Ganpati Bappa… Morya!!!
The streets outside are abuzz with this sound. It is the second day of Ganesh Chaturthi, and the day of visarjan for all one and half days Ganeshji. Including mine. Yesterday was a happy day, when Ganeshji came to our home to bless us with His presence, and today it is a sombre day when he leaves for his home again.
Here are the pictures of my Ganeshji.
Ganesh chaturthi has been one of my most favorite festivals of all. First of all, it heralds the coming of Ganeshji, my beloved deity in our midst. Secondly, it means attending aartis at various homes, and showing off by reciting aartis by rote (even when we were to young to understand what they meant!) Although we didn’t get 5 days of leave from school, the way kids do these days, we were still excited about coming home, finishing our homework in a hurry and then scooting off to those friends’ homes where they had Ganeshji.
It also meant laboring for days, creating the perfect decoration or Makhar as we call it to show off our crafting skills. Ganeshji in a coconut, Ganeshji sitting on the back of a tortoise and yes, once even Ganeshji sitting on an Igloo!!
What do I say? We were little and we had vivid imaginations!
But the best part of Ganesh chaturthi was the Modak. Steamed rice dumplings with sweet coconut filling inside it, which oozed syrup when you take your first bite into it. Soft and melt-in-the-mouth yummy. While we kids competed on our modak eating prowess, the women of the family competed (though never openly) on making the best modaks. Sure we loved a perfect modak, with multiple kalis and the perfect round shape that ended in that portly little peak, but we didn’t mind even the misshapen modaks made by the newbie bahus of the family. We ate them all, and we loved them all.
When I got married, I had my first taste of the fried modak. It was great too, which led me to try and find more awesome modak recipes and I wasn’t disappointed. Here are few of my favorite modak recipes, the first three are tried and tested.
1. Ukadiche Modak
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- vegetable oil (preferably sunflower oil)
- 2 cups fresh grated coconut
- slightly less than 1 cup jaggery
- cardamom powder a pinch
Prepare the filling by heating a kadhai and sautéing the coconut jaggery and cardamom powders together till they get a lovely golden brown color. Keep aside to cool.
For the covering, boil the water in a large vessel and add the salt and two tsp of oil to it. Add the rice flour and shut off the heat. Stir vigorously till it is homogeneously mixed. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.
Then knead with greased palms till it all comes together in a nice smooth dough. Knead well for at least 5 to 10 minutes to get the best results.
Now take a lemon sized ball of the dough and shape it into a katori or a bowl with your thumbs and forefingers. Spoon a little filling into the center and pinch the edges to get the Kalis. Now Bring the edges together and form a peak on top of the modak.
Steam the modaks in an idli steamer for about 10 minutes.
Best served with a drizzle of shuddh desi ghee (clarified butter)
2. Fried Modak
I found a great recipe on Spicy Aroma for Fried Modak or Talniche Modak. Poonam of Spicy Aroma gives a detailed step by step procedure with images for making these awesomely fragrant modaks. The benefit of these modaks is that they remain fresh for a really long time. You can make them and store them for even a month. That is, if they last that long 😀
A variant of these is to use fresh coconut filling in the fried modaks. But that decreases its shelf life, so you have to choose which suits you best.
3. Mava Modaks
This particular recipe, I have had the privilege of tasting just a few hours ago. My mother brought these as a prasad for our Ganpati Bappa, and they were gone like hot cakes once the naivedyam was offered! The taste is very similar to Kandi Pedas and the chocolate chips just make them even more marvellous!
Here is her recipe for the same.
- 2 cups mava or khoya
- ½ cup condensed milk
- a pinch of cardamom powder
- 1 tsp ghee
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips (optional)
Heat a little ghee in a kadhai and add the khoya to it and sauté till it turns a lovely pinkish color. Cool it, add the condensed milk, and cardamom powder. Add the chocolate chips and shape them into modaks. Done!
4. Coconut rose modaks
I found this recipe on Maayeka and have been eager to try it ever since. I can almost imagine the taste of coconut modaks with the lovely rose (gulkand) filling. Kudos to Ms. Anjana Chaturvedi and thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe!
You can find the recipe here.
5. Chocolate Modaks
These are perfect for gifting to loved ones, or friends. Super easy to make, if you have the modak moulds. These are not the press type modak moulds but regular sheet chocolate moulds in the shape of modaks. They are available in silicon as well as plastic.
Just melt the chocolate (dark, milk or white) in a double boiler and pour into the individual moulds only halfway through. Tilt the mould in all directions so the chocolate covers the moulds well on all sides.
Now fill it with your favorite filling. Here are my options.
1. Chocolate truffle
3. Khoya sweet
5. Dulce de leche
7. sticky caramel sauce
Chill in the refrigerator for five minutes. Now melt the chocolate again and pour it till the moulds are completely filled. Allow the chocolate to set and remove from the moulds.
Optional: Dip the tips of the modaks in a contrasting colored chocolate to make it even better looking. For example, dip in white chocolate if your modak is made of dark chocolate and vice versa.