Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recipe - Modak (Sweet Semolina Fried Dumplings)

Today's Ganesh Chaturthi. Lord Ganesh's 10 day festival begins. My parents also do the whole jing bang associated with the festival for these 10 days. We brought the Ganesh statue yesterday (and of course the quintessential mouse - his official "transport"!). All the decoration is done and very soon the proceedings will start.

One thing without which things are incomplete is His favorite dish - Modak (I strongly suspect that He comes to every household for 10 days only for them!). So today, I decided to put the recipe for the Modaks as they are being made right now by my mom. There are various fillings possible and it can be moved from desserts to the starters domain by changing the filling. So go ahead and experiment. This is one of the traditional recipes.


Ingredients - 
  1. For the dough
    1. Semolina - 100 gms
    2. Pinch of salt
    3. Clarified butter or peanut/sunflower oil - 1 or 2 teaspoon
    4. Water
  2. For the filling
    1. Dry coconut roasted & shredded- 1/2 cup
    2. Sugar - 1/2 cup
    3. Poppy seeds - 2 tsp (if you like them)
    4. Cashewnuts - 10
    5. Almonds - 10
Method - 
1. Mix the salt and Semolina. Heat the butter or oil a little and put it on the mixture and use the water (a little bit at a time) to make a soft dough. Once the dough is made, cover it with a cloth and let it rest for half an hour.

2. Roast the poppy seeds a little (on very low flame) and mix it with the sugar. Grind them into a coarse  powder. Make a coarse powder of Cashews and Almonds. Roast bigger pieces of coconut and then shred them into smaller pieces. Mix everything together.

3. Make small balls of the dough and roll them out into small (about 3 inch diameter) circles.

4. Put 1 or 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the middle.

5. Apply a little water along the edge of the circle and seal the edges to make it into a small dumpling.

6. Fry them till they are a little brown on the outside. And it's done!
---
As said before, there are so many different variations that can be done. Condensed milk or khoya can be used as filling with sugar powder. If there isn't enough time, any milk based readymade sweet can be used as filling. Ofcourse minced spicy meat can also be used as filling - it won't remain a modak then, it will be a spicy starter with a different name. Maida (refined wheat flour) can be used make the dough. It won't be as crispy when fried. Also, the dumplings can be steamed instead of frying.