Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

The Noisiest Festival in Maharashtra & The Food it Brings

It’s that time of the year, when the energy level across the country shoots up in celebration of Lord Ganesh, and the chants of ‘Ganpati Bappa Morya’ echo in the air. Year over year, the celebration has been gaining magnitude and today, has turned into a spectacle!

The frenzy in Mumbai and Pune is much like that in Kolkata during Durga Puja. To those who have grown up in Maharashtra, Pandal hopping must have been an unmissable activity during the ten days! Even today, you need not be religious to really enjoy Pandal hopping. To watch the creativity and sheer effort taken by one mandal to outshine the other is worth traveling for! Moreover, who doesn’t love a night out?

Oh and the food! The sweet tooth that the God was known to be, it is not surprising that the most famous festival food is exactly that. In many states of India, a mixture of jaggery and coconut is stuffed inside a soft rice shell and steamed. No, “meethe momos” is not what it’s called (unlike what we’ve heard a few times). Modak or modhaka or modakam, is served hot, with some (we prefer a lot of) ghee on top. Suddenly, you tend to stop judging the pot bellied God on his food preferences.

For you to try this amazingly indulgent food, below is a recipe from the mothers and aunts of Wandering Foodie, which has the potential to draw a lot of neighbours and relatives. So unless YOU want to be the spectacle, cook this in secret 😉

Ganpati Bappa Morya!


Modak Recipe
Serves: 20-25 pieces

Ingredients
Stuffing:
Grated fresh coconut – 2 cups
Jaggery – 1 ½ cup
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Condensed milk – 2 tsp
Nutmeg – ¼
Cardamom – 5-6
Dry fruits powder (mix as per preference) – 2 tsp
Shell:
Basmati Rice flour – ½ kg
Milk – 1 cup
Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tsp
Turmeric leaves – 3-4

Method

Stuffing:

  • Mix the grated fresh coconut and jaggery and heat the mixture while stirring until the jaggery melts
  • Add dryfruit powder, roasted poppy seeds and condensed milk. Continue heating with occasional stirring until a spoon stuck in the mixture stands upright
  • Add nutmeg and cardamom powder and stir well. Keep aside to cool

Shell:

  • Boil a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 cup mil. Add 1 tsp of ghee along with a pinch of salt
  • Add 2 cups of rice flour in the boiling mixture. Stir well and cover with a lid. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes
  • Place the cooked dough on a wet muslin cloth and knead it well while hot. Place the kneaded dough along with the muslin cloth in a vessel
  • Keep this vessel in boiling water so the dough remains hot
  • Take a small amount of dough and flatten it until it is palm size

Modak:

  • Take a ball of stuffing and place it in the center of the flattened dough. Slowly wrap the shell around the stuffing. Close the modak by pressing the dough to create a tip. Ready all the modaks in a similar way.
  • In a big vessel, boil some water. Smear some ghee on a sieve and place wet Turmeric leaves to cover the entire sieve. Place this sieve on the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes with a lid on
  • Serve hot with ghee on top

 

Tip: You can store Modaks before the steaming stage for a few days in a refrigerator, so it can be a quick 15 minutes dessert whenever you crave for it!

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