Known for its rich culture , languages and rituals amidst diversity,India has a wide range of distinct cuisines which varies as we move from region to region.The culinary skills and taste are unique and differ accordingly.
Maharashtra is one of the largest state of India ,having Mumbai as its capital. Mumbai is more known for its Bollywood film industry and also for its famous Ganesh festival which started long back in 1890's during the pre independence era to unite people socially through religious festivals.
Lord Ganesh ,one of the Hindu gods is specially offered “Modak” , a sweet dumpling made of rice flour, jaggery and coconut. It has a unique taste and is also considered as the healthiest sweet of all ,as it consumes absolutely no/less butter in comparison to other Indian sweets.
To make Modak,the following ingredients are required:
For the outer covering:
- 500 gms fine white rice powder
- One pinch of cardamom powder
- few strands of saffron( optional)
- One tablespoon cooking oil
- Slight salt to taste
For the filling:
- Grounded jaggery
- Grated coconut
- small pieces of dry fruits
- one teaspoon poppy seeds
- one teaspoon nutmeg powder
Rice powder is first dissolved in equal volume of water and stirred well to avoid lumps along with adding one tablespoon of oil and pinch of salt to taste( As it is a sweet dish, salt is only added to add slight taste).The batter is slowly cooked on low flame for 3- 4 mins by stirring continuously.( Few strands of saffron are added if wished for nice aromatic flavour) It is then kept in a rice cooker and steamed for 4-5 mins.We get a nicely done dough of rice flour , which is well kneaded for softness with fingers.
The filling is prepared by heating ½ tablespoon ghee/butter in a pan and then adding one teaspoon nutmeg powder and poppy seeds and sauted. Then grated coconut, jaggery and few pieces of dry fruits are added until jaggery starts melting. It is sauted for 5 minutes and then allowed to cool down .( Overcooking should be avoided as jaggery turns harder.)
- The riceflour dough is then taken in form of small balls .
- Take one ball and flatten it with your fingers to a round disc or a shallow bowl shape.To avoid sticking, you can apply ghee/oil in your palms, while flattening.
- Place the sweet coconut filling in the center.Bring together the edges of the roll in form of a ring to join and seal them.
- Else a small metalcast mould is also available in which the small ball of kneaded rice dough is added and pressed with fingers to the edges , followed by adding one teaspoon filling into it and then sealing the open end with a small piece of dough. The mould is applied with light layer butter to avoid sticking of dough.
- These small dumplings are then steamed in a greased vessel of rice cooker/ steamer for 10 minutes.
Modak is now ready for consumption.
This is Indian dessert is one of the healthiest , as it is steamed and requires a small amount of ghee/butter only to be greased . Coconut and jaggery are known to have medicinal properties of cleansing and hydrating our body. No sugar is added in the above recipe .Small amount of poppy seeds and nutmeg powder acts as a stress reliever and insinuates a kind of calmness.
This is a festive dish mostly prepared during festival is a healthy one yet with a lip smacking taste.