INSTANT POT UKADICHE MODAK (sweet rice dumplings with coconut filling)

by Jyoti Sawant
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INSTANT POT UKADICHE MODAK (sweet rice dumplings with coconut filling)
by Jyoti Sawant
Ukadiche Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert dumplings made with rice flour and coconut jaggery stuffing. It is specifically made during the indian festival of Ganesh chaturthi as it is believed that these steamed dumplings are Lord Ganesha favourite and hence it is offered as bhog or prasad during this festival. I am excited to share my detailed recipe with all the tips and tricks to help you make modak like a pro!

modak recipe | easy ukadiche modak recipe with detailed photo and video recipe. Ukadiche Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert dumplings made with rice flour and coconut jaggery stuffing. It is specifically made during the indian festival of Ganesh chaturthi as it is believed that these steamed dumplings are Lord Ganesha favourite and hence it is offered as bhog or prasad during this festival. I am excited to share my detailed recipe with all the tips and tricks to help you make modak like a pro!

WHAT IS MODAK?

‘Modak is an Indian dessert dumpling that has a sweet filling of freshly grated coconut and jaggery, with a soft outer shell made from steamed rice flour or fried wheat flour. Modaks are believed to be a favorite of Lord Ganesha, a Hindu God, remover of obstacles. These dumplings are especially popular in Mahrashtra which is located in the South Western part of India. They are prepared as an offering to Lord Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi, an 11 day festival celebrated with great pomp on show in Lord Ganesha’s honor.

What are Ukadiche Modak

“Ukadiche” literally means steamed. Ukadiche Modak is similar to dumplings, with an outer layer of steamed rice flour dough and a sweet filling of fresh coconut and jaggery. After shaping and filling the dumplings they are then steamed which gives them soft melt in the mouth texture.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi !!This Ganesh Chaturthi, I pray to Lord Ganesha to destroy all our sorrows; enhance our happiness; and shower his blessings on all of us.

 
 
 
 

Ukadiche Modak In the Instant Pot:

I have been making traditional Modak for many years now, but recently I tried to make this recipe in the Instant Pot and I was amazed at how easy it was to make it. This recipe is going to simply blow your mind. It is probably the easiest recipe that you would have ever come across or will ever find. Simple and super easy way to make the filling and steaming of modak in the Instant Pot. Plus I have tweaked the traditional way of making dough to give great results each and every time

What is the Ganesh Chaturthi Festival All About?

I am an ardent follower of Lord Ganesh!! I have grown up celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi every year at my parent’s house. Although we celebrated many festivals, I always had some special divine connection to this particular one. Bringing home the idol of Lord Ganesha probably played the biggest role in my affection for this festival, it was almost like bringing a friend home for me as a child, plus I always fell in love with those beautifully decorated idols each time.

The preparation for the festival would start almost a month ahead, cleaning up of the house, buying the Puja (prayer) items, prepping up for the puja, decorating and setting up the dias for Lord Ganesha’s idol were all a part of the festivities. My mom would make several desserts, sweets, and delicious food items to welcome Lord Ganesha that we kids couldn’t wait to gorge on.

On the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, chanting mantras and ringing bells, we would bring a beautifully carved clay idol of Lord Ganesha home, and place it on the decorated Dias. It would then follow with an elaborate puja and in the end, we would offer prasad to Lord Ganesh. Ukadiche (steamed) Modak is believed to be his favorite sweet and so Modak is the first offering for Lord Ganesh, followed by other sweet and delicacies. These Modak’s are offered in an auspicious number of 21 at a time. Lord Ganesha would be prayed and loved for 11 days in the house and every day a fresh batch of 21 Modaks was offered to him. I know it was hard work and mom had to keep on top of it but we always had some helping hands. Lord Ganesha coming home to us was like some guest is home and there is a party going on for 11 days. Modak, other sweets, and delicious food, we wished this party never ended.

After 11 days with a heavy heart, we would bid goodbye to Lord Ganesh chanting “Ganpati Bappa Morya Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar ya” (Oh Ganpati My Lord, please come back soon next year). The Idol is taken to a water body like a lake, pond, or the river, and Visrajan (letting go) of Lord Ganesha’s idol is performed, so it becomes one with the earth, being a clay idol it dissolves eventually in the water.

Where did I learn how to make Modak?

My mom off course, I have been making Modak with my mom since maybe I was 8 years old, and shaping it with the hand was an art. I did learn how to make Modaks early on, but I was never as good as my mom in shaping it. That art and perfection came to me after years of practice and experience.

