Saturday, 7 September 2013

Steamed Modak for Ganesh Chaturthi

Modak is something which is a must for Ganesh Chaturthi. I cherish the old days when we had no responsibilities tied upon us, but were just free birds enjoying life. Childhood is the best part of life. Festivals and celebration were fun, best part was eating and eating varieties of sweets and savories prepared for the same.Still remember the days when my mom used to say 'Chauthi dina Chandrana nodabaradu', meaning on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, we are not supposed to look at Moon as there is a superstition associated with it. Some things I believe for simple reason that it is followed from ancient past by our anscestors. There is a small story associated with this belief.

As per our ancient scritpures( Purana), we should not be looking at the moon/ no Chandradarshan on the day of Ganesh chaturthi. The ancient story is that the moon was laughing at Lord ganesh when He fell down. Once Ganesha was invited for a feast in Chandralok. The joyous Ganesh feasts himself to his heart's content. But he grows very restless and feels that his stomach would burst out. In order to prevent the stomach from bursting out, he ties a snake around it. But he was not able to balance himself after the huge meal and stumbles and falls. The moon watches the scene from the sky and laughs at Ganesh.. So, Lord Ganesh cursed the moon by saying that no one will look at the moon on Ganesh Chaturthi. Anyone who looks at the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi will be blamed for something they did not do. The story further goes that even Lord Krishna had to bear this curse as He too was accused of stealing the jewel “syamantak Mani(pearl)” because of looking at the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.

Say if you happen to see the moon by mistake on that day, there are a few ways to rid yourself of the so called curse. You can :
1. See the moon or 3rd and 5th day as well which is the day before and he day after the day of Ganesh Chaturthi.
2. Read or listen to the episode that describes the theft of syamantak mani as narrated in  chapters 56 and 57 of tenth skanda of Shrimad Bhagwatam.
3. Recite the  following mantra that  with a glass of water in your hand and then drink that water.
सिन्ह प्रसेनमवधीत्  सिन्हो जाम्बवता हतः |
सुकुमारक मा रोदीस्तव ह्येष स्यमन्तकः ||

Sinha prasenamavadheet sinho jaambavataa Hatah:|
Sukumarak maa rodistava hyesha syamantaka: ||

Meaning: O handsome prince, it is for this pearl that Sinha killed prasena and Jaambvan killed the sinha, so please do not be upset(cry) Now you and only you have the right to this pearl.

So I'm hoping that you don’t see the moon on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, but in case you happen to see, please follow the mentioned ways above to get rid of the curse.

Story Courtesy: sanskritchantsnprayers and informationcorner

Well stories apart, Here I share my steamed modak recipe.

Makes 11 modaks
Fine Rice flour-1 cup
Dessicated coconut gratings-1/2 cup
Jaggery-2 2*1'' cubes
Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp
Ghee-2-3 tsp
White sesame seeds/til-1tsp
Water-1 cup+1 tbsp.
Salt- a pinch

  1. In a pan add 1 tsp ghee, sesame seeds, jaggery and a tbsp. of water and heat over a low flame till jaggery melts.
  2. Once the jaggery melts, add dessicated coconut gratings, cardamom powder and give a good mix.
  3. Mix well and remove it off the flame. Let the filling mixture cool down.
  4. Now in another pan add 1 cup water, pinch of salt, 1 tsp ghee and bring the water to boil.To the boiling water add rice flour and mix. Switch off the flame. Cover and let the steam cook the rice flour well.
  5. Open after 2 minutes and sprinkle few drops of water and again cover and keep aside. Repeat sprinkling water and keeping aside twice and then transfer the entire contents to a plate.
  6. Now the next task is kneading the dough, for that dip hands in cold water to avoid heat burns from the hot rice flour mixture and work on it till it forms a dough.
  7. Preheat a steamer.
  8. Pinch off small ball off the dough and thin it out by greasing your palms with ghee or oil to form a basket to hold the filling.
  9. Put in a tsp. or two of filling and gently pull over the edges to the top to form a modak and seal well on top.
  10. Dip the bottom of the modak formed in cold water and place on the greased plate inside the steamer.
  11. Steam cook these modaks for 10-12 minutes and turn off the heat.
  12. Let the steam inside reduce a bit and them remove them off to the plate and offer to God (naivedhyam) and enjoy these sweet steamed modaks as prasadam.
Click on the pictures to get ideas of step by step instructions
The filling mixture looks as below 
The dough looks as below

 Enjoy the dish! n don't forget Eat and Eat little MORE.. :)
Sending this to thelady8home, Priya's page WTML owned by Gayathri, Cutchi Kitchen, Gujarati zaika
weekend gala dinner extravaganza

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