I made a little change to the Modak recipe from Mints! . For the water used for making the outer dough I added little jaggery (mind my sweet tooth ;)) as I have always felt the outer dough is not enough sweet to go with the poornam!
Sorry Valli as I am not supposed to make any changes to the recipes! Forgive me this time alone! Both turned to be great hit at home and everyone loved both the dishes. Lord Ganesha too would have loved it I suppose!
Here are ther recipes:
Modak from Mints
For the Stuffing –
2 cups freshly grated coconut (she says you can use frozen unsweetened coconut)
1 cup jaggery (grated)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp cardamom powder
one pinch nutmeg (optional)
2 tbsp water
For the outer layer or Cover –
1 cup rice flour
1.25 cup water
3 T grated jaggery
pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil
Method for preparing the Stuffing
Roast the poppy seeds in a small skillet and let it cool down. Grind it coarsely and keep it aside. If you have roasted poppy seeds, its fantastic no hassles!
In a heavy bottom kadai, take the grated jaggary, add 2 tbsp of water and melt to liquid. Sieve to remove impurities if any.
Then add the liquid back to the kadai and add the grated coconut. Keep stirring so that it does get burnt in the bottom.
In about 5 -7 mins you will see the mixture getting solid, at this stage add the cardamom and nutmug powder if you are using it.
When you see the mixture turning yellowish, more like golden and sticking to the sides, you can turn off the flame add the poppy seeds powder, mix well and set it aside to cool down.
Method for preparing the outer cover
Take a thick bottomed vessel with a lid. Start boiling water in that vessel, add salt and oil along with grated jaggery. Once the jaggery is dissolved take the vessel off the stove and filter the solution. Now wash the vessel and take the filteres solution on stove top and again get it to a rolling boil.
When water starts boiling, lower the heat and slowly add rice flour. Please do not dump all the flour at once.
As you add, start mixing vigorously with a ladle. Once all the flour is done, keep mixing well till you see a smooth well mixed mixture.
Now close the lid and take the pot off the heat. Let the covered pot cool down for 15 minutes or so. Then using a ladle, mix the dough properly. If you want to mix with your hands, you can dip your hands in water and quickly mix the dough. But ensure you don’t use too much water.
Mints suggests 1-2 tbsp of All purpose flour to be added to get the dough a bit more sticky. But I just went ahead with just rice flour.
Making the Modak
For making the Modak divide the dough into 20 balls and the stuffing into equal size of 20 balls. You can use those Garlic shaped mould or else in your palm you can press them and gather them together as a tear shaped.
I used the modak moulds you get, grease the molds with oil. Then close the mold, stuff one ball into it and press it against the shape evenly making a hold in middle. Then take the suffing, press it into the hold in the middle, close the opening with extra dough and press tightly to ensure its all sealed well. Continue with the rest until you are done with all.
Even in this you may have extra dough in the tip, which after steaming can get hard. So you can remove the excess before steaming. Retain just enough to form the shape.
If you don’t have the molds, you can make these easily in your palms. Take one outer ball, gently press in the middle getting it in shape of bowl, with the sides being thinner than the center, fill with stuffing, gather the sides towards the center, seal well and continue making till you are done.
I used my idly steamer to steam the Modak. Grease the plates with oil and place the Modak over it. Just as you do the regular Idli steaming, fill the bottom with water and put it on the stove.
This takes about 15 – 20 mins to get cooked. Take the steamer off the vessel and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing Modak from steamer
Black sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
Jaggery grated – 2-3 T
Dry roast the Sesame seeds in a tawa until fragrant and allow them to cool. Once the Sesame seeds are cooled, take it along with grated or powdered jaggery and run in a mixie. The amount of jaggery normally depends on the formation of laddoo. When you make a laddoo, it should stay in shape. Then you know the amount is enough. Also it depends on the fineness of the sesame powder. When you run in mixie, it becomes little oily which will help in holding the laddoo shape.
Thanks Valli for the wonderful recipes!