Thursday, September 4, 2008

Ukadiche Modak for Lord Ganesha


We celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi with lots of enthusiasm yesterday. Gudiya had fun clapping during the Aartis. and what's Ganesh Chaturthi without Modaks? So I decided to make them. My mom gave me the perfect proportion for making ukadiche modak on a small scale. It worked well for me.
After preparing Modaks, I was kinda brimming with joy & pride. Well, they were definitely not the best modaks I have seen. Honestly, they didn't even come close to what may grand moms, great aunts, mom or aunts make. But still, they were not bad.

I noticed that Gudiya was staring at the Modak in her plate rather intently. I was wondering what's going on? After some serious thought, she asked me - "Mumma, are we going to eat the whole garlic for dinner today?".....Oh well!!!

Here's my recipe which resulted in not-so-bad modaks but my daughter thought they were garlic bulbs. :-D

May Lord Ganesha bless us all.

Ukadiche Modak - (About 11 - 12 Modaks)
Sweet Coconut-Jaggery Dumplings
Ingredients
For Ukad or dough
1 cup rice flour
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil

For the stuffing -
3/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1/2 cup jaggery, grated (use 3/4 cups if you prefer very sweet version)
1 tbsp poppy seeds/khus khus
1 tbsp cashewnuts (optional), broken into small pieces
3-4 cardamoms, crushed coarsely
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder

Accompaniment
Ghee/Toop (Optional)

Method
1. Bring the water to boil adding salt and oil.
2. Slowly pour rice flour while stirring the rice-water mixture with a fork.
3. Switch off the gas. Stir well so there are no lumps. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes.
4. In another pan, heat coconut, jaggery mixture on a low flame till jaggery melts. Now poppy seeds and cashew pieces. Stir for about 5 minutes. Switch off the gas. Add cardamom and nutmeg powders. This stuffing is called "Choon" or "Chuv". Set it aside to cool down.
5. While the dough is still warm, (but kneadable with bare hands!) - knead the dough so there are no lumps and it is nice and smooth. This dough is called "Ukad".
6. Make small balls and roll out into a puri - this is called "Paari". Stuff the coconut-jaggery mixture. & try to bring the edges together just like - oh well - garlic bulb!! I used Modak mold at this stage. The first modak - as seen in the center - was a little crooked!! :-(
7. When all the modaks are ready, steam them for about 15- 20 minutes.
8. Serve warm with ghee/toop - if using.

Note -
1. Use freshly scraped coconut.
2. Use grated jaggery before adding to the coconut. It can be grated on the grater. That will give you the precise measurement.
3. I used bamboo steamer for steaming. Your regular pressure cooker can also be used.
4. Without ghee for serving the Modaks, this is a Vegan recipe.
5. If you like, you can line the container with banana or turmeric leaves to get the delicate flavors imparted by the leaves.
6. During Ganesh Chaturthi season in Mumbai, you get special rice flour meant for making modaks. That is made from aromatic rice like Ambemohar.
7. The proportion above for the 11 - 12 modaks is for the medium sized modaks as shown above. The count may vary if the modaks are made smaller or bigger.



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