The most important part in making the Modak is the dough, if you have the measurements right and knead the dough well, you have won half the battle. The next important thing is shaping it, here I have given enough tricks and techniques for you to accomplish that so you won’t ever go wrong. But just in case you don’t have the time which we never have, make these Modaks with the molds, it is super easy.

Tips for making perfect Modak filling

  1. Use frozen pre-shredded coconut or fresh one, this recipe works for all. No need to grate the jaggery, IP does it all.
  2. Put everything in the IP as directed and it will melt the jaggery and roast the coconut like a charm.

PICTURESQUE RECIPE STEPS OF HOW TO MAKE Ukadiche Modak

Ingredients for Modak with the brands I used

Ingredients for Modak Measured

  • 2 cups finely ground rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon ghee (1 tspn for dough forming +1 tspn for shaping)
  • 1 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • 2 cups fresh shredded Coconut
  • 1 cup Jaggery / Gudh
  • 7 to 8 cashews chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk (missing in the picture but you will need it)
  • Saffron milk (for decoration, optional)

Step 1: Coconut jaggery filling in the Instant Pot:

The most painful part of making the filling is grating the jaggery. Grating jaggery is an important step and you cant skip it as if you don’t grate it jaggery forms lumps while cooking and once the lumps are formed it is hard to break them down.

Turn you Instant Pot on Saute Mode and add poppy seeds to it, roast for few seconds and add grated coconut and roast for 1 minute.

Now add jaggery and nuts. Also, add ½ cup of coconut milk and combine (this helps the pot to come to pressure and add more flavor).

Close the lid and press the “Manual/ Pressure cook” button, on high for “0 Minutes”. It comes to pressure really quickly in 2 minutes or so. Do a quick pressure release. Press the “Saute” button and saute until the moisture has evaporated. Remove in a bowl and let it cool.

Step 2: Ukad/dough for the outer covering

  • In a large mixing bowl put 2 cups of rice flour. Keep it aside. Now in a measuring cup add 2 cups of water, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter). Microwave the water on high for 3 to 4 minutes until it is boiling.
  • Add the hot water to the flour, little at a time. Use a hand mixer with the dough attachment and start combining the dough. Combine until all the water is absorbed in the now somewhat crumbly dough. Using a hand mixer really helps to combine everything well to give a more pliable dough later. Now cover the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • After five minutes uncover and using your hands knead the rice dough using 1 teaspoon of ghee until the dough is nice and pliable.
  • Make a log of the dough, 9-inch length, and 2-inch width. Now using a knife or scraper make a line horizontally in the center of the log, then using a scale make 1-inch marks vertically.
  • Using a knife or cutter divide the dough first in the middle going horizontally then divide it into parts vertically. You will get 18 parts out of this log.
  • Make lemon sized balls with the dough and keep covered.

Step 3: Shaping and filling

How to make modak by hands?

Traditionally modak is made by hand and it simply takes some practice and patience to shape them uniformly. Here is how to make modak by hand:

  1. Apply ghee on your palm and fingertips and start pressing one ball of the rice dough between the palm of your hands.
  1. Using your fingers start pressing from the circumference first and then go inside to gently stretch out the dough until it makes a small cup of around 3-inch diameter. 
  1. If you find the above step hard then just roll out a ball of dough using a rolling pin. Take a dough ball, apply a little ghee to the board and rolling pin. Roll out a thin disc and then go to the next step of shaping it.
  • Now make the pleats on the dough by dredging your fingers in the flour first to prevent the dough from tearing while shaping. You can make anywhere from 5 to 9 pleats, start with just 5 pleats and as you get better you may be able to do more. Once you have pleated all around, fill the cup with the filling, and bring all the pleats together in the center.
  • Start pressing them towards the middle and top enclosing the filling. Secure the top by firming pressing the top together so the Modak does not open up during steaming.

Don’t have time to make Modak by hands, just use molds/ moulds:

Where to buy modak molds/ moulds?

I bought my modak mold from an Indian grocer store in US. During Ganesh Chaturth time around August – Sepetmber many Indian grocery stores in the US sell modak molds.  But you can easily find these molds on amazon as well. Here is a link to it: https://amzn.to/31eGrej.

