In a pan add water and oil. Add a little salt to taste. Bring the water to boil.
Lower the flame Add rice flour. Switch off the flame. Mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula and cover it well. It is okay if there is dry flour in the mixture.
After about half an hour, the dough mixture will be cooler and you can touch it.
Transfer to a mixing bowl and knead the mixture. If it is still hot or sticks to your hand, dip your hand in the water and knead. You can also apply a little oil to your hands.
Stuffing For Ukadiche Modak:(Cook Time:20minutes)
In a kadhai/wok heat the coconut and jaggery cook on medium flame.
The mixture comes together and the jaggery will melt completely. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Mix and let the moisture evaporate. Remember it will keep cooking in the pan too, once cool, the mixture should be semidry.
You can add poppy seeds, raisins, cashew nuts and cardamom powder. I prefer to add chilli powder in a small part. The rest I add cardamom powder.
Keep aside and let it cool down completely. Remember jaggery burns are more intense.
Shaping Modak by Hand: (About 5 minutes for 2)
Grease your hand with oil. Take a small ball of dough. Make a smooth ball.
Apply oil to your thumb and push in the ball and start pressing with your thumb and forefinger and smoothen out the cup.
Gently press the cup and shape it in a thinner cup. In case the dough sticks to your fingers, apply a little oil.
I start pinching the dough with my thumb and index finger start making pleats. Halfway through add a teaspoonful of the stuffing and finish making pleats. Make the pleats as close as you can the modak looks beautiful.
To finish making the modak pinch the opening together. Seal the mouth of the modak. Keep the modak on a plate and keep covered until you make the rest.
2 ways to shape modak using moulds
Method 1: (About 5 minutes for 3)
Keep some refined oil in a bowl ready as you will need it to grease the inside of the mould.
Depending on the size of the mould take a small ball and press it in the mould with your finger. The centre should remain hollow. Keep some of the flour overhanging outside the mould.
Add a teaspoon of the filling in the hollow.
Make a small disc of the dough and apply to the base. Press well but gently.
Open the mould and get the modak out for steaming. Keep it covered till you get a batch ready for steaming.
Repeat the process to finish all the dough and the filling.
Method 2: (About 5 minutes for 3)
Grease a Modak mould using very little oil.
Using your fingers and thumb make a cup.
Add the filling and close the opening then transfer it to the mould and close the mould.
Steaming the Ukdiche Modak: (About 15 minutes for 10)
If you have a steamer get it ready, I use a vessel on which a colander sits snugly. In the vessel, I add water and let it come to boil.
Apply a little oil to the base of the colander. You can also lay a small piece of banana leaf or turmeric leaf. Apply a little oil to the base of the modak and arrange the modak on the colander.
Steam them for 15 minutes on medium heat.
Once done remove from the tray and arrange the next lot on the colander.
Serve them warm drizzled with ghee. If you are vegan avoid the ghee, the modak tastes great without ghee too!