Step 1:Making of dough for outer cover of Modak:
Take the rice flour in a bowl. Add 1 tsp oil and 1 cup water little by little. Make a batter of the consistency of buttermilk.Batter should fall smoothly when poured.Transfer the batter to a heavy bottomed pan or non stick panPlace this pan of batter on a gas stove and stir continuously on a very low flame until it thickens to form a dough. This took us about 5 minutes.Switch off the flame as soon as dough like consistency is reached. Continue to stir using the heat of the pan.When the dough cools down to become warm, knead it to make it smooth. The dough made should not be sticky.Spread a wet cotton cloth on a vessel. Place the dough in it and also wrap it with the cloth to cover it. The dough for outer cover of our Modak is ready.Keep it aside.
Step 2:a). Making the ground chana dal for the filling Making of the kadala paruppu pooranam / chana dal jaggery filling for Modak:
Heat a heavy bottomed Kadak or pan and add the chana dal to it. Roast until it slightly changes colour. Switch off the flame Wash well and soak in water for at least 1 hour. After 1 hour drain the water and transfer the chana dal to a pressure cooker.Add 2 cups water. Close the cooker and allow 2 whistles. After the pressure is gone, you can see that dal is cooked but not mushy. Drain water off the dal. Let the cooked dal cool down and then transfer to a mixer jar. Grind without adding water. Keep this ground chana dal aside and prepare the jaggery syrup. Take the jaggery in a pan and add 1 cup water to it. Heat this pan. As soon as it comes to a boil, add a pinch of salt., ground chana dal, grated coconut and cardamom powder. Mix well and stir continuously on a low flame. When it reaches a dough-like consistency, add ghee and stir for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, switch off the flame.Kadalaiparuppu pooranam or chana dal jaggery filling is ready. Grease palms with ghee and make small lemon sized balls from this filling. Keep aside.
Making of the kozhukattai:
Now open the rice flour dough that we made. Take out small portions and make balls after greasing fingers with a little oil. These balls should a bit bigger than the balls we made from the Poornam or filling. Now with the help of fingers you can press the corners of the ball to make a deep cup. Add in the filling and gather all the edges of the outer cover into folds at a single point and your traditional Modak is ready. Else you can make these Modaks in readymade moulds as we did. Grease the mould with a little oil. Close and add the rice four balls we made from the opening at the top. Press the ball with your fingers to make a pot at the center. Fill in this pit with chana dal jaggery filling. Now cover the mouth of the mould with a small portion of the rice flour dough. Open the mould and gently take out the Modak. Make all modaks like this. Please watch the video for more details. Now modaks need to be steamed. Heat water in a steamer or idli cooker. We used an idli cooker. Spread a wet clean cotton cloth on the idli plate. Place it inside the steamer and line the modaks on it.Do not place them very close to each other.Close the idli cooker. Cook on high flame for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, switch off the flame and open the cooker. Yummy modaks are ready to be served.
What makes a good Modak:
No leakage in the filling.
No cracks or broken modalks.
soft and shiny