A Festive Challenge

Lord Ganesh
My first Indian Cooking Challenge

I’ve just finished wrapping up my recipes for this Ganesh Chaturthi based theme. Honestly I was a bit anxious wondering if I would be able to pull this one off. I started off preparing the modak , let me admit, having no idea what it was. But once I started preparing it, It struck me all of a sudden. Kozhikutta!yes that’s what it was…and a flood of memories started pouring in..
Festivals in kerela are incomplete without this delicacy and our house was no exception. Although I wasnt too much of a fan then-like most girls of my age growing up in Kerala then, I preferred the north-indian rotis and paneer or Chinese noodles, or the American burger. Anything, but our own kerala cuisine. Oh how I regret those days when I would complain seeing the ‘boring’ kerala meal set on the table. It’s only ever since I’ve moved out Kerela that I most miss and hunger for anything that passes off as malayalee!

My husband is a huge fan of these rice dumplings and when we moved in with my in-laws for a year my mom-in-law often prepared these delicious miniatures for her son when he got back from work. She however mostly used the sugar-coconut combo instead of the jaggery-coconut combination that is used for the modak filling. The only difference between the two is the tear-drop shape that so defines the modak. The Modak as well as the other sweet I prepared , the Kudaalo are typical offering sweets made for Ganesh Chatuti and are said to be Lord Ganesha’s most desired sweets. It’s not surprising; they are delicious ..You can’t stop with one!
To prepare the MODAK you need

Rice Flour – 1 & 1/2 cup
Water – 3 cups.
salt to taste

For the Filling

Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Jaggary – 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch.

Stages in the life of a Modak

In a bowl mix the flour and a little water to make a smooth paste. Just ensure there are no lumps. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, dump in the rest of the flour and cook .Keep stirring so that you leave no lumps. Add 1 tsp of oil and continue stirring. Mix, making sure there are no lumps. Take off heat when it looks like it is solidifying and the mixture starts to leave the sides of the dish.

Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.

To prepare the filling, grate coconut and mix with jaggary. Cook in a pan to get a thick texture. Divide into required shapes.

Oh-no!!The first time I tried these, they were a complete mess, but a couple of tries later I realized it was not so complicated. I was soon doing ok.

In a small bowl pour some oil. Smear your hands with oil and take a lemon sized ball of the rice flour. Press it in the middle so that it forms a depression. While occasionally touching the oil, widen that gap and the put a bit of the filling inside. Pinch the sides as shown and then close the gap. Repeat the process for the remaining dough. Now steam it for 10 minutes.

The Kudaalu was quite interesting to prepare.

For the Filling

Channa dal – 1 cup
Grated Jaggery – 1 cup
Fresh grated Coconut – 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder – 3/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Pressure cook the channa dal with just enough water to cover it.

Cook the jaggery to remove any scum. Then once the dal is well cooked, drain and cook it again along with the jaggery.

Now grind the mixture into a smooth paste. If the resultant mixture seems too liquidy, put on simmer until it dries up. Add the cardamom powder and the coconut. Take off heat and cool. Divide into equal balls.

Mix maida, salt and as much water as needed to form a thick dough (as for puri). Knead well and roll out into small circles. Place a small teaspoon of the filling in the middle and fold and cover as shown.

Deep fry in oil. Drain and store in air-tight containers.

Ps: To keep the file size small the video format is in wmv. so it may play in IE only.

This recipe is also off to Festive Food Event – ‘FF’. The theme so aptly being Janmashtami & Ganesh Chaturthi

krishna ganesh logo FF

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Leave a comment


  1. Oh thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I love love your cooking. Having packed the son off to University two days ago I was feeling a bit sad thinking…who will I cook for now …there is just the husband and I left. All his friends are off too so the cakes and cookies are all for naught. But then I thot…hey….hubby (who is from East Africa and I am Canadian) and I do like our curries and savouries and the son was not so fond of them. Now is my time to try all the recipes that my MIL taught me and MORE! So….you make some of these dishes look so easy…AND….there is much more here than I ever was privy to…thanks. I will bookmark you. I have not explored your whole blog yet but do you make saag? Is that the right spelling? I love it…not sure I do it right. I wouldn’t mind a good recipe.

  2. shaaakspsyco

     /  September 3, 2009


  3. your modak is looking great!! ,making me really hungry in this tea time. we call it madura kozhukatta in kerala.
    thanks a lot for visiting my blog. will see u soon . tc 🙂

  4. Wellcome to ICC nice post and both dishes came out very well.

  5. Ganesha’s pic is spellbounding…..Modak looks perfect and tempting.
    Thank you for the lovely entry for the FF event

    • thanks purva-hope to be able to take part in more events, thank you rekha and sowmya

  6. Modak and kudaalu have come out really perfect

  7. lovely challenge, loved your pictures

  8. Modaks have come out so well..:):)

    • s

       /  August 31, 2009

      thanks…and thanks for telling me about the right dates! oops sort of goofed that one up!

  9. Such a lovely post…

    • s

       /  August 31, 2009

      Thanks priya, lata and srivalli…i was SOOO apprehensive but am so glad they turned out well….

  10. This is grand.The dishes have turned out wonderful.

  11. wow..awesome pictures..am so glad these came out well!

  12. Thats a lovely post. 🙂 I like the dishes as well as the pics. The first pic of Ganesha is AWESOME. 🙂

    I am not sure if I was here before, but sure to be back often. You have a lovely blog. Keep it going.


    • s

       /  August 31, 2009

      Thanks so much…your comments mean so much to me, and im not just saying that..i mean it.


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