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Steamed Modak Recipe


What is a Modak?

Modak is sweet treat that is popular in Western India, especially Maharashtra where I grew up. Modak is considered to be Lord Ganesha’s favourite food and offering him Modaks pleases him. They are made during the 10-day Ganesha festival.

What is Ukadiche Modak?

‘Ukadiche’ means something is steamed. Ukadiche Modak is similar to stuffed food like momos but sweet, with a cover of steamed rice flour dough and a sweet and aromatic filling of fresh coconut and jaggery along with cardamom’s aroma which makes it tempting and healthy. They have a soft melt-in-your-mouth texture. By just eating one freshly steamed Ukadicha Modak with ghee on it, it is very much soothing to your soul. It is loved by all age groups and especially by kids.


For Filling:

  • 4 tsp Ghee
  • 2 cup Desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup Jaggery
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Cardamom powder

For Modak:

  • 3 cup Water
  • 2 cup Rice flour
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 4 tbsp Milk
  • A little bit of salt

Notes on Ingredients:

Coconut: Many people use dry coconut, but if it is not readily available to you, then you can freshly grate coconut and roast it in a pan on medium heat. In some places, ready-made ground desiccated coconut is available in the market. Preferably, use grated coconut for the fine and soft texture of the inner filling.

Jaggery: There are two types of Jaggeries available in the market. One is commonly used to make chikkis (nut-jaggery bar) is dark in colour and another one is light coloured. We are going to use, dark brownish coloured one as the colour of your final stuffing depends on the type of Jaggery you use. Try to grate the Jaggery beforehand, it makes things easier to melt and stir later.

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Rice flour: Make sure your rice flour is finely ground so that while making the outer shell, no lumps will get formed. One can also use ready-made Modak flour available in the market which is specially sold for this purpose and has a certain aroma that adds to the taste.

Step-by-step procedure:

Preparing the inner-filling:

  1. Add 4 tsp of Ghee in a saucepan and when it gets warm, add 2 cups of desiccated grated coconut and stir-roast it for 5 minutes on medium flame till its colour changes to a golden brown.
  2. After the raw smell of ghee and coconut is gone, add 1 cup of grated Jaggery and stir well again. Stir continuously to avoid burning the mixture and till the Jaggery is melted and dissolved completely.
  3. In the end, add 1-1 tsp of Nutmeg and Cardamom powder and mix well to incorporate their aroma uniformly to the filling and let it cool.

Preparing the outer cover:

  1. Now, in another pan add 3 cups of water along with it add 4 tbsp of milk, 2 tbsp of ghee and a little bit of salt, stir and heat this mixture on a medium flame until it boils.
  2. Once it is boiling nicely, add 2 cups of rice flour and mix it well until it comes to a soft dough. Now keep the flame low and don’t allow the dough to get burnt. Also, continuously stir to avoid sticking the dough to the sides of the pan.
  3. Turn off the heat and while it's still quite hot, quickly transfer the dough to a wide dish and start kneading the dough vigorously for at least 15 – 20 minutes. After that let it cool a bit.

Assembling and steaming the Modak:

  1. Now, take a small portion of dough, roll and stretch it to form a circular disc using your fingers. Apply a dash of water and ghee to your fingers and apply it on the dough, if you feel it is dry or is having some cracks on it to keep it soft and flexible.
  2. Add the coconut filling in the middle of the disc and using your fingers, pinch at the end of the disc at a certain distance or you can use ready-made mould available in the market. Close and seal the modak properly.
  3. Place the assembled Modaks in a steamer or a pressure cooker (without a whistle) and steam for good 10 – 15 minutes on medium flame until you start smelling the aroma of properly cooked rice flour and inner-stuffing.

Serving and garnishing:

  • Serve the Modaks hot and garnish them with a nice teaspoon of Ghee on it if you like. (optional)
  • Offer them to Lord Ganesh first, only then you can eat them with lots of blessings from Ganpati Bappa.

Special tips to prepare soft outer layer

  1. At first, the dough may seem a little dry and coarse. Knead it well with a couple of tablespoons of warm water and a little bit of ghee. This will make the dough perfectly soft and pliable for making modak shells.
  2. While making the dough, if the dough is too hot to hold, you can use a thin, clean and moist cloth to wrap it around and handle it.
  3. Add enough water when steaming the dough, 1:1 water to flour ratio.
  4. Take your time to assemble the modak, the dough does not have to be hot, simply keep it covered under a moist paper towel.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour

15 min

1 hour 15 min

4-5 people

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