I have fond recollections of my childhood spent with my grandmother helping her prepare Modak –A sweet dumpling either steamed or fried and filled with freshly grated Coconut & Jaggery. This is made as an offering to Lord Ganesh while celebrating Ganesh Chathurthi.
Ganesh Chathurthi– Is a festival celebrated to mark the Birth of Lord Ganesh. In India this joyous occasion usually falls in the month of August or September. Fondly called as Ganapathi or Ganapathi Bappa,the elephant headed God is the epitome of Prosperity, Wisdom and Good luck.
The celebrations last 10 days and with great devotion and fervor…And if you grew up in Mumbai like I did probably an emotional one too. As I write this post I can well imagine the preparations back home. Right from bringing home the Ganesh Idol, decorating him with flowers ,brightly lit lamps and fragrant incense sticks…an assortment of sweets made as offerings….And the quite hum of Ganesh chanting’s in the background…
….To the final day that marks the end of this festival when the idols are immersed into water finally bidding adieu to Ganapati…un-till his return the following year.
It’s been awhile since I tried my hand at making Modak. Traditionally they would be steamed with an outer casing made from rice flour .However, I wanted something quite different. I recently went across to the Burjuman that was playing host to “Treat”-a week long world food festival with chef demos and master classes .The last demo I went to turned out be an interesting one with Chef Aditi from The International Center for Culinary Arts giving us a demo of Spinach & Ricotta parcels in a filo pastry.
And that’s exactly what I wanted to do…traditional Modak filling in a not so traditional filo pastry. They turned out just great and I just had to share this wonderful recipe with you.
Modak’s made from Crisp filo pastry for the outer casing.
And a mixture of Coconut,Jaggery,Pistachios and raisins as a filling….
- Frozen Filo pastry
- 2 cups grated fresh coconut
- 11/2 cups grated jaggery
- 1 teaspoon green cardamom powder
- Few strands of saffron
- ½ cup un salted pistachios( coarsely crushed)
- ¼ cup raisins
- ½ tablespoon ghee
- Bring out the Filo pastry just before use and let it thaw a little bit.
- Roll it out and cut squares of about
- Brush each square with a little bit of oil.
- Pre heat the oven to 180 C.
- Heat the ghee in a pan and add the grated jaggery and let it melt.
- Next add in the grated coconut , saffron, powdered cardamom.
- Keep stirring till all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Lastly add the crushed pistachios and raisins.
- Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool.
- Lay the filo pastry square on a flat work surface. Brush with a little oil.
- Next lay another square filo pastry sheet on top and again brush with a little oil.
- Now take a teaspoon of the mixture and add it in the middle of the filo sheets.
- Gather the corners of the pastry sheets and press together.
- Twist at the top to form a small filo parcel.
- Lay the parcels on a baking tray lined with wax paper.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the parcels are light brown.