Tropical guava and coconut flavored modak with a pistachio center….an exotic twist to the traditional pedha and modak!
Lord Ganesha is worshipped as the God of wisdom and intellect and as the remover of obstacles. In India, the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated in homes and in communities for 10 days! The sweet modak being Lord Ganesha’s favorite, are made in various forms. Pedha Modak is one of those forms. Pedha is a fudge like sweet that is also shaped in the traditional modak form and offered to Lord Ganesha and then distributed among family and friends. Recently new flavors such as mango and chocolate modak have emerged.
Here in America, we are invited to our friends’ homes for the festivities for which I usually make the Pedha Modak. I wanted to try a new tropical twist on the traditional flavors, so I decided to make the guava and coconut flavored modak and pedhas with pistachio nut centers. Also, I experimented using heavy cream instead of the condensed milk, so I could control the sweetness of the modak. I made it on the stove top instead of the microwave and used the same brand of guava paste as in the Sweet and Tangy Guava Sheera.
Luckily for me, the experiment worked and the guava modak turned out to be fragrant and alluring! Since this was a new concept, I made a small batch to start. So, for a bigger batch, your cooking time on the stove may increase, but this is a quick recipe. You know me, I have no patience for recipes that say,’ stir for 30 minutes’:)
So this is my quick and easy recipe-Combine all the ingredients, except the pistachios in a sauce pan.
Once the mixture comes to a simmer, keep stirring it continuously on low to medium heat. After about 4 minutes, the mixture will start to come together in the center, leaving the sides of the pan. Also you will notice that the mixture moves with your spoon. That is when it is ready.
Remove from heat and let it cool. I left mine aside for about 10 minutes, uncovered.Knead the ‘dough’ to smoothen it. I used a little ghee to grease my palms but it is optional. I like the flavor of the ghee:) Using the mold, add the mixture on each side and add a pistachio nut in the center. I used the lightly salted pistachios.
After closing the mold, I just scraped off the excess and the modak are ready. You may also roll them into pedhas and place the pistachio nut on top, as I did with some.
The modak and pedhas are offered to Lord Ganesha. This is a Ganesha idol I had made a few years ago for our local community celebration.
Guava Coconut Modak with Pistachio centers
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup milk powder
- ¼ cup shredded coconut, pulsed in a food processor
- 1/8 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon guava paste
- 3 green cardamoms, shelled and seeds powdered
- 14 pistachio nuts plus few for (optional) decoration
- Ghee to grease palms when molding (optional)
Steps to make the Modak-
- Combine all the ingredients, except the pistachios in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Over low to medium heat, stir the mixture well making sure that the guava paste is well incorporated. The guava paste will soften and melt as it is heated and stirred in the mixture.
- Once the mixture comes to a simmer, stir the mixture continuously so it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. After about 4 minutes, the mixture will leave the sides of the pan and the lumped up mixture starts to move with your stirring spoon or ladle. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
- Knead the mixture with greased hands, if using ghee, and add to either side of the mold. Place a pistachio nut in the center and close the mold. Scrape off the excess mixture. The excess mixture can be reused.
- Unmold the modak and repeat with the rest of the mixture. You can also roll the mixture between your palms and make pedhas with a pistachio nut on top.
- Guava Coconut Modak with Pisatchio centers are now ready!
Now that this experiment was a success, I will be making a bigger batch to share in the community celebrations this year! I am sure the uniquely flavored, scrumptious Guava Coconut Modak will be a hit at the festivities!