Cookbook:Pastries Filled with Coconut (Modak)

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Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Indian Cuisine | Dessert

Modak is a deep fried Indian sweet that is almost exclusively prepared during the Ganesha Festival around August, when it is often given as an offering to Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed Remover of Obstacles. Modak is reportedly his favorite sweet. In some parts of the country (coastal Maharashtra), modak is prepared using rice flour, as rice is the main crop of that region. They are usually filled with a syrupy mixture of sweetened coconut, sometimes with saffron.

Variation I – Wheat Flour Modak[edit | edit source]

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

For 20-25 servings:

Dough[edit | edit source]

Filling[edit | edit source]

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. Prepare the dough; it should be dry but should stay a little sticky.
  2. Sprinkle it with oil and leave it covered for 1 hour.
  3. Melt the jaggery with 4 tablespoons of water in a non-stick pan until it is liquid.
  4. Add coconut.
  5. Sauté for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture becomes very thick and almost dry.
  6. Mix in the cardamom powder and remove from the fire.
  7. Spread the mixture out on a metal tray to cool.
  8. Take a tablespoon-sized ball of dough and roll it out - using flour if it is sticky - into a disc 4 inches across.
  9. Put a tablespoon-sized lump of filling in the middle (it should be hardening well by now), wet the edges with a finger, and fold up the sides, crimping the dough into a peak at the top to completely seal in the filling.
  10. Deep fry the modak in oil until golden brown.

Variation II – Rice Modak[edit | edit source]

For making rice flour modak, the procedure is the same for making the filling of coconut and jaggery. However, rice flour is used in the dough instead of wheat flour. They are not fried, but steamed.

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

Dough[edit | edit source]

Filling[edit | edit source]

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp cardamom, powdered
  • Ghee

Procedure[edit | edit source]

  1. Make the filling, following the same method as the above fried wheat flour modak.
  2. Heat 2 cups of the water in a large pot/vessel and then add salt and butter.
  3. As the water starts boiling, add rice flour to the water. Lower heat. Mix well. The mixture should be a smooth paste; there should be no lumps. If mixture is becoming too dry then add the remaining ½ cup water. Keep heating on slow fire till rice flour is cooked.
  4. Now, cover the mixture with a lid and switch of the gas. Let it cook in its own steam.
  5. While it is still warm rub some ghee on your palms and take a small portion . Make a ball out of it. With your thumb shape the ball into a cup. Put two teaspoons of the filling and close the ends in a manner to get the shape of a fresh fig.
  6. Make 10 modaks and place them in a colander or steamer basket greased with ghee. Place the modak in such a way that they do not touch one another in the colander.
  7. Place the colander in a steamer and steam the modaks for 10 minutes.
  8. Dribble with a teaspoon of ghee, and serve hot.

Variation III[edit | edit source]

Ingredients[edit | edit source]

Filling[edit | edit source]

  • 2 cup shredded fresh coconut
  • 1 cup jaggery
  • 1 teaspoon roasted poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rice flour
  • 3-4 cardamoms

Dough[edit | edit source]

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • ½ teaspoon oil
  • A pinch of salt

Procedure[edit | edit source]

Filling[edit | edit source]

  1. Combine the coconut and jaggery. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until properly mixed. Do not overcook—the mixture should be brown not black.
  2. Stir cardamom, roasted poppy seeds, and rice flour into the mix. Cook for some time.
  3. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.

Dough[edit | edit source]

  1. Boil the water. Add ghee, salt, and oil. Immediately add rice flour and stir well.
  2. Cover for some time. Remove the lid and stir and cover again for a minute.
  3. Remove from heat, and transfer the mixture to a flat plate. Knead it properly while hot to make a soft pliable dough. The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry.

Assembly[edit | edit source]

  1. Divide the dough into small balls, or 'C-Rag' as it is more commonly referred to.
  2. Roll each ball into 1.5 inch diameter circle. Hold it in a hand and make a small bowl of it. Put some coconut filling into this bowl shaped dough. Dip thumb and index finger in the oil and make 5-6 small pinches side by side on the edges of the bowl. Bring them together, join to form a peak. It should look like a whole garlic. Prepare all other modaks like this.
  3. Spread a damp cloth onto a flat round sifter and arrange all the modaks onto it. Place the sifter in a steamer and cover. Steam for about 15 minutes. (Use a big size saucepan or pressure cooker if you don't have a steamer. Do not put the whistle if you use the pressure cooker.)
  4. Serve warm with the clarified butter, also called ghee.

External links[edit | edit source]