I Know I know!!
Modaks you ask?? Now?? Wait , isn't Ganesh Chaturthi long gone?? Or is it just happening in the la la land that I inhabit??
Well frankly speaking, I had made a bunch of other delicacies for the pooja, and my Dear Gannu Baba and me have a deal not to mind the small things in life..We don't necessarily care when we get to eat these delicious little potlis, as long as we do eat them!!
And thats exactly what I did.. How can I not fulfill my promise to Gannu Baba???
One fine day..yes, it was a fine day when the sky turned a gorgeous blue after a spate of 4 rainy miserably grey days...the sun was up,there were butterflies in my garden again, my lantanas and pentas were flowering profusely ..and so I was "up" too!
I am a sunny side up kinda gal...I really am!
Rains might be romantic,the grey skies mysterious and the drizzle melodious...but for me it should last only one evening...and definitely not rain during the day! I need to see the Sun daily..and not in the least so I can do my Surya Namaskars!!
Given my sunny mood, I decided this is the day to do some good..and I consider keeping promises as very good...
So with that thought in mind, the good girl in me (dormant generally) stretched and awoke from its lazy hibernation..met eyes first with my lil pumpkin munchkin baby..then saw the omniscient Gannu baba...and thought to self " This be the day, I make those modaks".. But heck, I will be damned if I don't make them a little different!!
Coz thats me,... I am all about celebrating the beauty of being "different" :P
A sideline plot:
Dishu: Mama how come Gannu baba has such big ears?
Mama : All the better to hear with us my dear...all our prayers reach him quickly coz of his big ears..and though he hears everything, he retains only what is good...as should you".
Dishu : But how come he has such a big head like me?
Mama: Well darling he has a big head coz he's mighty intelligent like U..and the fact that he wants you to think Big, always!
Dishu: His eyes are pretty small though... how come?
Mama : Well when you study how your eyes become small...same way Gannu baba is always concentrating, thats why his eyes are small!
Dishu : Okie...but whats with his elli wala nose???
Mama : With that trunk (not elli nose) he teaches us to Retain Good while Throw Away the Bad”
Dishu: and the big tummy is so that he can eat all that you are making??Right??? ?
Mama:That too...and because with that big tumm ,he will easily digest all the bad and good in life".
Dishu: I love Gannu baba .. he's cutest like Krishna.
Mama : Me too sweetoo... He has been my buddy ever since I was a tiny lil thing like u! "
Here's how you do this to please Gannu baba's "all evil" encompassing tumm..as well as yours "all good craving" tongue!
For the outer covering or the Potli:
- 2 cups all purpose flour (or use whole wheat if you wanna be especially healthy)
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp warm oil
- 1 ts hot ghee
- water to knead the dough
- 1.5 cups grated or powdered jaggery
- 1.5 cups fresh grated fresh coconut or unsweetened dessicated coconut
- 1/2 cup grated fresh mawa
- 1 or 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
- 1 or 1.5 tsp cardamom powder or crushed cardamom
- Assorted chopped dry fruits (I used raisins, pistachio and almond slivers)
- a pinch or two of grated nutmeg
- ½ or ¾ cup water
- 1 tsp ghee or clarified butter
For making the Potli:
Now for my special touch...
- Knead all the ingredients listed under the same to make a smooth dough.
- Cover and keep the dough aside for 20-30 minutes.
- roast the sesame seeds (white) lightly on a tawa or girdle.
- Heat the ghee in a pan..fry the dry fruits..save some pistachio and almond slivers for garnish.
- Add all the other ingredients mentioned except water..
- Saute well for 3-4 minutes till slightly fragrant
- Add the water mentioned.
- Cook and stir on a low or medium flame, making sure it doesn't stick till the mixture is dry and cooked.
- Keep aside to cool.
- Make small balls of the dough..It makes about 12 roughly.
- Roll thinly to a circle of about 3-4 inches diameter.
- Gently place the circle on your palm.
- Add the filling in the center.
- With a pastry brush,brush a lil water at the edges
- Pleat the edges continuously...fold them one after the other..i make about 6 pleats.
- Bring together all the pinched folds in the center.
- Keep aside covered as you make the other potlis.
- Shallow or deep fry the modaks in medium hot oil till golden browned.
- Drain on kitchen tissues.
Once fried , I dip each modak in some pre prepared lukewarm sugar syrup..To make them ultra sweet and glossy and oh soooooo delicious!!
I can't stress this enough..
Its a lovely addition to the basic modaks and one that I use for gujiyas/karanjis too.
Just let them sit in the syrup for 2 minutes.
Take them out immediately. Stick on some slivers of pistachio or almond. Let them dry completely.
Serve hot for the pooja..and store in an airtight jar!
Eat as and when the mood strikes...