Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Here’s why Lord Ganesha loves modaks; modak recipes to try at home
Ganesh Chaturthi 2019: Modak is a very popular dessert which is especially consumed during Ganpati festivities.Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 10:24 IST
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can never be complete without modaks served with a drizzle of ghee. Modak, also known as Kozhakattai in Tamil, Modhaka or Kadubu in Kannada and Kudumu in Telugu is one of the most popular sweets in Maharashtra, especially made and consumed during Ganesh Chaturthi. According to Hindu mythology, Ganpati Bappa was fond of eating sweets and modaks was one of his favourites. This is how he came to be called Modakpriya which stands for the one who loves modak. 21 modaks are offered to Lord Gajanan (another name for Lord Ganpati) as bhog and served as prasad.
Modaks are either steamed or fried dumplings made from maida or refined flour. The fillings include grated coconut and jaggery with a hint of nutmeg. Steamed modaks are also known as Ukadiche Modak.
From Lord Ganesha’s homecoming (sthapana) to bidding his goodbye (visarjan), devotees offer various sweets and savouries to Him. Modaks make for the most prominent prasad (offering) of the festival. This Ganesh Chaturthi, here’s the story behind why Lord Ganesha loved modaks.
Story behind Lord Ganesha’s love for modak
Lord Shiva once visited Anusuya at her home in the forest. He was seated for a meal next to a young Ganapati. Lord Shiva was famished and asked to be served food immediately. Anusuya, however, said He would have to wait for Bal Ganesha to be served food first and she would serve Lord Shiva only once Ganpati’s hunger had been satiated.
Lord Shiva controlled his ire and waited while Bal Ganesha was served a variety of food items. Ganpati, a voracious eater, happily ate all that was served to him but his hunger was insatiable. Even his mother, Goddess Parvati was astonished at the sight of her young son’s insatiable hunger.
Realizing that Lord Shiva would remain hungry due to Ganpati’s hunger, Anusuya served him a single piece of sweetened food. Upon consuming this, Ganpati gave a loud burp, hence indicating that his stomach was finally full. Surprisingly, Lord Ganesha’s burp found company in Lord Shiva’s not one, but 21 burps! Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesha simultaneously said that they had had their fill and did not want more food.
Goddess Parvati was curious to know what the sweetened food item was that Anusuya had served Bal Ganesha. On learning that it was a modak, Goddess Parvati expressed her wish that devotees of Lord Ganpati should always offer modaks to him and this wish has since been granted across generations and locations.
* How to make modak:
For the shell:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp ghee
- 1 cup rice flour
For the filling:
- 1 cup coconut (grated)
- 1 cup jaggery
- A pinch of nutmeg
- A pinch of saffron
Step 1 - Add the grated coconut and jaggery to a heated pan.
Step 2 - Keep stirring for around five minutes. Add nutmeg and saffron and mix well.
Step 3 - Keep cooking for another five minutes and keep on the side.
Step 1 - Boil water with ghee in a deep dish. Add flour and mix well.
Step 2 - Now cover the dish and cook till its half done.
Step 3 - Put some ghee on the base of a steel bowl and knead while the dough is still hot (exercise caution).
Step 4 - Take some dough and roll it into a ball. Place the flattened dough into a mould or make a flower-shaped pattern with your hands.
Step 5 - Put a spoonful of the filling inside the dough and seal it.
Step 6 - Place the dumplings in a muslin cloth and steam them for 15 minutes. Alternately, these can be fried too.
Step 7 - Serve.
* How to make chocolate modak
For the modak
- 6 Go Chocolate Cheese slices
- ½ cup Desiccated coconut
- ¼ cup Powdered sugar
For the filling
- ½ cup White chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Dates, chopped
Step 1 - For the modak, knead the chocolate cheese slices and desiccated coconut together.
Step 2 - Add in powdered sugar and mix it well. Knead and make soft dough.
Step 3 - For the filling, mix white chocolate chips and dates together.
Step 4 - Take a modak mould and fill in the dough. Make a cavity in the centre and fill it.
Step 5 - Close the cavity with small portion of the dough.
Step 6 - Secure firmly, and de-mould it. Repeat the same for the others and serve.