Its that time of the year again in Pune..The Ganeshotsav has just begun. Ganesha, the deity of goodwill, knowledge, art and auspicious new beginnings has been welcomed two days ago into out homes and our hearts two days ago on Ganesh Chaturthi.
On this day, most Maharashtrian families prepare modaks, Ganapati Bappa’a favourite food to welcome him home.
Although ukadiche (steamed) modak are most popular in Maharashtra during Ganesh Chaturthi, many families also make fried modaks for the festival. This is my family recipe, which I have slightly adapted from my grandmother’s recipe.
For the filling:
1 big freshly grated coconut
1 cup sugar
1 tsp Cardamom powder
(If fresh coconut is not available, substitute with a mixture of dessicated coconut, sugar and half a can of condensed milk)
For the cover:
2 cups of sooji/rawa
For the Filling: Mix the coconut and sugar and heat in thick bottomed pan with constant stirring until the moisture from the coconut is almost evaporated. Stir in the cardamom powder and set aside to cool.
For the cover: Heat the ghee until it melts and starts smoking slightly. Pour it over the sooji and allow to cool. Add a small pinch of salt to this mixture then knead a thick dough with milk. The dough will be course and granular at this stage. But let it rest for atleast an hour and then run it in the food processor until the dough is soft.
For the modaks: Make small roundels of the sooji dough and roll it out into small and thin pooris. Place about 1/2tbsp of the coconut filling in the centre of these pooris. Then shape the dough to close the modaks. Deep fry the modaks on low flame until golden brown. Serve hot.