UkaDiche Modak - Indian cooking Challenge - Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated bit differently in Maharashtra. Its celebrated at home as well as as community. Lokamanya Tilak transformed that into a community based event. Most of the time a group of people come together and form a committee and decide on the agenda, decoration and programs through out 10 days of the celebration. A pandal is hoisted and decorated with colorful fabric, lights, flowers. Some community decides to decorate the pandal with a theme from Mahabharat or Ramayan or choose a topic from current events. These days some communities even started using eco-friendly methods to celebrate and spread importance of making ecologically smart choices in day-to-day life. Some communities have daily programs in the evening that showcase local talent.

Here in US, we try to do as much celebration we used to do in India. We bring Ganesha home, decorate as much as we can, make garlands, draw rangoli. And of course for every festival there has to be some special food. For Maharashtrians its Modak! We believe that Lord Ganesha loves Modak, sweet coconut filled dumplings either steamed or deep fried. Almost everyone make some kind of Modak to offer as naivedya. Srivalli decided to have full set of Ganesh Chaturthi food for August challenge and I shared two recipes from Maharashtra for the challenge. But her idea was to try special food from some other region, so I tried from Andhra/Tamilnadu. I made Kudumulu and sesame laddos using Srivalli's recipes. I also made specialty from my region.

Here are the pictures and recipes -

Modak -

21 Ukadiche Modaks

Stuffing -
2 cups freshly grated coconut (can use frozen unsweetened coconut)
1 cup jaggery (grated)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp cardamom powder
one pinch nutmeg (optional)
2 tbsp water (mom uses milk)

Cover -
1 cup rice flour
1.25 cup water
pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil

Preparation for Stuffing -
Roast poppy seeds in a small skillet and let it cool down. Grind it coarsely and keep it aside.
In a heavy bottom kadhai mix all the ingredients for stuffing except poppy seed powder and let it sit for 15 min. Now start heating the mixture over medium heat. In about 10-12 minutes, the mixture starts boiling and stuffing will turn yellowish brown and will be sticky. Take the kadhai off the heat, add poppy seeds powder and mix well. Set it aside to cool down.

Preparation for cover -
Take vessel that has tight fitting cover. Start boiling water in that vessel, add salt and oil. When water starts boiling, lower the heat and slowly add rice flour. Please do now dump everything at once. Start mixing vigorously with a heavy spoon. Now close the lid and take the pot off the heat. Let the covered pot cool down for 15 minutes or so. Then with wet hands, mix the dough properly. It will warm so be careful and use cold water to keep your hands from burning but do not use too much water. if you think the dough is little sticky, I will suggest add 1-2 tbsp maida to it and make the dough.

Making Modak (Final Product) -
Start boiling water in a large vessel that can fit a steamer. I use a stainless steel steamer that fits on a pressure cooker and water doesn't touch the steamer and use stainless steel plate to cover it. Oil the steamer and set it aside.
Make about 20 balls of the dough and 20 parts of the stuffing. Start making small puri with the dough ball on a oiled paper/aluminum foil. Keep one part of stuffing in the middle of the puri and gather the puri gently to make shape like modak. You can see the picture here - You will have to handle the dough very gently. Follow the step to make remaining modaks. Now dip each modak in cold water and put it in the steamer. Put the steamer on boiling water and cover it. Let the modaks steam for 8-10 minutes on medium to high heat. Take the steamer off the vessel and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing modak from steamer.

Close up of Rice Flour Modak
Traditionally, modaks are served with ghee but it can be served with coconut milk.

Nugul-untallu (Sesame Laddoo) -

Sesame Laddoo

Sesame Laddoos tastes out of the world. This one of the traditional sweets that Amma makes. I managed to prepare them this time. This is traditionally prepare with the black seeds with the skin on. Wash them well and dry them under sun.

Dry roast them in a tawa and let them cool. Once they are cool, take about 2 - 3tbsp of grated or powdered jaggary and run in a mixie. The amount of jaggary 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.

Kudumulu -

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


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

Preparation -

In a bowl, take the flour and make a smooth paste with enough water. This is to ensure, you don't get lumps when you cook the flour. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, add the rice flour mix. and cook. Making sure there are no lumps.

Add 1 tsp of oil and keep stirring. You can remove when it forms as solid with the sides leaving. Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.

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

For the kudumulu, smear your hands with oil so that rice flour doesn't stick to your hands. Take a ball size of lemon, press in middle so that in middle it is thick and fill with fillings. Close the dough and make it shaped as drop.

Once everything is done, stream it for 10 mins.

Panchakhadya -

Ingredients -
1 cup grated dry coconut
4-5 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
4-5 dried dates (Maharashtrians call it kharik)
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
4-5 tbsp coarsely powdered mixed nuts (almonds,cashews, pistachios)
pinch of nutmeg powder

Procedure -
Dry roast grated coconut on a very light heat and set aside. Dry roast poppy seeds and grind them coarsely after cooling them for 5 minutes. Take the seeds off the dried dates and grind them coarsely as well. Mix all these ingredients and nuts powder, cardamom, nutmeg, powdered sugar together and offer to Ganesha as prasad.

I did not get time for Churma Laddoos and Boorelu, Kudaalu.
Verdict -
1. For Kudumulu 3tbsp coconut was not enough for me :). May be I am used to more filling in Modak.
2. Sesame laddoos were the easiest thing to make.

And as the title suggests, the recipes are for August edition of Indian Cooking Challenge-Festival Food.


  1. Thats really such a lovely post Mints!...thanks for keeper recipes!..:)

  2. You have a lovely blog and this post is awesome. The photographs are phenomenal and dishes look yumm..

    Guess I am here for the first time and sure to be back. You blog is inviting. :)


  3. Wow looks so good and yummy array of dishes dear.. loved each one wish to have everything.

  4. Mints, lovely dishes here and thanks a ton for the two very delectable recipes shared for the challenge.

  5. I dream of making such perfect-shaped Modaks:)

  6. lovely dishes, thank you so much for your modak recipe

  7. You actually made _all_ of that! Gosh, why don't I live closer to you!! :D

  8. delicious dishes Mints thank you so much for the Modak recipe which I tried for icc.

  9. Wow Mints! you made all that! Everything looks delicious and yummy.
    I did not make anything for Ganpatti Bappa this time. Didn't remember till the last minute. :(

  10. First time here.. All the neivedyam looks delicious.. You have a wide spread of dishes.. Nice blog

  11. Valli, Pavithra, Jaya, Rekha, Priya - Thank you.

    Nithya, Lata, Divya, Medhaa and Hema - welcome and thank you for your comments.


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