Monday, August 31, 2009

Modak for Ganesh Chaturthi

This is my first entry in Indian Cooking Challange. Modak is most favourite food for Lord Ganesha. My mom is expert in making modak. This is how I made them.


Ingredients:

For Stuffing:
2 Cups scrapped fresh/frozen Coconut
1.5 cup Jaggery
1 Tbsp dry roasted poppy seeds/Khaskhas
A pinch of Cardamom Powder
Few raisins(Optional)

For Covering:
1 Cup Rice flour
1 & 1/4 cup Water
1 tsp Oil
A pinch of Salt

Preparation of Stuffing:
Grate jaggery. Mix the jaggery with coconut gratings & keep aside. Roast the Khaskhas seeds & powder. In a heavy bottomed kadhai, transfer the coconut-jaggery mixture add the khaskhas powder & heat till the mixture is heated through & dries up. Add the cardamom powder & raisins if using. Remove from fire. Let it cool.

Preparation of outer shell:

Meanwhile, in a heavy bottomed pan take the water add the salt & oil. Let the water come to rolling boil. Once the water is boiled slowly add the rice flour stir & close the lid. Let the dough cook for 2-5 mintes. After a big steam, take the pan away from gas. Take out the dough in another bowl/plate. When it is warm enough to handle start kneading the dough. There should be no lumps in the dough. It should be soft & smooth like play dough.

Final stage:

Start boiling water in a large vessel that can fit a steamer. The water should not touch the steamer. Oil the steamer and set it aside. Make about 20 balls of the dough and 20 parts of the stuffing. Start making small bowl with the dough ball with oiled hands & fingers this really needs skill. Once the bowl is ready keep one part of stuffing in the bowl. Now make pleats around the bowl. Then collect all the pleats in the center of the bowl on the top. Alternatively, Start making small puri with the dough ball on a oiled paper/aluminum foil. Keep one part of stuffing in the middle of the puri and gather the puri gently to make shape like modak. You will have to handle the dough very gently. Follow the step to make remaining modaks. Now dip each modak in cold water and put it in the steamer. Put the steamer on boiling water and cover it. Let the modaks steam for 15-20 minutes on medium to high heat. Take the steamer off the vessel and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing modaks from steamer.

Serve the modak hot with ghee/sweetened coconut milk.


I had also prepared the Sesame seeds laadoo on the same day.

I roasted 100 gms of Sesame seeds. After the seeds are cool enough to handle, I added 3.5 - 4 tbsp of Jaggery to the seeds & ran everything in mixie.
Due to the oil in the sesame seeds you can make the laadoo. It also stays in the shape.
It is really simple & tasty recipe for sesame laadoos. It took only 5 minutes for me. Isn't it easy?


I followed Srivalli's recipe to make boorelu. This was first time I made them so I made a small batch. Everybody liked them, now I can make more also.

Ingredients:

For the cover :Black gram dal/ Urad dal - 50 gms

For the Stuffing :

Bengal gram/Channa dal - 1 cup

Grated Jaggery - 1 cup

Fresh/frozen grated Coconut - 1/4 cup (opt)

Cardamom powder - 3/4 tsp

salt to taste

oil for deep frying

Method: Wash and soak Urad dal. Drain water from the Urad dal and grind to fine paste adding very little water. The batter should be like the dosa batter before adding water or like the batter to dip batata wada. Add salt and leave it aside covered.

For the stuffing, pressure cook the channa dal with just enough water to cover it. Cook the jaggary to remove any scum. Then once the dal is well cooked, drain and cook it along with the jaggary. It should become very soft enough for you to mash well. You can either grind it to a smooth paste or mash it to fine consistency with a masher. If you find the puran is very loose, you can cook this in sim to get a thick paste. Add Cardamom powder and grated coconut. You will know its done when the dal starts to leave the sides. Remove and cool. Divide them into equal balls.

Heat a thick bottom kadai for frying. Once the oil is hot, turn to sim. Then dip each ball in the Urad dal batter. Make sure its coated on all sides. Then drop them into the hot oil. Keep turning to cook on all sides. Once couple of batches are done, strain the oil to remove the scum. It takes only 2-3 mins to get cooked. Drain them on to a kitchen towel. Serve hot.



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