Festive Treats

Traditional Modak Recipe For Ganesh Chaturthi + 7 Tips To Make The Best Modaks

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One of the much-awaited festivals, Ganesh Chaturthi, is finally here. While every year Lord Ganesha’s arrival is celebrated with fervor, this year it is expected to be a low-key affair owing to the pandemic. Nevertheless, for those who plan to bring Ganesha home, we have something special for you today. Since Ganesha’s arrival is celebrated with various savories and sweets, modaks are believed to be his most favorite

Modaks are a traditional preparation of rice flour dumplings filled with sweet coconut and jaggery filling.

Makes – 21 medium sized modaks

For The Outer Shell
1 cup rice, washed, and soaked for 4-6 hours,
2 cups water,
1 tbsp sesame oil/ghee,
A pinch of salt

For The Filling:
2 cups freshly grated coconut,
¾-1 cup grated jaggery,
1 tsp ghee,
1/2 tsp cardamom powder


To Make The Rice Dough:

  1. Grind the rice into a super-fine paste by adding just half cup water. Reserve the remain half. Ensure that the ground rice batter is as soft as butter with no grains of rice. If unsure, pass it through a tea strainer.
  2. Use the remaining water to clean out the mixer jar and pour it into the batter.
  3. Heat a heavy bottom pan and add the sesame oil/ghee. Keep the flame on the low all the time.
  4. Add the strained rice batter along with the salt and with a ladle keep stirring it.
  5. Do not increase the flame. Keep stirring until it starts to get thick and comes together.
  6. When it starts sticking to the ladle like a ball, touch the dough. If it doesn’t stick to your fingers, it’s done.
  7. Remove it immediately onto a plate.
  8. Knead it thoroughly using some more sesame oil/ghee, if required, to make a very smooth and pliable dough.
  9. Cover it with a damp muslin cloth and set aside.

To Make The Filling:

  1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan.
  2. Add the grated coconut, jaggery, and cardamon.
  3. Cook on low flame until the coconut and jaggery are well combined and 50% of the moisture is evaporated.
  4. Turn of the flame and set it aside to cool down.
  5. Remember as it cools down, the mixture will thicken further.

To Make The Modaks:

  1. Take small portion of the rice dough and roll it into a disc. The size of the disc depends on how small or big you want the modak to be.
  2. If using modak mould, make the size of the discs to fit into the mould.
  3. Place a small amount of the coconut mixture into the center of this disc.
  4. Wrap the modak by bringing all the sides together in the center to form a pointy top.
  5. Steam modaks for approximately 7-8 minutes until the wrapper becomes translucent.
  6. Modaks are ready to be offered to Lord Ganesha.

Handy Tips To Keep In Mind While Making Modaks:

  • When cooking coconut and jaggery together, it is necessary to cook until all the excess moisture evaporates and begins to dry up. However, don’t overcook it.
  • Always use freshly grated coconut.
  • To make sure the mixture is without cracks and non-sticky, sprinkle little warm water and knead it again. This gives it a nice texture. Kneading the dough properly is the trick to make soft and crack-free modaks.
  • Keep the dough covered with a damp cloth until used up.
  • While working on the dough, always dip your fingers in a little bit of sesame oil/ghee to keep it greased.
  • Keep all the modaks covered with a damp cloth until they are ready to go into the steamer.
  • If you are a beginner, make sure to try with a smaller batch of modaks as it requires practice.


Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thefitdotme

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