Ganesh Chaturthi: Modak

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Devi Durga, the mother Goddess comes home every year during autumn, the Bengali month of Ashwin. As myth says, Durga, the daughter of King Himalaya descends to her paternal house from her husband’s abode in Kailash. With much pomp and grandeur the goddess is welcome to the land.

Ganesh Chaturthi marks the advent of the great home coming of Goddess Durga and her four children – Ganesh, Lakshmi, Saraswati and Karthik. Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi and that gives us just 31 days for the start of the 5-day long worship.

Vakratunda mahakaya suryakoti samaprabha
Nirvighne kuru me deva sarva karaye shu sarvada

This is the shloka for Ganesh. Ganesh Chaturthi is a very big festival in the Western part of the Indian sub-continent, especially in Mumbai. At our home, we celebrate this day to mark the countdown of ending our year long wait for the goddess. This time I prepared modak and nadu.


For the wrap

  • 250gm rice flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

For the filling

  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 cup jiggery (gur) or sugar
  • ½ cup dry fruits (optional)
  • A pinch of camphor (optional)


For the wrap

  • Pour the water and ghee in a thick bottom pan and heat till luke warm
  • Use this water to make a soft dough with the rice flour, keep it covered with a moist cloth so that the dough doesn’t dry out

For the filling

  • Mix the sugar or jiggery with the grated coconut in a thick bottom wok
  • Place over low flame and stir continuously till it forms a sticky mixture
  • Take out of flame and add the dry fruits and camphor if using

Putting them together

  • Take a little part of the dough and make a small ball of about one-inch diameter
  • Press this ball with both your hands to make it flat
  • Place about one teaspoon of the filling at the centre of the flattened ball
  • Cover the filling from all sides with the dough
  • Repeat this till the dough and filling are exhausted
  • Place the modaks in a steamer and steam for about 4 minutes or till tender
  • Serve hot

Hot Tips – If the filling becomes cold it turns very sticky and can’t be removed from the bottom of the wok, you can reheat the wok a little to take out the filling, but these tactic can’t be used if you are using sugar instead of jiggery.

I have steamed the modaks, alternately you can also fry in ghee.

Further Readings – 5 Must see Ganesh Chaturthi Mandals in Mumbai

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