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ModakModak: A modak is a sweet dumpling popular in Western and Southern India. The sweet filling inside a modak is made up of fresh grated coconut and jaggery, while the soft shell is made from rice flour, or wheat flour mixed with maida flour. Modaks have a special importance in the worship of the Hindu god Ganesh; modak is believed to be his favourite food, which begets him the moniker modakapriya.

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the Shell:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp oil or ghee
  • A pinch of salt
  • Steamer, for cooking modaks

For the sweet filling:

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • 3/4 cup powdered or grated jaggery
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ghee
  • Salt, to taste


For the sweet filling:

  • Heat the ghee in a pan, on medium heat.
  • Add poppy seeds, green cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
  • Sauté till a sweet aroma comes out, takes about 30 seconds.
  • Add in the grated fresh coconut and powdered/grated jaggery.
  • Mix well.
  • Cook this coconut-jaggery mixture on a medium flame, till the jaggery melts.
  • Change the flame to low.
  • Cook, stirring at times, till the moisture from the jaggery begins to dry.
  • Remove the mixture from heat.
  • Stir continuously till the mixture comes to room temperature.

Note: If the mixture is too moist, you can add a bit of rice flour to this mixture. The rice flour helps to absorb moisture. Dont add too much.

For the Shell:

  • Boil water in a pan, on medium heat.
  • Add in the oil and salt.
  • Reduce the flame to low.
  • Stirring quickly, add in the rice flour gradually.
  • Stir till all the rice flour is mixed in with the water.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Cover the pan with a lid for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the flour water mixture to a plate and start kneading, with a wooden spoon and then with hand, when the mixture is cooled down.
  • If the dough feels too hard or dry, ass in a few teaspoons of warm water and continue to knead.
  • Make 16-20 equal sized balls from the dough.
  • Roll the balls till smooth in your palms. The balls should be smooth in appearance and should not have any cracks.
  • Keep the dough balls covered under a wet towel, so as they don’t dry out, before you cook them.
  • Boil some water in a pan.
  • Grease the steamer lightly with oil or ghee.
  • Apply ghee/oil in your palms, for handling the dough.
  • Flatten the dough balls, 1 at a time, with your fingers to a round disc or a shallow bowl shape.
  • Add the modak filling in the canter of the dough, shaped like a bowl.
  • Press the edges of the dough to make the shape of the modak.
  • Keep all the modaks in the steamer.
  • Cover the steamer with a lid and steam for 10 to 15 minutes on a low flame.

Note: Some modaks may crack whilst shaping or steaming, but it won’t affect the taste.

  • Remove the modaks from the steamer.
  • Drizzle the modaks with few teaspoons of ghee and serve steaming hot.

If you have any queries regarding the Modak recipe, please leave a comment

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