  • Grease the inside of the Modak mold really well with oil or ghee
  • Close the mold and spread the rice dough inside the mold and start pressing gently with your fingers as it evenly spreads inside the mold. Some of the dough will spread outside of the mold, which is used to seal the modak.
  • Gently put about 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling inside the mold. Seal the bottom with the extra dough that is outside of the mold by folding it over to cover the opening.
  • There are many different types of molds that you can use. I have one another mold here. For this roll out a ball of dough in a disc shape using a rolling pin. Place the dough on the mold, fill 1 to 2 teaspoons of filling and close the mold securely, remove any extra dough that hangs out. Open to see a beautifully shaped dumpling.
  • Carefully open the mold and remove the modak and place on a plate, cover with a cheese cloth.
  • Repeat the above steps of shaping and filling the modak for the rest of the dough and filling.

Step 4: Steaming ukadiche modak in the Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot steel insert. Put a parchment paper in the steamer basket and place modak inside both the baskets.
  • Place the trivet. Gently place the double steamer basket with modak in the Instant Pot. Close Instant Pot lid with pressure valve to sealing.
  • Cook on Manual / Pressure Cook (Low pressure) for 0 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release (or cook on Steam program for 8 mins NPR). Open the Instant Pot, allow the modak to cool for 5 mins. Take out on a serving platter.

How to serve Ukadiche Modak

Traditionally they are served with homemade ghee known as Sajuk Toop in Marathi. Pour 1 teaspoon of melted ghee on top of the Modak and enjoy. I love to eat them warm but they also taste good at room temperature.

How to store and reheat Modak

Modak stays well at room temperature for a day. For extended shelf life they refrigerated up to 3 days. To reheat simply steam them for 3 to 4 minutes.

Why Instant Pot?

Well let’s just say I love propagating Instant pot, I have 3 Instant Pots, the 6 Quart 10-In-Instant Pot Duo https://amzn.to/2ZxgoN8 , the 6 Quart 10-In-Instant Pot DUO Plus https://amzn.to/2BtxmnJ and 8 quart Instant Pot® Duo Crisp™ + Air Fryer https://amzn.to/3giM4fY 

My 6 quart is a workhorse and I have been making a storm in that but when I eventually decided to create a course on Instant Pot www.instantpotmastercourse.com  I needed two Instant pots for recording purposes. My new addition of Duo Crisp is only due to my obsession with air-fryers,  check out my Instant Pot Airfryer Samosa post, it’s a wineer recipe.

Here is why making this dish in the Instant Pot is a win-win:

  1. Hassle-Free Filling: Making the filling in the Instant Pot is a breeze, no jaggery grating needed plus hassle-free as no babysitting required.
  2. Save time: While your hands are free from making the filling you can utilize that time in dough making
  3.  Less clean up: Just use the pot as is without cleaning to steam the modak.
  4. No babysitting for Steaming: Just put the Modak for steaming and walkway. Come back to nice delicious modak. 

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INSTANT POT UKADICHE MODAK (sweet rice dumplings with coconut filling)

Ukadiche Modak is a traditional Maharashtrian dessert dumplings made with rice flour and coconut jaggery stuffing. It is specifically made during the indian festival of Ganesh chaturthi as it is believed that these steamed dumplings are Lord Ganesha favourite and hence it is offered as bhog or prasad during this festival. I am excited to share my detailed recipe with all the tips and tricks to help you make modak like a pro!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Keyword authentic modak recipe, best modak recipe, instant pot modak, instant pot modak recipe, INSTANT POT UKADICHE MODAK, Modak recipe, UKADICHE MODAK
Prep Time 10 minutes
Prep time 40 minutes + 4 mins Saute time + 6 mins pressure building + 0 mins pressure cook time + 10 mins NPR 41 minutes
Total Time 51 minutes
Servings 21
Calories 126kcal
Author Jyoti Sawant

Equipment

  •  6 quart or larger Instant Pot    
  • Double Steamer basket

Ingredients

Ingredients for Dough

  • 2 cups 2 cups finely ground rice flour
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ghee

Ingredients for Filling

For decoration: (Optional)

