Ukadiche Modak/Steamed Modak
THEME: #161 GANESH CHATURTHI RECIPES
Ganapati Bappa Moriya, Mangal Murti Moriya
The whole of India will be chanting the above and getting ready for the Ganesh Chaturthi, Vinayak Chaturthi or Vinayak Chavithi festival. To find out what the chanting actually means watch this video. This festival marks the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is believed that when Lord Shiva was away, Goddess Parvati created Ganesha from sandalwood paste to guard the door while she went for her bath. Lord Shiva returns and Ganesha doesn’t recognize Lord Shiva and Lord Shiva had no idea that Ganesha was created by his wife Parvati. A fight occurs between the two as Ganesha would not allow Him to enter. The enraged Lord Shiva cut off Ganesha’s head. Goddess Parvati gets to know about this and takes on the form or avatar of Goddess Kali and threatens to destroy the world if her child wasn’t brought back to life. Lord Shiva ordered his followers to find the first baby whose mother had her back to him/her and bring his/her head. A follower found a baby elephant and brought the head to Lord Shiva. Ganesha was brought back to life.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations last for 10 days. One the first day a clay statue of Lord Ganesha is installed in pandals, temples and homes. Homes, temples and pandals are decorated with flowers. Lord Ganesha is worshipped for 10 days and offered a variety of food. Chanting of songs(bhajans) praising Ganesha and dancing takes place. On the 11th day with much pomp and celebration the Idol of Ganesha is submerged in the water and followers request Him to come back soon the following year.
I had never seen huge celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi when I was growing up in Nairobi, neither did I see it when I was schooling in Mt. Abu. It was much later that during our visits to India, I began to see such huge celebrations. My first visit to a big pandal was near the ISKCON temple Juhu. Subsequently, got to witness more and more pandals coming up in Bangalore too. 2 years ago I was fortunate enough to be in Bangalore during this festival and our society had huge celebrations for 10 days.
On the 11th day why is the idol or statue of Lord Ganesha immersed in the water? It is believed that during the 10 days that He visits us, he takes all our wishes, and any negative energy when he is sent back to Mt Kailash his abode. When immersed in the water, this symbolizes that the devotees are sending him back to his abode.
Before Hindus begin any new work, celebrations, poojas, havan etc, the first God to be worshipped is Lord Ganesha as He is the remover of all obstacles. Lord Ganesha is considered the friendly God and is loved by all.
For this festival, I had to try making the famous modak that Lord Ganesha loves so much. Modaks and laddoos are considered his favorite. I came across a variety of modak recipes right from chocolates ones to the authentic ones. I had to try my hand at the traditional one using rice flour with a stuffing. I took ideas and methods from several blogs and You Tubes. Though it took a long time for me shape the modak, using a modak mold, I’m so glad I tried them out. The first one was a disaster as most photos show how to stuff them but not how to seal the bottom. At the end the taste of modak was awesome so worth all the work. I tried to shape the modaks without the mold but to get nice pleated ones, it takes a lot of practice.
UKADICHE MODAK/STEAMED MODAK
Makes about 16, depending on the size of the mold
For the dough:
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
For the filling:
¼ cup jaggery powder
¼ cup fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds (til)
1 tbsp roasted khus khus (poppy seeds)
3 tbsp coarse mixed nut powder
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder
some water to dip your fingers
extra ghee for greasing
Preparation of the dough:
- Add the water in a pan and pale it over medium heat.
- Add salt, sugar and ghee and bring it to a boil.
- Add the rice flour and mix it well till not much dry flour is left.
- Switch off the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
- Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Preparation of the filling:
- Add jaggery to a wide pan over medium heat and stir it constantly till it begins to melt.
- Add ghee and coconut. Mix well.
- Add sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nut powder, cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix well.
- Take the pan off the heat.
- The mixture should appear moist and when a bit cool you should be able to form a tiny ball. If not sprinkle very little milk and mix.
Preparation of the modaks:
- Open the modak mold and grease it lightly with ghee.
- Close the mold.
- From the hole at the bottom push in a some rice dough.
- Using wet fingers press the dough to the sides of the mold.
- Remove any excess dough that comes out. You should have a hole in the middle to fill it with the jaggery filling.
- Take a tiny ball of filling and stuff it in by pressing it in.
- Take a small piece of dough and flatten it into a small thin circle.
- Cover the bottom with it.
- Open the mold and remove the modak.
- Gently press and shape the bottom part well.
- Press the modak gently on the surface to get a flattish bottom.
- Place it on a greased tray.
- Repeat steps 1 to 12 with the remaining dough and filling.
- Add little water to your steaming device.
- Line the perforated tray with parchment paper or a thin muslin cloth.
- When the water begins to boil arrange the modak in the tray.
- They should not touch each other.
- Steam for 10 minutes.
- Slowly remove the steamed modak from the steamer.
- Arrange on a plate that will be used for offering to Lord Ganesha.
- Drizzle a few drops of ghee over the modak.
- If you find the rice dough is drying out then add a few drops of water or milk and knead the dough.
- My steaming device is a big pan with a lid. I place a stand in the middle of the pan and place my perforated colander over it. You can use a idli steamer or your rice cooker steamer too.
- I followed Cooking Shooking video to learn the technique of using the mold. Only thing he doesn’t show is how he seals the bottom.
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Do you want to find out what fellow members of this group made for Ganesh Chaturthi? Then go ahead and click on the links to find out recipes right from kozhukkatai both sweet and savoury,different kind of modaks, a panchakajjaya recipe, a quinoa kozhakhattai to an awesome ladoo kheer. And the icing on the cake click on Poonam’s link to get access to 101 Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes.
Seema Doraiswamy Sriram
Sasmita Sahoo Samanta
Veena Krishna Kumar
You may want to check out the other favorites of Lord Ganesha:
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