Crispy Fried Modak

One of my biggest blessings was to be asked to make this Ganesha for our local Marathi Mandal in Boston a few years ago.

The joyous festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is this week. In Maharashtra, India, modak is the most popular sweet made for Ganapati Bappa, as Lord Ganesh is fondly called.

Both in India and here we also visit friends’ homes during this festival and the No Cook Coconut Gulkand Modak, the White Chocolate Dipped Panchakhadya Modak, the Guava and Coconut Modak with Pistachio Centers and the Pedha Modak are all very popular with the crowd! Thanks to many followers of Indfused, who have also let me know how helpful these recipes have been for them to make for a gathering during these festive times.

The ukdiche or steamed modak are the norm, especially for the main meal. But the talalele or fried modak have always been our favorite. The filling of jaggery and coconut is the same for both but the cover varies. Rice flour is primarily used for the steamed modak, whereas the fried ones have wheat flour as the main ingredient.

In our home, I generally make some modak as an offering for the deity on Ganesh Chaturthi day. 21 modak are offered to Ganapati Bappa but I knew who would eventually eat them all, so I made 7 🙂

You can easily triple the recipe to make 21!

Crispy Fried Modak

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (kaneek)
  • 2 teaspoons semolina
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • about 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 5 cashew nuts
  • 5 almonds
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen shredded coconut (defrosted)
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground green cardamom seeds
  • oil for frying
  1. Combine the wheat flour, semolina, salt and the oil with your fingertips. Add the warm water a little at a time, until it forms a ball. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Cover and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a pan, roast the poppy seeds for a few seconds, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

    Toast the cashew nuts and almonds. Powder when cool.

  3. In the pan, add the coconut and roast for a minute to dry any excess moisture. Add the jaggery powder and mix well. Add the pinch of salt and stir to cook for about 2 minutes.

  4. Add the poppy seeds, powdered nuts, and the cardamom powder and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  5. Divide the dough into 7 parts. Roll out discs about 1/8 inch thick. Divide the filling into 7 parts. Add 1 part in center of the disc and form pleats along the edges. Pinch pleats together to form the modak. (Check the video)

  6. Make the other 6 modak. Heat the oil. Lower the heat and fry the modak on low to medium heat so the cover is cooked through and crispy and golden brown!

  7. Enjoy!

fried modak, Ganesh Chaturthi, Marathi cuisine, Modak, sweet

Ganapati Bappa Moraya!




4 thoughts on “Crispy Fried Modak

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    1. Thanks Nayna! How are you doing?
      I am also doing online cook alongs on Zoom which have become popular. Please do let your friends know as well. I guide everyone step by step from shopping for ingredients to having the meal/ meals ready by the end of class.


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