Traditional Steamed Coconut and Jaggery Modak Recipe are made from rice flour stuffed with grated coconut and jaggery mixture. Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can never be complete without modak.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a small step.
2nd September was Ganesh Chaturthi. The day when we bring home the elephant God, Ganesha. He is the “Vighnaharta”, meaning eliminator of all obstacles.
Over the years, the celebration became a little too toxic with Ganesha idols made of Plaster of Paris becoming more popular.
The use of toxic paints had also become a little too much and since the “Visarjan” was happening in the lakes and rivers around us, these toxic chemicals were polluting these water bodies.
An year back, we had spoken about a concept called “Tree Ganesha” in one of our podcast. This was a way of celebrating eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi.
This was an effort started by a small group of people.
The concept was simple. Use simple Clay idols with seeds embedded in it and immerse the idols in a flower pot. The seeds in the idols turned into plants and trees
This addressed two issues. Reduce the toxic waste being dumped into the rivers and lakes and also plant some trees.
We had taken an oath that we will celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi in our apartment complex this year in an eco-friendly manner, by bringing in Tree Ganesha.
The concept gained prominence this year. The government too contributed by imposing restrictions on selling Plaster of Paris made idols.
But the biggest change came was brought in by schools. Schools ensured that they are driving home the concept of Green Ganesha and even went to the extent of making kids build Clay Ganesh Idols at school.
In fact, a lot of people used these idols for the puja this year
This along with the efforts by the government and a conscious acceptance of the perils of using toxic substances in the idols by the citizens of the country and hence adopting an eco-friendly Ganesh Chaturthi changed the way the festival was celebrated.
Even the idol sellers found no other choice but to sell clay idols. And pretty much every roadside sellers were seen selling Clay Idols, this time round.
There was even a group idol-making day organized by a Rotary Club. Thousands of people gathered there and made Clay Idols which were later distributed for free.
A small step called “Tree Ganesha”, became a huge movement and this, in turn, became a small effort towards saving our environment.
“If we think we can, we really can”.
Onto this week’s recipe which is a Ganesh Chaturthi special.
Traditional Steamed Coconut and Jaggery Modak Recipe
Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian Steamed sweet dish offered to Lord Ganesha on the occasion of Ganesha Chaturti Festival.
Modak, also known as Kozhakattai in Tamil, Modhaka or Kadubu in Kannada and Kudumu in Telugu is one of the most popular sweets in Maharashtra, especially made and consumed during Ganesh Chaturthi.
According to Hindu mythology, Ganpati Bappa was fond of eating sweets and modaks was one of his favorites. This is how he came to be called Modakpriya which stands for the one who loves modak. 21 modaks are offered to Lord Ganpati as bhog and served as prasad.
There is a story behind Lord Ganesha’s Love for modak, you might want to read…..
Desserts Recipe you might want to try:
Traditional Steamed Coconut and Jaggery Modak Recipe
Filling/Puran for modak recipe
- 2 cups Coconut grated
- 1 cup Jaggery powdered or grated
- 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1 tsp Ghee optional
For the outer cover
- 1 cup Rice Flour
- 1 cup Water
- 1 pinch Salt optional
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Ghee for greasing
How to make Puran
Heat a pan, add ghee to it.
Add jaggery and coconut to it and saute until both blend well and the mixture turns thick.
Add cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the gas. Let it cool down.
How to make Dough
Bring 1 cup water to boil.
Add ghee and salt. Mix well.
Turn off the flame. Add rice flour and mix well.
Cover and let it rest for about 4-5 minutes or until the temperature comes down a bit.
Transfer the dough to a clean plate.
Add 1-2 tsp ghee and knead to a smooth dough and keep covered.
You can make equal size of balls and keep covered.
How to make modak
Divide the filling into equal, 1 tbsp measures and form neat balls. Set aside.
Take lemon-sized ball of rice flour dough.
Flatten the dough. Using your fingers and the thumb, make small cups out of the dough.
Now keep one ball of sweet mixture in centre and bring the edges to the top and seal it. Make sure the top is pointy.
Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.
Grease the steamer with some ghee.
Place all the prepared modak on the steamer.
Close with lid and steam for 10-12 minutes or till the outer cover starts to look shiny.
Remove and let it cool down and serve.
Ensure you use good quality fresh flour. You can also make your own fresh flour at home or you can buy store bought Idiyappam Flour.
If the modak break while pressing and making cup, sprinkle water and ghee, knead well.
You can reduce the jaggery quantity as needed to suit your taste.
For soft outer layer, boil water well for making the dough. Dough should be almost cooked with the hot water so that you get non sticky pliable dough.
Do not over cook , it may give you rubbery and broken kozhukattais.
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