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Monday, August 31, 2009


This year for Ganesh Chaturthi, I thought that I would try "Ukadiche modak". This is a steamed dumpling made with sweet coconut stuffing inside it. It turned out quite well. I didn't have fresh coconut, but my family enjoyed it a lot. It is a Maharashtrian delicacy and you make 21 modaks as an offering to Lord Ganesha.

For the outer cover/dough
2 cups rice flour
2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 pinch saffron (optional) - this will give a nice light yellow color to the dough

For the stuffing
2 cups coconut (fresh/ dry)
1 cup jaggery - powdered/grated


The stuffing
Make the stuffing first, so that it can cool down while you work on the dough. Heat the coconut and jaggery, till the jaggery melts and the mixture comes together. When you roll it it should not fall apart. Do not over cook it and dry it out.

The outer cover
Bring the water to a rolling boil. To this add salt, ghee and saffron. Stir in the rice flour. Turn off the heat and cover. Keep this covered for 4-5 minutes. Let this mixture sit till it is warm enough to handle and knead it to smooth out any lumps till the mixture starts to look glossy.

To assemble the modak
Take about a 2X2 inch piece of the rice dough. Roll it into a ball. Then using your hands, start flattening it out evenly into a round disk. Try to make it as thin as possible withot breaking it. The disk should be about 1/4 -1/2 centimeter thick and will be about 3 inches in diameter. Place a heaped teaspoon of the stuffing. Shape your palm like a cup to ensure that the stuffing doesnt spread. Start gathering the ends of the disk and bring them all togehter in a point. See the photo above for the final shape of this dumpling. This takes a little practice, so don't be disheartened if you don't get it right the first time.
Make a batch of 5-10 modaks (depending on the size of your pressure cooker/steamer) and steam them for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy the modak with a dollop of ghee.

You can omit the saffron to retain the white color of the cover. Use a food processor to knead the hot mixture. If you live in a dry climate cover the dough with a wet cloth and also the modak while you create your batch before steaming. The dough is sticky and you should apply a little oil or ghee to your hand as you make the modak, so that the dough doesn't stick to your hand.


  1. Hey, P, wonderful recipe. I always love this delicacy. Is there any particular type of rice flour one has to buy. I heard that in Pune one can get a special finely ground flour for modaks. What brand do you recommend in America?

    Take care, keep blogging.

  2. Hi Anjali,
    Thank you. Do try the recipe and let me know if you like the results. I used white rice flour I bought at a farmer's market. You can buy any rice flour, it doesn't matter. I had tried it once with brown rice flour, but the result felt too healthy, so made these with the regular rice flour.

  3. A very silly question but how does one go about the steaming with a pressure cooker? I have a standard medium size pressure cooker.

    Anjali G.

  4. To steam using a pressure cooker, don't use the whistle. Fill water in the pressure cooker as usual, make sure your modak/dumplings are not touching the water when you put the vessel used for steaming in the cooker. Then put on the lid and once you start seeing steam come out through the whistle vent, time you 10-15 minutes starting at that point. Hope that makes sense

  5. Hey Priyadarshini,

    Lovely effort, looks yummy, I'm surely going to try it out. I'm still new at blogging, going to try to be regular at it, hopefully.


  6. This time i followed ur recipe for modak cover and they were perfect. Thank a lot sweety... May Lord Ganesha bless you with sweetest blessings.

  7. Thank you Ritika! I am so happy that they turned out good. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you!

  8. My mom uses a idli stand to steam the modak.