How to Make Ganesh Chaturthi Modaks: Step-by-Step Recipe

How to Make Ganesh Chaturthi Modaks: Step-by-Step Recipe

Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival celebrating the birth of Lord Ganesha, is synonymous with joy, devotion, and delectable sweets known as modaks. These sweet dumplings are considered Ganesha's favorite treat and are offered to him during prayers and as prasad (sacred food). If you've ever wondered how to prepare these delicious modaks at home, this step-by-step recipe guide will walk you through the process, ensuring you can partake in this cherished tradition with enthusiasm and culinary flair!

Introduction to Modaks

Modaks hold a special significance in Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. They are believed to be Lord Ganesha's favorite food, symbolizing wisdom and sweetness. Traditionally, modaks are made from rice flour dough filled with a mixture of grated coconut and jaggery (or sugar), flavored with cardamom and sometimes garnished with nuts. The preparation of modaks varies regionally, with each recipe reflecting local tastes and customs. Let's dive into a classic recipe that you can easily recreate at home!


For the Outer Dough:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup grated fresh coconut
  • 3/4 cup jaggery (or sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • A few chopped nuts (optional)
  • Ghee for greasing


Step 1: Prepare the Outer Dough

  1. Boil Water: In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium heat.

  2. Add Salt and Ghee: Add a pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon of ghee to the boiling water. Stir well.

  3. Add Rice Flour: Lower the heat and gradually add 1 cup of rice flour to the water while stirring continuously. Mix until all the rice flour is incorporated and the mixture forms a dough-like consistency.

  4. Cook the Dough: Continue to cook the dough on low heat for 2-3 minutes until it comes together and becomes pliable. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the dough rest for 5 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Coconut-Jaggery Filling

  1. Prepare the Filling Mixture: Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of grated fresh coconut and 3/4 cup of jaggery (or sugar) to the pan.

  2. Cook the Mixture: Stir the mixture continuously until the jaggery melts and blends well with the coconut. The mixture will start to thicken slightly.

  3. Add Flavorings: Once the mixture thickens, add 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder and a few chopped nuts (if using). Mix well and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the filling is well combined and aromatic. Remove the pan from heat and let the filling cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Shape and Fill the Modaks

  1. Prepare the Work Surface: Grease your palms with a little ghee to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into small lemon-sized balls and keep them covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying.

  2. Shape the Dough: Take one ball of dough and flatten it into a small disc (about 3-4 inches in diameter) with your fingers. Keep the edges thin and the center slightly thicker.

  3. Add the Filling: Place a spoonful of the coconut-jaggery filling (about 1-2 teaspoons, depending on the size of the disc) in the center of the dough disc.

  4. Shape the Modak: Gently fold the edges of the disc towards the center to cover the filling, pinching the edges together to seal it at the top. Shape the modak into a cone-like structure with a pointed top, resembling a traditional modak shape.

Step 4: Steam the Modaks

  1. Prepare the Steamer: Grease a steamer plate or idli stand with ghee or line it with banana leaves to prevent sticking.

  2. Steam the Modaks: Arrange the shaped modaks on the greased plate or idli stand, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Steam them over medium heat for about 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through and the outer dough becomes translucent.

  3. Check for Doneness: To check if the modaks are done, insert a toothpick or skewer into one of the modaks. If it comes out clean without any raw dough sticking to it, the modaks are ready.

Step 5: Offer and Enjoy!

  1. Remove from Steamer: Once done, carefully remove the steamed modaks from the steamer and let them cool slightly on a plate.

  2. Serve or Offer as Prasad: Offer the modaks to Lord Ganesha as prasad during prayers and rituals. Alternatively, serve them as a delightful sweet treat to family and friends.

Tips for Perfect Modaks:

  • Consistency of Dough: Ensure the dough is soft and pliable yet firm enough to hold its shape when shaping the modaks.

  • Filling Proportions: Adjust the sweetness of the filling according to your taste preferences. You can also add chopped nuts or dried fruits for added texture.

  • Steaming Time: Steam the modaks just until they are cooked through to retain their soft texture.

Variations and Innovations:

  • Chocolate Modaks: Add cocoa powder and grated chocolate to the filling for a decadent twist.

  • Dry Fruit Modaks: Use a mixture of chopped dry fruits and nuts for a rich and crunchy filling.

  • Baked Modaks: Instead of steaming, bake the modaks in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.


Making Ganesh Chaturthi modaks at home is not just a culinary endeavor but also a heartfelt tradition that connects you with the spiritual essence of the festival. With this step-by-step recipe guide, you can create these beloved sweet dumplings with ease and share the joy of Lord Ganesha's favorite treat with your loved ones. Whether you're celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi for the first time or continuing a cherished tradition, may your modaks be blessed with sweetness, prosperity, and the divine blessings of Lord Ganesha. Ganpati Bappa Morya!

This blog provides a detailed yet accessible guide on making Ganesh Chaturthi modaks, catering to both beginners and enthusiasts looking to recreate this beloved festival treat at home.