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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Sweet Treats" Quick and Easy 'Mango Pedha Modak"

Ganapati Bappa Moraya!!!
I am sure everyone is happy and excited to Welcome Ganapati Bappa tomorrow! Needless to say...I am too. This years crazy busy 'Ganapati Week'(With hosting Cooking Competition in Columbus, The Food stall, E's dance at the Ganapati festival, deck being built in the backyard.)....demands a Quick and Easy Modak Recipe!!!
The recipe is probably already known  to you all......the 3 minute Microwave Pedha.
http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2011/03/sweet-treats-3-minute-pedhascondensed.html 

The Mango Pedha Version was also already published on thesizzlingpan.com
 http://my-kitchens-aroma.blogspot.com/2012/09/sweet-treats-quick-and-easy-mango-pedhas.html
 
I used the same recipe.....and molded the dough into Mango Pedha Modak!!!
 And NO...I did not use any molds to mold the modak.....for the tip on molding the Modak..read the recipe below....

Ingredients:  Makes 35 or more small Modaks
Note: Since the brand of milk powder, microwave oven, the glassware you use differs--- the cooking time and the amount of milk powder might have to be increased!!

1 stick Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
4-4.5 cups Milk powder ( I used non fat dry milk) --You might need more*
1 can of 14 oz Sweetened condensed milk
8tbsp of Mango pulp/ Puree
1/2tsp nutmeg powder
1/2tsp cardamom powder
Some granulated sugar to roll the Modaks

Method:
1) Mix together milk powder, butter,condensed milk,nutmeg,cardamom,mango etc in microwave safe big deep bowl
2) Microwave for 6-8 minutes total. After every minute stir the mixture. *If the mixture doesn't thicken in 6 minutes, add a little more milk powder and microwave another minute.Keep doing this till it is thick.
The mixture will fluff up in the microwave as it is cooking. It will thicken as it is cooked. Remember to stir every minute! Remember..it will thicken up more..once cooled too!
3) After it thickens enough to roll in to Modak-Pedhas, let it cool. Make into small Balls.Then pinch the top to look like Modak. Make the balls as uniform as possible so that all Modak-Pedhas look similar and like they have been molded with a mold.
Modak Molding tip:
After you have made small modak shapes, use a small fork to press line marks on the sides of the modak from all sides.


4) Place on a platter dusted lightly with granulated sugar, so that they don't stick to the platter. Store in the refrigerator.




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:
 http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2012/sep/160912-Modak-goes-modern.htm


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:
Recipe:
(I used standard measuring cups and spoons for the measurements)
Covering:
1 Cup water
1 cup (heaped) Rice Flour
¼ tsp Salt
1tsp ghee
Filling:
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
Syrup:
1/2cup water
1/4cup sugar
2tbsp Honey
Method:
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!