A thought struck me last evening…why not make modak for Ganesh Chathurthi! I did not pursue the idea more but this afternoon my mother-in-law and I suddenly decided to make some…both sweet and savoury. As this was an impromptu attempt, the measurements are approximate.
For outer covering
Rice flour – 2 cups
Boiling water (enough to make dough)
Salt – 1 tsp
Gingelly oil / ghee – a few drops
Grated coconut – ½- ¾ cup
Jaggery – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 2 tsps
For Savoury Filling
Cooked split moong – 1 cup
Chopped green chillies – 2 (more if you want it more spicy)
Mustard seeds – 1 ½ tsps
Take rice flour in a wide mouthed pan. Add salt to water and boil. Add a few drops of oil to the water and pour the it, little by little, into the flour and mix well to make soft dough. The dough should not be too sticky, but soft enough to roll into balls. Keep aside.
In a pan, melt the jaggery with a little water. Strain the melted jaggery and pour it back into the pan. Add the grated coconut and keep stirring till the melted jaggery starts thickening. Add cardamom powder and keep stirring till all the liquid is completely gone and you are left with a gooey coconut mixture.
Cook the split moong and keep aside. In a small pan, heat some oil and add the mustard seeds. As they splutter, add the chopped green chillies and sauté for a minute. Add the seasoning to the cooked lentils, add a little salt and mix well.
On a smooth, greased surface (we used a zip lock cover cut in two and greased with oil), flatten the rice balls to the desired size. Place the filling in the center and bring all the sides together to make a modak shape. Else, you can fold in half and join the edges. Make sure you wet your hands with water while shaping the modak. This keeps the dough from sticking to your hands.