Ganesh Chaturthi is just round the corner.
One of the most auspicious days where we welcome Lord Ganesh into our home with lots of pomp and show.
In Goa, Maharashtra and some other states on the west coast of India, this festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm.
Ganesh is said to be the God of knowledge and wisdom. His very form is intended to inspire people and teach them ways to lead a happier life.
Lord Ganesh is also famous for his love of modak – delicious little deep fried dumplings with sweet and juicy filling of coconut, jaggery and nuts.
Here’s how you can make and enjoy these yourself!
For the filling:
– Grate one coconut and grind it coarsely. This should come out to be about 1 cup.
– Grate jaggery into small chunks. As for quantity, if the grated coconut comes out to be 1 cup, take about 3/4 cup of jaggery. This loosely works for most sweets including laddus. When you take 1 cup of the main ingredient, you can take about half or three fourth of the measure of sweetener. In our case we are using jaggery, you can substitute it with powdered sugar if you prefer that taste.
– Coarsely grind about half a cup of of assorted unsalted nuts. I used almonds, cashew, pistachios and some peanuts. Leave some rather large pieces intact for the lovely crunch.
– Take a handful of dry chana daal (Bengal gram daal)
– 2 tsps of white til (sesame)
– 2 tsp of khaskhas (poppy seeds)
– 1/2 tsp of ilaichi (cardamom) powder or you can use jaiphal (nutmeg) powder
– ghee about 1/2 tbsp
In a dry pan, roast chana daal, sesame and poppy seeds. Remove and keep aside. In the same pan, add some ghee. Once it melts, add coconut and jaggery. Keep stirring. Once jaggery melts, the color of coconut will change from white to golden brown. Now add roasted sesame, poppy seeds, nuts mixture, ilaichi powder and cook some more, stirring continuously.
Some households also add milk to this mixture. Have never tried that myself, though.
Take the cooked stuffing out of the pan and leave aside for cooling.
While it cools, knead your dough.
– Two cups wheat flour or maida (plain flour)
– 1/4 cup sooji (rawa / semolina)
– 1 tbsp ghee
– salt to taste and
– water as required
– Ghee or oil for deep drying
Knead together all ingredients making sure the dough is soft. Not too sticky, nor too dry.
Divide into lemon sized balls and roll each of them into a small sized chapati or poori.
Now is a little tricky part. Take this poori on your palm and pinch the sides about 5 to 6 times. In the middle hollow add the stuffing you prepared above.
With a delicate hand, collect pinched edges and stick them together at the center.
Take ghee or oil for deep frying into a pan and heat it. Once it is sufficiently hot, add prepared modaks, about 3-4 at a time and fry till they turn golden.
Never keep the modaks around before frying for a long time. The covering will start cracking if it gets dry. If you do need to leave aside for some reason, cover them with a clean damp cloth.
Offer these yummy golden smallies to Lord Ganesh and serve to all your family and friends with love.
Enjoy your Ganesh Chaturthi!
May Lord Ganesh bless you all!!