Instructions

  • Directions:
    Instant Pot Instructions for to make the stuffing:
    Step 1: Plugin the Instant Pot and remove the lid. Place the steel insert/ inner pot inside the IP. Select Sauté/Browning mode andadd poppy seeds to it, roast for few seconds and add grated coconut and roast for 1 minute.
    Step2: Now add jaggery and nuts. Also, add ½ cup of coconut milk and combine (this helps the pot to come to pressure and add more flavor).
    Step 3:  Close the lid and press the “Manual/ Pressure cook” button, on high for “0 Minutes”. It comes to pressure quickly, in about 2 minutes or so.  The pressure will build and once the pressure builds, the timer will automatically switch to “Keep Warm”. Do Quick Pressure Release ((NPR), meaning remove the pressure manually. As soon asthe safety pin drops down, open the Lid.
    Step 4: Press the “Saute” button and saute until the moisture has evaporated and the filling is dry. Now remove the filling in a bowl and let it cool.
    Ukad/dough for the outer covering:
    Step 1: In a large mixing bowl put 2 cups of rice flour.
    Step 2: Now in a measuring cup add 2 cups of water, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter).
    Step 3: Microwave the water on high for 3 to 4 minutes until it is boiling.
    Step 4: Add the boiling water to the flour, little at a time. Use a hand mixer with the dough attachment and start combining the dough. Combine until all the water is absorbed in the now somewhat crumbly dough. Using a hand mixer really helps to combine everything well to give a more pliable dough and work with the dough when it is really hot.
    Step 5: Now cover the dough and let it rest for 5 minutes.
    Step 6: After five minutes uncover and using your hands kneadthe rice dough using 1 teaspoon of ghee for 5 to 10 mins or until thedough is smooth and pliable.
    Step 7: Make a log of the dough, 9-inch in length, and 2-inch wide. Now using a knife or scraper make a line horizontally in the center of the log, then using a scale make 1-inch marks vertically. Using a knife or cutter divide the dough first in the middle going horizontally then divide it into parts by cutting vertically. You will get 18 parts out of this log.
    Step 8: Make lemon sized balls from each part and cover it up with a cheesecloth or paper napkin to prevent it from drying. For mold shaped modaks you can divide each ball into two as it requires less dough.
    Make modak by hands:
    Step 1: Apply ghee on your palm and finger tips and start pressing one ball of  rice dough between the palm ofyour hands.
    Step 2: Using your fingers start pressing from the outside first and then go indside and then gently stretch out the dough until it makes a small cup of around 3-inch diameter. 
    Step 3: If you find the second step hard then just roll out a ball of dough using a rolling pin. Take a dough ball, apply a little ghee to the board and rolling pin and roll out a thin disc and then go to the next step of shaping it.
    Step 4: Now make the pleats on the dough by dredging your fingers inthe flour first to prevent the dough from tearing while shaping. You can make anywhere from 5 to 9 pleats, start with just 5 pleats first and as you get better you may be able to do more.
    Step 9: Once you have pleated all around, fill the cup with the filling, and bring all the pleats together in the center. Start pressing them towards the middle and top enclosing the filling. Secure the top by firming and pressing the top together so the Modak does not open up during steaming.
    Make modak using molds:
    Step 1: Apply little ghee on the inside of the mold.
    Step 2: Close the mold and spread the rice dough insidethe mold and start shaping it around gently with your fingers.Some of the dough will also come outside of the mold which will be used to seal the modak.
    Step 3: Gently put about 1-2 tsp of stuffing inside themold. Seal the bottom with the extra dough that is outside of the mold. Gently open the mold and put the modak on plate, covered with a cheesecloth. Repeat and make remaining modak.
    Steam ukadiche modak in the InstantPot
    Step 1: Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot steel insert.
    Step 2: Put a parchment paper inside both stackable steamer baskets and place modak inside both the baskets.
    Step 3: Place the trivet. Gently place the stackable steamer basket with modak in the Instant Pot. Close Instant Pot lid with pressure valve tosealing.
    Step 4: Cook on Manual / Pressure Cook (Low pressure) for 0 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release (or cook on Steam program for 8 mins NPR).When the pin drops, open the Instant Pot, allow the modak to cool for 5 mins. Serve it on a serving plate with some ghee and enjoy! 

Notes

Tips:
  • Make sure you knead the dough well.
  • If shaping with hand apply a little flour before you start shaping for best results. Also start shaping the circumference first and then go to the centre.
  • My steamer basket fits 8 modak without sticking to each other. Make sure there is a little room between the modak so they do not stick to each other after cooking.
  • Apply generous amount of ghee to the mold before making each modak. This will make sure that the modak do not stick to the mold.
  • Rinse and dry the modak mold half way through to make sure the modak do not stick to the mold.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1Modak | Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.1g | Protein: 1.2g | Fat: 4.4g | Sodium: 1.9mg | Potassium: 43.7mg | Fiber: 3g | Vitamin A: 675IU | Vitamin C: 19.6mg | Calcium: 9.4mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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