Another popular sweet is Karanji which is similar to Modak in composition and taste but has a semicircular shape. In coastal Maharashtra, Modak is made with rice flour. They are not roasted but steamed. You will not find the Modak in any sweet store. There are fried ones but the steamed ones are the ones that I like most. At present, there are Modak with different flavors that have adapted to the new times that include chocolate and even fruits.
Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in honor of Ganesha are the largest in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai and Pune. Devotees finish the Ganesha Aarti by offering 21 Modaks to the deity. Decorated scenes are set in which are figures of Ganesha are kept for 10 days, after which people submerge the idols in the river.
Taking advantage of having the day off at the office, I decided to get down to work and try to make them for the first time. It is important to leave the dough as thin as possible to make them soft.
3 cups rice flour
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp clarified butter
4 cups grated coconut
1 cup jaggery
6 cups water
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
Mix jaggery and grated coconut and keep the mixture aside for half an hour.
Boil water in a vessel and add oil and pinch of salt to it. Take off heat. Add the rice flour, little by little and cover the mixture and let it cool.
When it is cool, knead it well into a dough with a smooth finish. It should be hard enough to roll it without using any flour or oil.
In a pan add the butter, cardamom, coconut, jaggery, and milk. Cook the mixture on medium heat for 10 minutes. Keep it aside for cooling down.
Make balls with the covering dough. Flatten them on the palm into a circle with the other hand's thumb making a hole in the center. Use your fingers to make a shape like a muffin cup and put the stuffing in it. Cover it completely with the dough and fold the edges tapering to the center.
Steam-cook the ball in a cooker for 15 minutes.