Modak recipe – Modak are sweet stuffed dumplings offered to Lord Ganesha as prasad / naivedyam during Ganesh Chaturthi puja. Some women also make these for the Sankasti chaturthi puja every month. Lord Ganesha loves modak hence he is also called as modaka priya, one of the 108 names mentioned in the Ganesha Ashtothram. Kudumu, kadubu, modakam or kozhukattai are the other names to modak.
Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva & Goddess Parvathi is the Hindu deity of Wisdom & intellect. He is revered as the remover of obstacles in life. Hence most people offer their prayers to the Lord Ganesha before they begin their day.
Vinayaka chaturthi or Ganesh chaturthi is a festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha. It is said that the Lord loves modak so these are made in every home celebrating this special day.
These sweet stuffed dumplings are made in different shapes according to beliefs & family traditions. This recipe makes 11 modak or modakam. If you have the tradition of offering 21 to the Lord, double the recipe.
Modaks can be made with different filling like coconut jaggery, sesame jaggery, dal jaggery or peanut jaggery. The filling is also made according to the family traditions.
Coconut jaggery filling is the most common one which have shown in this recipe
You can find the complete collection of Ganesh chaturthi recipes here.
Tips to make modak
Rice flour: To make modak, fine & smooth rice flour is needed. It is the quality of flour that decides the texture of your modak. With fine flour they turn out smooth without any cracks or breakage.
We make modak with homemade flour. Making the rice flour at home does take some time as the rice needs to be soaked, drained and then ground in the mixer. Then lastly it is sieved through a fine mess.
Coconut is the key ingredient used to make the filling. If making for prashad/bhog or naivedyam we break a fresh coconut and then scrape it.
Jaggery is the only sweetener used to make modak. Make sure to use jaggery that is clean free from stones, debris or dust. You can also hand pick the dust particles and discard while you grate.
How to shape modak
There are 2 ways modaks can be made. Making modak using a mould is super easy. They are easily available in the Indian market.
If you live in a country or place where the moulds are not available then they can be handmade following my step by step photos. I have shown 2 ways to make them.
You can also check these Andhra style Vinayaka Chavithi Recipes
Modak recipe | Modakam | How to make modak without mould
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
Filling/puran for modak recipe
- 2 cups coconut grated
- 1 cup jaggery grated or powdered
- 2 to 3 green cardamoms powdered / elaichi
- 1 tsp ghee
for the outer cover
- 1 cup rice flour (fine flour) (Refer notes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp ghee or more for greasing
How to make the recipe
Making puran for modak recipe
- Add ghee to a hot pan.
- Saute together jaggery and coconut until both blend well and the mixture turns thick.
- Add cardamom powder and switch off. Cool this completely.
- Bring 1 cup water to a rolling boil along with salt and ghee. Switch off the heat.
- Add the flour. Mix well. Cover and set aside until the temperature comes down a bit.
- While the mixture is still hot, knead it to a soft dough and make 11 equal sized balls.
- Keep the balls covered until you finish making them all.
How to make modak
- Take a ball and make a dent in the center.
- Dip the fingers in water.
- In a circular motion begin to spread the dough to make a thin disc using thumb and forefingers on both the hands.
- Pinch off little dough on the outer side of the disc to make pleats at a distance of ½ to ¾ inch. (refer pics below).
- If the dough breaks, keep dipping your fingers in the water and moisten the dough.
- Place the 1 to 1½ tbsp coconut mixture in the center.
- Bring together all the pleats and join them carefully.
- If needed moisten the fingers and join them.
- Next place all the modakam in a steamer basket layered with a moist cloth.
- Bring water to a rolling boil in a steamer and steam the modaks for 10 minutes.
- Rest modak for 10 minutes and serve.
- Cool the modaks and then offer to Lord Ganesha.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Wash & soak 3/4 to 1 cup raw rice in water for at least 2 hours. Drain the rice to a colander and leave it for 30 mins.
- Spread on a cotton cloth and air dry or fan dry for 30 to 40 mins. When the rice is slightly moist then powder them in a mixer.
- Sieve it through a fine flour sieve. Dry the flour in a tray until it turns completely dry. It may take few hours.
- Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks.
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for modak recipe
Making puran or filling
1. Heat a pan with 1 tsp ghee. Add 2 cups grated coconut with 1 cup grated or powdered jaggery. Stir and begin to cook on a medium flame.
2. The mixture turns gooey after a while. Continue to cook. Keep stirring to prevent burning. When the moisture evaporates and the mixture thickens, add cardamom powder and switch off the stove. Set this aside to cool.
3. Pour 1 cup water to a pot or pan. Add salt and 1 tsp ghee to the water.
4. Bring it to a boil. Switch off the stove.
5. Add 1 cup flour and stir well.
6. The flour turns to a lumpy mixture.
7. Cover and set aside to cool down little.
8. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Knead it while it is still slightly hot. Do not allow to cool down completely.
9. If needed, dip your fingers in more water and knead the mixture to a soft but non sticky dough.
10. Divide the mixture to 11 balls.
How to make modak without mould
11. Knead each ball to soft. Cover them with a moist cloth. Take a ball, dip your fingers in water. Using your thumb make a dent in the center. Begin to spread the dough in a circular motion with your thumb and fore fingers using both hands.
When ever needed, you can dip the fingers in water. When the dough turns sticky, you can use ghee instead of water.
12. We need a evenly shaped round puri. The edges have to thin than the center.
13. With the help of thumb and forefinger gently pinch off very little dough to make a pleat on the outer side. With half to 3/4 inch apart you can make as many pleats as possible.
14. Place 1 to 1.5 tbsp. cooled coconut jaggery mixture.
15. Bring together all the pleats gently and seal giving a good shape.
method 2 of making modak recipe
You can also make a cup shape out of the rice flour first and then pinch of little flour to make pleats. Put the filling in the center.
join the edges. But the first method i showed is fairly easy for beginners.
16. If you find the above method difficult, you can try this one. You can also shape this like a Kadubu or Nevri or karanji. Make a puri, place the coconut jaggery on one half.
17. Cover with the other half. Seal off by pressing both the edges with moist fingers (dip fingers in water). Tuck in little dough from the edges to give a nice finish. You can also use a greased fork to give a nice design. Keep the modakams covered with a moist cloth.
18. Bring water to a rolling boil in a steamer. Place a thin cotton cloth in a wide bowl or steam basket. Place the modak in the basket and steam for 10 minutes. SWitch off and rest for a while.
Offer steamed modak to Lord Ganesha.