By Prof. Vd Rangaprasad Bhat.
Modak is a sweet dish prepared on the eve of Sri Ganesha Festival in India. It is generates Moda – happiness in the mind, so the name Modaka. Sweet dumpling is its English name.
Method of preparation
How to prepare Modak?
Make sugar candy syrup. Mix sugar candy with water. Heat it. Allow it to cool down.
Take a proportionate amount of wheat flour and sugar candy syrup in a wide mouthed vessel.
The quantity of the syrup and wheat flour should be same.
To this mixture, add sufficient quantity of water.
Add a little ghee
Prepare a base paste of hard consistency.
Ghee is added to soften the dough.
Fine powder of camphor, black gram and rock salt are added.
If needed, Chaturjata (Cinnamon, cardamom, cinnamon leaf and Mesua ferrea) are added, while preparing the dough.
Make a small bolus of the above mixture of paste. Using a wooden roll pin flatten the paste to beget a round chapathi like a tandoori nAn.
Approximate the ends of the flattened paste by gathering it to the center so as to resemble a receptacle of the flower (pushpalambam) with a broad base and a narrow stalk.
Steam the Modaka and start cooking with mild flame for a few minutes.
The thus prepared final product akin to pushpalambam(resembling a flower receptacle).
Effect on Tridosha
Balances Vata and Pitta. Increases Kapha Dosha.
Clinical/nutritional benefits of Modak based on Āyurveda principles:
The wheat modak is
vṛśyāstu [aphrodisiac], improves sexual strength
Improves agni – digestion strength
Pleasant to eat and increases the perception of taste,
Balances the aggravated vāta and pitta,
bhuktāḥ sanmodakā [increases the fragrance in oral cavity after chewing it],
modakarā narāṇām [it provides pleasant feeling of satiation upon eating it],
modako gururatīva [heavy for digestion],
śleṣmalaḥ [hence it in a way increases the śleṣma doṣa ],
ciravipākastatha [the post digestion of the modak too is slow and delayed due to its heaviness],
mandamagni janayecca koṣṭabhṛKha [within the channels of the koṣṭa (stomach), it causes mandamagni ],
modako’atibalapradaḥ sadā [but, still the modaka provides enormous physical strength to an exhausted person].
Modaka is known in varied names based on the type of cooking (through steam or by frying in oil / ghee), the language and the region in India.
Tamil name – koZhukaṭṭai/neyyAppam/modakam
Malayalam name – kozhukaṭṭa.
In western India – modak/ modak ukkadicha
Kannada name – Modaka
The modaka is offered to God Sri Ganesha during Vinayaka Chaturthi festival in many parts of India. One of the synonyms of Sri Ganesha is Modaka Priya. One who loves Modaka 🙂
Variant – cooking.
Usually the wheat Modaka is fried in oil.
If it is prepared with rice powder – In a wide mouth vessel, 3 cups of water is taken, boiled. Added 1 cup rice powder, half a teaspoon rock salt and 2 teaspoon of ghee, and continued heating for a while. Kept closed, heating stopped. After a while, It is rolled into ball. Then made into thin circular sheets.
It is stuffed with jaggery coconut piece cardamom stuffing.
To prepare this stuffing, jaggery is dissolved in water, filtered. Added with grated coconut, cooked. At the end, cardamom powder or pieces are added. Heated till semisolid paste is ready. This is used for stuffing, for both Modak-prepared with frying or cooking.
This makes it slightly heavier to digest. It is more nourishing, improves weight and Kapha Dosha.
Click to consult Vd. Rangaprasad Bhat