August 29, 2014

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

"Gananayakaya Ganadaivataya Ganadhyakshaya Dhimahi
Guna Shariraya Guna Manditaya Guneshanaya Dhimahi
Gunatitaya Gunadhishaya Guna Pravishthaya Dhimahi

Ekadantaya Vakratundaya Gauri Tanayaya Dhimahi

Gajeshanaya Balachandraya Shri Ganeshaya Dhimahi"

Since I moved to Mumbai every year when I watch the making idols of Vinayaka in different hues and shapes on both sides of the street, gives me a sense of bliss. There is such beauty to watch the creative expressions of him and the effort that was being devoted to bringing them to life. Also reminds me that festive Season is just around the corner!! Just a month left for Durga puja. 

I feel ecstatic and relieved as vibrant time of the year is about to start, I am sure most of us feel the same. So credit goes to Lord Ganesh, the remover of obstacles who brings the happiness with him.

Ganesh Chaturthi puja is celebrated on Bhadrapada Shukla Chaturthi. It is said that on this day Lord Shiva placed an elephant head on the body of Lord Ganesha. Hence, Ganesh Chaturthi is the celebration of re-birth of Lord Ganesha.

As “Vighnaraja” carries all the prosperity and happiness for us lets welcome the elephant god with his favorite sweet Modak.


For the stuffing

1 bowl grated coconut
1/2 bowl sugar
1/2 bowl jaggery
Dry fruits (almonds,raisins, pistachio, cashews) as per your choice
2 to 3 tsp pure ghee
A pinch of cardamom powder
1 tsp poppy seeds (khas khas)

For the cover

2 bowls rice flour
A pinch of salt
2 tsp of oil or ghee
Hot water as per requirement

For the stuffing

Heat ghee in a pan. Add poppy seeds and sauté for a minute.
Add grated coconut, sugar, jaggery (broken into small pieces or grated), cardamom powder and all dry fruits. Mix thoroughly.
Cook till all moisture from the sugar and jaggery begins to dry.
It takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the mixture to dry on low flame.
Do not overcook as it will harden up and lose its taste.
Stir every 2 to 3 minutes till it turns golden yellow.
You can add more ghee if the stuffing becomes too dry.

For the cover

Boil water.
Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of ghee to the flour and mix it thoroughly.
Add 1 tsp of ghee in the boiling water.
Add the dough to the boiling water. Lower the heat. Mix well.
Cover the vessel keep it for 5 minutes on low flame to let the rice cook.
Knead the dough into a smooth paste without lumps.
You need to knead it while it is still hot. You may apply some oil or ghee on your palms.
If you feel the dough looks dry and hard, add some hot water and continue to knead till the dough turns smooth.

Making the Modaks

Apply pinch of oil/ghee on your palms and make small balls of the dough.
Flatten it to give it the shape of a katori or cone.
Press the edges of the katori-shaped dough with slight pressure at every 1 inch distance.
Put some stuffing in the katori and close the ends to give them a shape like fresh figs or momos.
Take a leaf of banana or a soft cloth like muslin, and apply bit oil/ghee on it and place it in the steamer pan.
Place all the modaks on the leaf or cloth and close the lid.
Steam it for 5 to 6 minutes and turn off the flame.
Your delicious modaks are ready to be served.

Tip: Do not over steam the modaks, else they will become hard.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

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