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Home > Food> Cook > Three modak recipes for Ganesh Chaturthi

Three modak recipes for Ganesh Chaturthi

Whether you have the luxury of time or merely an hour, here are three recipes—from traditional ukdiche modak to chocolate with ricotta cheese

Traditional ukdiche modak. (Photo: Jayesh Paranjape)
Traditional ukdiche modak. (Photo: Jayesh Paranjape)

Modaks are synonymous with Ganesh Chaturthi, which falls on 10 September this year. While the traditional ukdiche modak—the queen of the festive platter—is time-consuming to make, the other recipes are relatively easier and quicker to prepare. Take your pick.

Traditional ukdiche modak


For ukad (rice flour dough)*
2 cups rice flour*
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
2 tsp ghee

For the filling

2 cups fresh grated coconut
1.5 cups jaggery
Half tsp cardamom powder 
4 tbsp milk


For the filling

Place the coconut, jaggery and milk in a pan. Cook for 10 minutes till the jaggery melts. Add cardamom powder and cook till all the moisture evaporates. Do not cover the pan while cooking. Cool this mixture completely. You can prepare this mixture a day in advance and store it in a refrigerator.

For the ukad

Place water, salt and ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once this starts boiling, turn the heat to low and stir in the pithi (rice flour). Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes on low flame. Turn off the flame and keep the pan covered for 10 minutes or until the dough is cool enough to handle comfortably.

Steps to shape the modaks. (Photo: Jayesh Paranjape)
Steps to shape the modaks. (Photo: Jayesh Paranjape)

To make the modaks

Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl. Knead it first with the back of a bowl and then with hands till it's soft and smooth. Shape the dough into a large ball and cover it with a moist cloth to prevent from drying.

Pinch off a small portion (lime-sized ball) of the dough with greased palms and knead it to make it smoother. Now start to shape the dough, with your fingers, to make a small bowl. You can also roll out the dough with a rolling pin or in a puri maker to make 3-inch diameter discs. The disc or bowl should be evenly thick.

Place a tablespoon of the filling in the centre. Now, using your thumb and index finger, pinch the edges of the discs to make even pleats. Gather the pleats on top, encasing the stuffing, and bring them together gently to ensure that they don’t break. Pinch off the excess dough on top to make a protruding tip.

Take a steamer. Grease the steamer plate with ghee and line it with a moist muslin cloth or banana leaf. Once the water in the steamer starts boiling, place the modak in the steamer plate and steam for 10-12 mins. Remove the plate from the steamer and sprinkle some water over the modak.

Gently take the modaks off the steamer plate and serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

*Note: To make a traditional modak pithi or rice flour, you will need a mix of two rice varieties—indrayani and ambe mohor/basmati rice. Take one kilo of this mix and wash thoroughly. Strain it and dry in shade for 2-3 days. Once dried completely, get this milled to a very fine flour. This is your modak pithi or rice flour. You can also buy modak pithi, and if it’s unavailable, look for flour made with any freshly harvested short-grained rice variety. Remember the rice flour needs to be slightly sticky in texture and new grain is your best bet.

Recipe by Meena Paranjape who runs a Pune-based home kitchen named Pangat.

Quick chocolate modak

Chocolate modak. (Photo: Khandani Rajdhani)
Chocolate modak. (Photo: Khandani Rajdhani)


2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
Half cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pista or almond flakes for garnishing


Heat a heavy bottom pan on a medium heat. Add ricotta cheese. Stir and cook for five to eight minutes. When the ricotta cheese starts to thicken, pour in the condensed milk. Stir and cook for four to five minutes. Turn off the heat. Mix in the cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Let the mixture cool completely.

Once the chocolate mixture is cool to touch, start making the modaks. You can make golf-sized balls and shape them into modaks by pinching the top. Or, you can use a modak mould. Sprinkle pista or almond flakes and serve.

Recipe by Maharaj Jodharam Choudhary, Corporate Chef, Khandani Rajdhani

Mint ukdiche modak using moulds

Mint ukdiche modak. (Photo: Radisson Goregaon)
Mint ukdiche modak. (Photo: Radisson Goregaon)


For the dough

2 cups rice flour
1 and three-fourth cups water

For the filling

1 and one-fourth cups grated jaggery
2 cups freshly grated coconut
Half tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder
Half tsp chopped mint
Half cup sunflower oil for kneading and greasing

Banana leaves for steaming


For the dough

Boil the water in a deep non-stick pan. Place the rice flour in a deep bowl and add the boiled water gradually. Mix well using a spoon in the beginning and then knead into soft and smooth dough. Cover with a lid and keep aside for 10 minutes.

For the filling

Heat a deep non-stick pan, add the jaggery and cook on a slow flame for one to two minutes or till the jaggery melts. Stir continuously. Add the coconut, mint and cardamom powder, mix well and cook on a slow flame for 4 to 5 minutes or till all the moisture evaporates and the mixture thickens. Keep aside to cool slightly. Divide the filling into equal portions and keep aside.

To make the modaks

Knead the dough once again using one-third cup of oil and keep aside. Grease all modak moulds using remaining oil. Take a portion of the dough, press it into the cavity of the modak moulds till it they are evenly lined. Fill the dough cavity with a portion of the filling. Take a smaller portion of the dough and spread it evenly at the base of the modak moulds so as to seal the filling. Demould the modak from the modak moulds. Place a steamer plate in a steamer and place a banana leaf on it. Moisten all the modaks with little water using your fingertips. Place the modaks on the banana leaf and steam on a medium flame for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Recipe by chef Raju Bhattacharya, Sous Chef, Radisson Goregaon, Godrej Vikhroli Cucina

Also read | Easy recipes for homemade mithais in 30 minutes

    09.09.2021 | 01:06 PM IST

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