Festive wishes to all the readers of nasikcity on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Hope you have a happy and Eco-friendly festival!
Thank you Ashwin for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share some of my recipes here. Am glad to be here.
You cannot escape the festive spirit even if you wanted to! The pandals are all ready with the finishing touches done, everyone’s favourite ‘Bappa’ is adorning the decked up spaces in the house , you can hear chants of ‘Ganapati bappa Morya’ and the typical drum beats all around.
Every festival in India along with the festivities revolves around food. Ganesh Chaturthi is no different. You can enjoy all the sinful delicacies for the next ten days. Ganesh festival and Modak are synonymous. The quintessential Modak –Bappa’s favourite sweet, will be made in most households. Each household has a different version of the modak;fried/steamed etc.I usually make the one with the rice flour covering (referred to as Ukadiche modak). You can see my recipe here. This year our Bappa gets some fusion Indo-Turkish treat with these Baklava inspired Modak’s. (to know more about Baklava read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baklava or just google it)
I have on many occasions drooled over pictures of the rich nut filled ,Rose syrup laden, neatly cut photos of Baklava pieces . I have put off attempting to make it, since it involves making the Filo pastry (not readily available here; you can use readymade samosa pattis but it’s not the same!) Filling the fried modaks seemed to the nearest best option to me . A mixture of available nuts flavoured with a rose-honey cinnamon syrup is stuffed inside the fried Modaks . To enhance the flavoured the same syrup is then drizzled on the fried Modaks, garnished with pistachios and served. I chose Rose flavor since I had rose petals/dried rose petal powder/ rose water. You can also use grated orange rind instead of rose water/rose petals to add a zing to the Syrup.
Also you can make whatever shapes you want, if you have the time and patience. I have made a few ‘Potli’s and some ‘chocolates’ along with the cute little modaks.
The sinful little morsels were indeed a treat. The nutty flavor complimented well with the rosy syrup. They are a bit dry if eaten without the drizzle, so I recommend you drizzle a generous amount of the syrup just before you serve them.
With that here’s the recipe for these Baklava inspired Fried Modaks:
For the covering:
- 2 cups Maida
- 4 tbsp homemade ghee
- Pinch of salt
- Water as required
For the filling:
- ¾ cup chopped nuts (I used Pistachio’s, Walnuts, Almonds & Cashewnuts)
- ~2 tbsp powdered sugar (or to taste)
- 4 tbsp Rose syrup (recipe below)
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon powder
- ¼ tsp dried rose petal powder (this is available at most grocery stores but skip if not available)
For the Syrup:
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey (optional)
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp rose water (available at most grocery stores)
- Pinch of cinnamon powder (or a 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick )
Oil for deep frying
For the covering:
- Add the ghee to the Maida along with a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture nicely with both hands till the ghee spreads evenly and you get a crumbly mixture.
- Add little water and knead the mixture into pliable dough but not too soft.
- Cover and keep aside till you make the filling and the syrup.
For the filling:
Mix the chopped nuts with the powdered sugar,cinnamon powder,rose petal powder and mix. Add the syrup and mix nicely. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.
For the syrup:
- In a thick pan heat together the water, sugar, honey, Cinnamon powder/stick and lemon juice. Let it boil on low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring in between.
- Once done switch off the gas , cool the syrup and add the rose water.
- (Add 4 tbsp of the syrup to the filling and mix.)
To make the modaks:
- Heat suffiecient amount of any vegetable oil in a heavy bottom pan/wok for deep frying.
- Roll out a lemon sized ball of the dough into a ~ thin 8 inch circle.
- Use a 2.5 inch round cookie cutter and cut 3-4 circles. (You can also use a ‘Katori’ to do this)
- Fill about a tsp of the stuffing at the center of each circle.
- Bring the edges together and seal by pinching the dough at the tip.
- Deep fry on low heat till golden brown and let it cool.
- Drizzle a generous amount of the syrup on the fried Modaks just before serving along with chopped pistachios (or any other nut) and fresh rose petals.