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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Modak Goes Modern! My 'Baklava Modak' featured in Mid Day news!!!

Baklava Modak
A reporter from Mid Day News Paper had asked to create a Modak with a modern twist for their Ganesh Chaturthi Special Article.

Here is the link to the Article:

I made a Delicious Sweet and Nutty 'Baklava' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baklava) style filling of 'Walnuts-Pistachios-Almonds-Cashew' along with honey, cinnamon,vanilla and orange zest and stuffed it in the traditional Ukadiche Modak.
Here goes the recipe:
(I used standard measuring cups and spoons for the measurements)
1 Cup water
1 cup (heaped) Rice Flour
¼ tsp Salt
1tsp ghee
¼ Cup each of Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts and Pistachios
5tbsp Sugar
1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Vanilla essence
1/4tsp Salt
Orange Zest of 1 orange
1/2cup water
1/4cup sugar
2tbsp Honey
1)      Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).
2)      Spread the nuts on a cooking sheet and  bake for 7 mins till fragrant and slightly toasted
3)      Let them cool. After cooling, pulse the nuts, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon powder, vanilla, salt etc in a blender till coarsely powdered. This is the Baklava filling.
4)      Syrup: in a small saucepan over medium heat add the water, 1/4 cup sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
5)      Ukadiche Modak Covering
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add 1 tsp ghee and salt; add the rice flour and mix. Turn OFF the heat immediately. Keep a cover and let it stand for 10-15 mins to cool
Knead the dough with slightly oiled hand into smooth dough.
Keep it covered in moist cloth.
Keep a large vessel with some water to steam the modak
Take a sieve/ strainer/ shallow vessel and line it with a thin cloth. The modaks will be steamed in this vessel.
Make small rounds with the dough. Press with fingers to make flat rounds. This should be thin and without any cracks
Place 2 tsp Baklava filling in the modak. Add a tsp of the sugar-honey syrup to it. Mold the dough into ‘modak’ shape. First form as many pleats as possible. Then bring them together by gently pressing and rotating at the same time.

Place these modak into the cloth lined vessel and steam (without any pressure/whistle) for 15-20 mins.
Garnish with Orange zest and Serve with Ghee!