Modak (Modhaka/Kozhakkatta/Kadubu/Modhakam) Sweet dumplings with grated coconut and jaggery filling)
Modak is an ultimate festive treat. Rice flour dumplings filled with a jaggery and grated coconut filling, and cooked over steam, this is a great Indian dessert you can fall in love with!
For the shell
For the filling
1cupjaggeryGrated (cane sugar)
For the sauce
2tablespoonsjaggeryGrated (cane sugar)
Get the ingredients ready. For grated jaggery, I chipped a block of jaggery to small pieces.
Heat one teaspoon ghee in a pan and fry the sesame seeds on a low flame.
Add grated coconut and jaggery.
Mix well, and cook for a few minutes. Wait for the jaggery to melt and blend well with the coconut.
Switch off the flame, and keep the mixture aside to cool. This is the filling for our modak.
Rice flour casing
Heat a cup of water in a pan, add a teaspoon ghee, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to boil and switch off.
In a mixing bowl, add a cup of rice flour. Pour the water to the mixing bowl little at a time. Mix the flour using a spoon. Pour enough to wet the flour. You wouldn't need all the hot water to mix the flour.
Wait for the mixture to cool a down a bit so that you can work on it with your hands. Knead well, while it's hot, to a smooth dough.
Divide it into to 10 equal balls.
To keep the dough from going dry, cover the bowl with a wet cloth or a cling film.
Apply a little ghee or oil and grease the back of a plate. Wet your palms, take one of the dough balls and roll it to a palm sized disk. Tip: If you add a little more ghee in the dough and while rolling, you'll be able to get a much thinner, smoother disks.
Take a heaped teaspoon (ideally 1/10th of the mix) of the modak mix and place it on the rice flour disk.
Take the rice disk on your hand, and slowly fold around the modak mix to form a dumpling.
Bring together the edges to close the casing. Leave a small hole, or pinch of a small piece off the top to let the steam out. Otherwise the modaks might crack while cooking.
Repeat the steps 6-9 for the remaining dough balls. Place them on a steaming basket without touching each other. I used a sieve, but a steaming basket is ideal.
Take some water in a pot, and bring to boil. Place the steaming basket on the pot, and cover with a lid. Since I didn't use a proper steaming basket and a deep lid, a lot of steam escaped through the sides. It took more time for me to get the modaks cooked. If you can have a better arrangement and hold the steam inside your modaks will be cooked in 15 minutes. It took me 25 mins to get them cooked.
For the sauce
Tip: You can do away with this sauce if you crush and coarsely grind the cardamoms and add it to your Modak filling in step 2. Take a cup of water in a pan. You can use the same pan in which you made the modak filling. Crush the cardamoms and add to the water. Also add two tablespoons of jaggery, 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin seeds and sesame seeds, and bring to boil.
Continue boiling on a high flame while stirring occasionally. Reduce to half, strain it through a sieve and let it cool (not shown in pictures) to a thick sauce. This is our modak sauce. It's our version of a salted caramel sauce. You can add more salt if you want.
Drizzle some sauce on top and serve the modaks hot.