Recipes | Three versions of Healthy Steamed Modaks
“Tatha, I read it somewhere that tradition is an explanation for acting without thinking, is it so?” And the argument between grandparent and grandchildren continued.
“Grandson, I have been there and done that, but now I don’t question traditions anymore. A tradition doesn’t have to be logical. It only emphasizes the everlasting bond of love that exists between many generations.” said their grandfather.
“These festivals and traditions are priceless and have given us some of the best moments of our lives. At our age we anxiously wait for these festivals when all our children come and celebrate the joy with us.” He continued and asked their grandmother to bring the festive goodies.
“And remember ‘food‘ brings a real good feeling about festivals…did you taste your grandmother’s coconut-jaggery filled sweet Kozhukattais”…..
And all that I could hear after that was…nom…nom..nom.. 🙂
I love to listen to these banters between my children and their grandparents. Sometimes it ends abruptly while at other times it teaches them a good lesson of life, deepening the bond of love that they share.
Vinayaka Chaturthi is round the corner and mu MIL has already started soaking and grinding rice flour to make the specialty of this festival, Kozhukattai the traditional way.
Every year a new idol of Vinayaka is bought among many families of South India. Here is how the festival was celebrated last year at our home;
Modak, kozhukattai or steamed rice balls, a sweet which can be any health-conscious’ delight and with minimal oil and negligible sugar content it certainly is a winner on a diet chart.
Basic Rice Dough for Steamed dumplings
Dough used to make the basic wrap is same for all kinds of modaks, sweet or savory, the difference being the stuffing inside. To proceed for basic wrap;
- 1 cup raw rice powder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp.oil
- a pinch of salt
Method: Rice flour in the recipe can be brought right from the shelves of any super market. To prepare it at home, take the required quantity of rice and wash it with water. Drain the water and spread the rice on a kitchen towel to dry. Powder the rice in a mixie to a fine powder.
Take a heavy bottom pan and boil water in it, add oil and salt to the water. Mix in the powder rice gradually stirring it all the time. Keep stirring the mix till a solid lump is formed, take off the stove and let it cool. The dough for the basic wrap is ready.
Take a marble size ball of the dough and flatten it on the palm. Fill the desired filling and close the ball giving the shape of a modak (as in the picture). Steam the ball in a steamer or in a pressure cooker without vent for 10 minutes. Basic wraps are ready to use for delicious modaks.
1. Sesame Modaks or Kozhukattai
- 1/2 cup de-skinned sesame seeds(til)
- 1/2 cup clean jaggery
Method:Dry roast the sesame seeds till dark brown in colour. Grate the jaggery. Mix both the ingredients and the filling for the modaks is ready.
Note: Use black sesame(with skin) for more health benefits.
2. Coconut Modaks or Kozhukattai
- 1/2 cup grated coconut
- 1/2 cup jaggery
- 2 tsp. water
- a few chopped nuts(cashew, almonds)
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
Method:Take a heavy bottom pan add jaggery and water in it. Let the jaggery melt, take off the flame and filter the liquid. Boil it again and add the coconut, cook it till it become a solid lump. Cool and add cardamom and the nuts to it. Use the filling to make the coconut modaks.
3. Lentil filled Savory Modaks or Ulunda Kozhukattai;
- 1/2 cup de-skinned black gram
- 2 green chilies
- 1 tsp peppercorn
- 10-12 curry leaves
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black gram
- 1 tsp salt
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
Method; Wash and soak de-skinned black gram (dhuli urad dal) for 2 hours.
Roughly chop green chilies and curry leaves. Crush peppercorns (kali mirch) into coarse powder.
Drain water and grind it into coarse paste without water.
Heat oil in a non-stick kadai and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add black gram , asafoeitda powder and let it brown a little.
Add coarse paste of black gram, peppercorn, chopped green chilies and curry leaves into it and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Let the mixture cool and use the filling to make savory Modaks.
Enjoy a guilt free healthy steamed sweet on any occasion!