the rice flour dough.

When I started making the dough, I was at a loss. The recipe proportions were vague and the steps were not clear. And I ended with this gooey mess.

Time was running out. That's when I remembered Saee Khandekar, another food blogger from my early days of blogging. She is an expert Maharashtrian cook (check out My Jhola ) so I quickly looked up to see if she had a modak recipe.

She did! I did a mental hallelujah and set about making a second batch of rice dough.

With her specific instructions like this, you know you cannot go wrong.
At the slightest hint of rebellion, stir in the rice flour. Don’t worry about the dryness yet. Remove pan from heat and stir continuously. Cover and place back on heat for a minute or two, until the mixture doesn’t smell powdery.
So thank you Saee, the proportions and the descriptions helped.

We had fun making the modaks for neivedyam (offerings to Ganesha) and then eating it. The modaks were nowhere as beautiful as hers, but it was fun sharing this activity with the little ones. We will surely be making modaks again.

Here is how we did it - an amalgam of both the recipes.

For rice flour outer covering:
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
1/4 tspoon salt

For the filling:
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup jaggery
1 tbspoon poppy seeds
1 tbspoon white sesame seeds
1/2 tspoon cardamom powder

For the filling:

Making modaks with the help of a blogger

Put coconut, jaggery, poppy and sesame seeds in a thick bottomed pan on medium heat. Cook it till it all comes together as a mixture. Don't overcook it or the jaggery will taste burnt.  Add in the cardamom powder, mix it together. Take it off the heat and let it cool.

For the rice flour dough:
Heat the 1 cup water. As soon as you see the first signs on the water boiling, add the rice flour and take it off the heat. Mix it together, add the salt and ghee and bring it back to the heat till the raw smell disappears.

Making modaks with the help of a blogger
Now put it on a plate and mix it together. It will be very hot so use a small bowl to mix it and bring it together as a dough.

Cover it with a wet paper towel and get to work.

Take a small portion and make a round ball. Flatten the ball to make a bowl with your fingers.

Making modaks with the help of a blogger
Then add a tspoon of filling in the base and now pinch the sides to bring it together to close the top.

Steaming the modaks:
Heat water in a steamer and place the modaks in a steamer plate. Steam for 8-10 minutes.

When it is ready, the rice dough will have a translucent shine.

It's ready to eat.


  1. It was a nice read! I also make modaks every year now but only made the steamed ones once. It is tricky! But Nandan prefers the fried ones! But yes it's fun making :)

    1. Thanks Smita. You're right, they're tricky till you have a good recipe. Try this next time. Hope you and Nandan are doing well.


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