- For the Filling / Saran:- 1 cup grated coconut ½ cup jaggery (OR refined sugar) ½ teaspoon cashewnuts bits 1 pinch of Jaiphal powder (OR velchi/ cardamom powder) For the Coating:- 2 cups fine rice powder 2 cups water 1 tablespoon ghee 1 pinch of salt
UKDICHE MODAK / SWEET DUMPLINGS/ SWEET DIM SUMS
A very special sweet offering to the Lord Ganesha (Elephant headed god worshipped by hindus) especially during the main festival of Ganesh Chaturthi which usually occurs around September (based on the hindu lunar calendar). It is very similar to a dumpling or dim sum since it is steamed and the stuffing is sweet made with a mixure of grated coconut and jaggery of sugar (the stuffing so made is called as chunna or saran). Some prefer to make a stuffing of besan called as puran. The puran polis are also made from this puran. This is a festival where families bring home a clay idol of the lord with great fanfare with processions of dancing and singing crowds. They are worshipped for 1 1/2 , 3, 5, 7 or 10 days and then are immersed into the ocean as a farewell amongst shouts of “Ganpati bappa morya, pudhchya varsha laukar ya” which means “salutations to father Ganesh, please come soon next year too”; and with this promise of the lords visit next year the crowds return form the immersion often with a small portion of the dissolved clay. There are many special savouries like Vanna & Saar (that go alongwith steamed rice), mugan gathi, vegetable fodi and bhajia/fritters, papadoms etc. and sweets like this recipe of steamed dumplings/ dim sums called ukadiche modak, doodh pene, nevryo or karanjya, seviyan kheer, payasam, mugache kanna etc.
- Take a pan and add water and allow it to boil. Add salt and ghee to it and stir. Add the rice powder and stir and cook till it steams.
- Now knead this well and make small balls of lemon size.
- In another pan mix together coconut & jaggery (or sugar) and cook till jaggery melts and forms a soft dry mass with the coconut for the saran/ filling. Add jaiphal (or cardamom) powder.
- Use your finger to make flat thin chapatti. Now make a well and stuff the coconut+jaggery filling.
- Now close the coating to form a ball and pinch & roll the tip to make a modak shape.
- Steam these modaks for 15 minutes in a steamer (you could use idli patra or dumpling/ dim sum steamers)
TIP: while steaming keep haldi/ turmeric leaves below the modaks, it gives a great aroma to the ukdiche modaks. Ukad means steaming.
Place a dash of ghee to each ukadi che modak to give it a good finish and serve the modaks hot.