Best wishes on Ganesh Chaturthi friends!!!! 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 coming our way . Posting one of Lord Ganesh’s favourite sweet : Modak.
Whole wheat Fried Modak and Karanji / Deep fried sweet pastries
Lord Ganesha’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
4 tsp fine(chiroti)rawa/ semolina / zero number rawa
3 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)
1/2 cup jaggery + 2 tsp (adjust to sweetness required and depending on the sweetness of jaggery. I have used organic jaggery)
1 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
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). The dough should not be too stiff since the semolina absorbs the moisture from the dough. 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 heavy bottomed / 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. Add cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, a pinch of salt, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the mix cool.
Knead the dough that has been set aside well and divide it into equal sizes. 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 gently (it’ll look like a fig to be precise). Remove the excess dough (if any )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 keeping the flame inbetween low and medium flame till golden brown and crisp on all sides.
Once done remove them and drain on a slotted plate so that excess oil drains out. 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 if any 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. When only whole wheat flour is used the modak cover becomes chewy after a while which is not the case when semolina is added. Use branded whole wheat flour since its consistency is superfine as compared to the one ground from the mill.Superfine wholewheat flour helps to keep the texture of modak firm. These modak will not become oily.
The modak should be fried immediately if not the outer covering will crack. Cover the modak/ karanji with a tightly squeezed 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.
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.