The recipe I select for this month is called Modakam because it is a traditional sweet that is prepared for Vinayaka Chathurthi, the celebration of Lord Ganesh’s birthday that occurred on September 1st. It is a rice dumpling that is filled with coconut and jaggery. Some people call it Kozhakatta but I consider the two very different. The inside of Modakam is sweet while Kozhakatta contains roasted mustard seeds, dal and red chilies. The only similarity is they are both dumplings.
When I told my husband the name of the recipe I picked, he couldn’t remember what it was. After I described it he was thrilled because it had been one of his favorites as a child.
It is an incredibly easy vegetarian recipe to make. First you make the dough then the filling. Then you bring the two together to make the dumpling. This is the tricky part. The first two I made were disasters – partly because my dough was too watery. The second batch of dough was better because the water was hotter as I added the rice flour and I added it not quite as slowly. The trick to making a good Modakam is to make the dough thin enough to cover the filling but not so thick that it will taste doughy.
When I served my easy dessert after dinner, half of them disappeared right away. They were wonderful!
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