Best wishes on Ganesh Chaturthi friend$$$$. With the blessings of Lord Ganesha may we all have a very healthy, delightful, successful, and prosperous life and may he remove all the obstacles we all are facing. Posting one of Lord Ganesh’s favourite sweet : Modak.
Modak are sweet stuffed dumplings steamed or fried and offered to Lord Ganesha as prasad or naivedyam.Posting the whole wheat fried modak recipe below.
For the outer covering :
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup fine(chiroti)rawa/ semolina / zero number rawa
- 4 tsp sizzling hot ghee
- A pinch of salt
- Milk to knead the dough
For the filling :
- 1 cup fresh grated coconut ( take only the white portion)
- 3/4th cup jaggery (adjust to sweetness required. I have used organic jaggery)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- A pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
- 1 tsp poppy seeds ( khus khus)
- Oil for deep frying
The outer covering :
- In a mixing bowl combine whole wheat flour, semolina, salt and hot clarified butter and mix well with a spoon. Then rub the mix well with your hand. Next add milk in stages and knead into a smooth, firm dough (the dough should neither be too stiff nor soft). Knead well. A sign that the dough is kneaded well is when you roll a small ball from the dough it should be smooth and should not show cracks neither should it stick to your palms. Apply a little oil, knead well, cover and set it aside for at least 30 minutes so that the semolina fluffs up.
The inner filling :
- Heat a flat nonstick/ceramic pan add 1 tsp ghee and combine coconut, jaggery and cook it on low flame. The mix will first liquify and then start thickening. Cook till the mix is soft and a little moist (the moisture in the mix must have almost evaporated). To check take a spoonful of the mix and roll it into a ball when warm, if it rolls into a smooth ball the consistency of the mix is correct. Roast the poppy seeds a bit and then add it to the mix along with cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, a pinch of salt, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the mix cool completely.
- Knead the dough that has been set aside well and divide it into equal sizes ( say the size of a marble). Roll out into 3″ diameter discs. You will not require flour nor oil to roll out the discs as the dough has been kneaded properly and it does’nt stick to your palm. Once the disc has been rolled flip it and then place about 1 1/2 tsp or a little more of the filling in the centre. Create pleates around the edges and gather them at the top ( it’ll look like a fig to be precise). Remove the excess dough at the top. The modak should be well sealed and there should be no tear anywhere, if not the filling will come out while frying. The top of the modak should’nt be very thick, it won’t get fried properly. Follow the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.
- Heat oil in a kadai/ wok. Once hot gently slip in 3 to 4 modaks at a time not more. Fry them between low to medium flame till golden brown and crisp on all sides.
- Once done remove them and drain on absorbent paper. Fry the rest of the modak in a similar way.
- Since fresh coconut is used the modak stay fresh for a day at room temperature. Store leftover modak in an airtight container in the referigerator.
- Adding a mix of whole wheat flour, and semolina gives crispier modak than just using whole wheat flour. However they won’t turn out as crisp and flaky as the ones made with only refined flour and semolina. These modak do not become oily .
- The modak should be fried immediately if not the outer covering will crack. Cover the modak/ karanji with a moist cloth in case of delay in frying.
- The modak should be fried on low flame. DO NOT FRY ON HIGH FLAME ( the inner covering will not get cooked). A little time consuming process,but it’s worth the effort taken.
- Modak can be fried in ghee or oil. I use refined groundnut oil as it has high smoking point and the pastries come out crispier too.
- Only a combination of all purpose flour( maida) and semolina can also be used to get very crisp pastries.
- Modak recipe is very versatile. You can also add thinly sliced almonds ( or any dry fruits you like) to the filling, but you have to be careful while sealing the modak as the edges of dry fruits may tear the covering.