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II Modak (Sweet Steamed Rice Dumplings)  II
Lord Ganesh's favorite sweet is the Modak. These are like sweet steamed rice (flour) dumplings. It is customary to make these on the very first day of this festival. They are very delicate and tender.  

Ingredients:

For the Cover :
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • a pinch of salt
For the Filling :
  • 2 cups shredded fresh coconut
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. rice flour
  • 1 cup jaggery (Gur) or Sugar

Preparation:

For the Filling :
  • To make the filling, combine and cook coconut and jaggery together on medium heat. Stir continuously until they are mixed properly. Do not overcook.
  • Add cardamom powder, roasted poppy seeds and 1 teaspoon rice flour to it. and cook for some time. The filling is ready now. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.
  • For the Cover :
  • Boil 1 cup of water. When it has reached a steady boil, add ghee, salt and oil.
  • Now immediately add the rice flour and stir quickly so as to remove all lumps. Cover with a lid for some time. Remove the lid & stir again & again, cover again. Note : This has to be done very carefully.The dough should be neither too sticky nor too dry.
  • Now remove pan from the heat. Take off all the mixture on a flat plate. Knead it thoroughly while hot. Make a soft dough.
  • Divide this dough into small balls.

To make the modaks

  • Note :It is best to make the modaks when the dough is slightly warm.
  • Grease the palms of your hands well. Take a ball of dough. Flatten the dough to form a cup shape.  Place about  3/4th teaspoon coconut filling into this cup. Dip thumb & index finger in the oil & make 5-6 small pinches side by side on the outside edges of the cup. Bring them together on top and join to form a peak. Your modak is complete. This should look like a whole garlic pod.
  • Like this, prepare all modaks. Spread a damp cloth onto a flat round sifter and arrange all the modaks onto it. Place the sifter in a steamer and cover. Steam for about 15 minutes. Use a big size saucepan or pressure cooker if you don't have a steamer. Do not put the whistle if you use the pressure cooker.
  • Serve with ghee.

Cook's Tip :

  • Prepare the filling first.
  • The proportion of water and rice flour for the cover should be accurate as written above. It is advisable to sieve the flour once.


 

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