Making Ganesh Chaturthi a Grand Sweet Affair

To all the ones celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi wanting to make it a grand affair, you must have loads of sweets and savouries on the menu to offer to Ganpatiji, after all he’s called Modakpriya for a reason. Of course because of his undeniable love for sweet delights.

MODAKS are Indian sweet dumplings that are filled with grated coconut or jaggery with outer layer of rice flour. While this is the basic and original form of a modak, there are other exciting types too that have been introduced in order to satiate evolving palates across the country. People are now experimenting with newer forms of modak fillings and you must try them too. PNL recommends a few exciting modak recipes for you all to try!
IMG-20200901-WA0008 1. Kesar Malai Modak

Ingredients :
* 250 grams or 2 ¼ cups Paneer crumbled and loosely packed (*Notes)
* ½ can (or 7 oz or 200 grams or ½ cup+2 tablespoons) Sweetened condensed milk
* 4-5 strands Saffron optional

Instructions :
* Take crumbled paneer, condensed milk and saffron in a pan on medium heat.
* Mix and while stirring keep mashing the large paneer crumbles using a back of spatula. Keep stirring and cooking till it becomes thick and comes together like a dough (it takes around 7-8 minutes). It starts to leave the sides of the pan.
* Remove it to a plate and let it cool to touch. While it is still warm, knead it like a dough 2-3 times to make it smooth.
* Grease the modal mould using ghee and start shaping. Keep the mould close, start stuffing and pressing tightly from the bottle hole. Smooth put the bottom surface, open and unmould carefully. Repeat the same with rest of the malai modak mixture.
(Recipe Courtesy: Kanan Patel)

IMG-20200901-WA00092.Fried Modak

* 1 cups flour (wheat/ maida or a mix of both)
* 2 tbsp GHEE hot
* 1 pinch salt (optional)
* water warm, as needed
* Oil for deep frying
* 1 cup coconut (100 grams)
* ½ cup JAGGERY (75 grams)
* 6 to 8 cashews chopped
* ¼ tsp cardamom powder

* Add ghee to the flour and rub the flour very well for 2 to 4 minutes to incorporate the ghee. Pour water and salt as needed. Make a stiff dough. Cover and set aside for 10 mins.
* Meanwhile make the stuffing ready by heating coconut, water, cardamom and jaggery/ sugar. When the mixture turns sticky, switch off and add the cashews. Cool this mixture and make 11 equal sized balls.
* Divide the dough to 4 equal balls. Grease the rolling area and roll the ball to a roti that is neither too thick nor too thin.
* Cut them to roundels of 4 inch using the lid of a jar or any round cookie cutter.

Making fried modak:
* Place a ball in the center and begin to make pleats from one side. Bring together all the pleats and stick them up. Remove excess dough on top. Finish making all the modak.
* Knead all the left over dough and make a roti. Repeat the round cuts and finish making 11 modak. Keep them covered with a cloth.
* Heat oil in a deep pan. When the oil is medium hot, put on the flame to medium. Gently slide the modaks. Do not disturb them for a while until they become firm. Then keep stirring gently and consistently to fry them evenly until golden and crisp. Remove them to a kitchen tissue.
* Fried modak are ready to serve. Cool them completely and store in a air tight steel or glass jar.
(Recipe Courtesy: Swasthi’s Recipes)

IMG-20200901-WA00073. Steamed Modaks

* 2 cups grated coconut
* 1 cup jaggery
* 4 green cardamoms powdered
* ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg powder (optional)
* 1 teaspoon GHEE
* 1 cup rice flour
* 1 cup water
* 1 pinch salt
* 1 teaspoon ghee

* Add 1 teaspoon ghee to a hot pan. Saute together jaggery and coconut until both blend well.
* Add cardamom powder and nutmeg. Turn off the stove and cool this completely.
To Make dough,
* Bring 1 cup water to a rolling boil along with salt and ghee. Regulate the flame to low, then add the flour and give a good mix. Ignore the dough looking dry and crumbly at this stage.
* Turn off the stove and cover the pot. Set aside and let the dough steam in the residual heat. Rest until the temperature comes down a bit.
* While the mixture is still slightly hot, knead it to a soft non-sticky yet smooth crack-free dough. The mixture will look dry so sprinkle little hot or warm water and knead. I sprinkle about 2 to 3 tablespoons at this stage.

* Divide the dough to make 11 equal sized balls. Keep the balls covered with a damp cloth until you finish making all of the modak.
* Ensure the coconut filling has cooled down completely before you begin to make the modak. Take each ball to your palm and smoothen them to a crack-free and soft ball.
* Grease the mould lightly with ghee. Close the mould and keep a dough ball inside. Press with your finger to spread the dough towards the sides of the mould.
* Then stuff the sweet coconut and seal the modak carefully.
* Next place all the modak in a greased steam basket, pour water and let it steam for 15 mins.
* Pour few drops of ghee over the modaks. Offer them to Lord Ganesha and serve as prashad
(Recipe Courtesy: Swasthi’s Recipe)

IMG-20200901-WA00064. Mawa Modak to jazz up festive feasts!

* 2 cups grated khoya/mava using store bought
* 1/2 cup sugar adjust to taste
* 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
* 1 tbsp milk
* pinch saffron
* Ghee/oil as required to grease the moulds

* Heat the milk in microwave and add a pinch of saffron. Mix and keep aside.
* Heat a thick bottom pan, add the grated mawa and sugar.
* Keep mixing until sugar melts and the mixture thickens.
* Add the milk and saffron mixture, mix well.
* Stir for 5 mins until the mixture comes together like a dough not sticking to the pan anymore and oozing some fat.
* Remove on a greased plate and let it cool.
* Grease the moulds using ghee and add the mawa dough mixture to it. Press and remove excess dough.
* Gently open it and modaks will be ready.

IMG-20200901-WA00045. Chocolate Modaks

* 1 cup grated or chopped mawa (khoya or evaporated milk solids)
* ⅓ cup chocolate chips – milk, sweet or semi sweet
* 2 tabespoons sugar or as required. i used organic sugar
* ⅛ teaspoon cardamom powder
* oil or butter or ghee for greasing the moulds, as required
* 3 to 4 pistachios – chopped finely (optional)
* 5 to 6 rose petals (optional)

* Grease the modak moulds with a bit of butter or ghee or oil. Heat a pan on low flame and add grated mawa.
* Keep stirring and once the Mawa melts, add sugar and chocolate chips. Stir. Once the mixture thickens, sprinkle cardamom powder.
* Keep stirring on low flame until the mixture starts leaving the edges of the pan. Do not overcook as then the modaks will turn out dense.
* Immediately transfer the mixture in another bowl/dish/thali and allow the mixture to cool.
* Make small balls from them and place in the modak mould. Gently unmould and repeat.
* Garnish with rose petals, top with finely chopped pistachios.
( Recipe Courtesy: Dassana Amit)

It’s time to suprise Ganpati ji by serving him his favourite sweet in unique variations and flavours! It’s never too late to try these out.

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