NGREDIENTS: Rice flour – 2 cups, chana dal – 1½ cup, coconut scrapped – 1 cup, fennel – 2 tablespoon (roasted), pepper powder – 3 tablespoon (roasted), salt – ½ teaspoon, raisins – 10 to 12 numbers, jaggery -1½ cup, water as required, ghee – 2 tablespoon, a pinch of food colour of your choice.
Take a pan and heat half a cup of water in it. Add half teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of ghee and allow it to boil.
Take the rice flour on a large bowl and add the boiling water slowly to the flour while mixing with the help of a ladle. Make a dough from the mixture. Keep it covered with a moist cotton cloth.
Soak the chana dal for 2-3 hours and then wash it properly and drain out the water. Boil the chana dal in a little water so that it gives you a rough texture once done. It should not be runny.
Take a pan and heat it up. Put in scrapped coconut and dry-roast them in low heat for 4-5 minutes while stirring continuously. When the rawness disappears, remove them from heat and put in a bowl.
Heat up 2 tablespoon of ghee in a pan and pour the boiled chana dal. Mash them properly with the help of a spatula. Cook for two minutes and then add grounded jaggery. Stir continuously; cook both the ingredients properly.
Add the roasted and pounded fennel and pepper powder into it. Also add the roasted coconut and raisins. Cook for some time until the mixture becomes dry. Remove from the flames and keep aside for cooling down. You will use this cooked mixture as the stuffing in modaks.
Take small balls of the rice flour dough that you had earlier kept aside. Roll them into a small roti shape by patting with your hand.
Put in the stuffing with the help of a spoon and seal them properly by giving the shape of a modak. You can also use moulds readily available in market for modaks.
Boil two cups of water in a steamer. When the water comes to boil, put the modaks in. Allow them to cook for ten minutes and then your healthy yummy modaks are ready.
Note: You can divide the dough in two parts: let one portion remain white and add a pinch of a food colour of choice to the other portion of the dough with a few drops of water. By this, you can get both colourful modaks and as well as traditional white looking ones.
(Originally from Namsai, Arunachal Pradesh, Jayoti Gupta now lives in Bangalore. She teaches history at a private college. Click here to read all her previous recipes.)