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CHENNAI: As Vinayakar Chaturthi is just around the corner, move over from your usual sweet and savoury kozhukattais, and indulge in these sumptuous alternative recipes. Home chefs offer a unique list of these wrapped wonders this festive season.

Mango Modak
By Indira Narayan
Ingredients

Cashew-nut powder: 1 cup
Mango pulp: 1/2 a cup
Milk powder: 1/2 a cup
Powdered sugar: 2 tbsp (optional) Ghee: 1 tbsp
Saffron threads: A pinch soaked in 1 tbsp of milk for garnish
Method
Mix all the ingredients together in a heavy-bottomed pan.
Heat the pan in low flame and stir the mixture for a while.
Keep adding ghee at regular intervals and continue stirring, until the mixture rolls into a ball. Once it rolls into a ball, take it out and let it cool down. Pour the mixture into a modak mould to give it the desired shape and take it out. Finally, garnish the prepared modak with saffron.

Pandan Modak

By Kiran G Thomas
Ingredients
Filling

Grated coconut: 2 cups
Jaggery: 1 cup, Cardamom: 4, Nutmeg: a pinch
Ghee: 1 tsp, Pandan leaves extract: 2 tsp
Outer cover
Rice flour: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup, Salt: a pinch
Ghee: 1 tsp + 1 tsp for greasing
METHOD
Add ghee to a hot pan. Sauté jaggery, and coconut and mix well till it thickens. Add cardamom and nutmeg.
Boil water with salt and ghee. Mix in the flour. Knead into a soft non-sticky dough when hot. Mix the pandan leaves extract thoroughly. Divide the dough into 11 balls. Cover with a damp cloth.
Spread each dough and place the coconut filling. Bring the corners together to make pleats. Steam for 10-12 minutes. Remove after 5 minutes and serve.

Saffron Modak
By Kiran G Thomas
Ingredients

Filling
Grated coconut: 2 cups
Jaggery: 1 cup, Cardamom: 4
Nutmeg: a pinch
Ghee: 1 tsp, Saffron: 2 tsp
Outer cover
Rice flour: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup
Salt: a pinch
Ghee: 1 tsp + 1tsp for greasing
Method
Add ghee to a hot pan. Sauté jaggery, coconut, and saffron until they blend well and turn thick. Do not overcook. Excess moisture should not be there in the pan. Add cardamom and nutmeg and turn off the stove.
Boil 1 cup of water with salt and ghee. Add the flour and give a good mix. When it is hot knead it into a soft non-sticky yet smooth crack-free dough. Sprinkle with hot water. Divide the dough to make 11 equal-sized balls. Cover it with a damp cloth.

Once the coconut filling has cooled down, take each ball to your palm and smoothen it to a crack-free softball.

Make a dent in a circular dough. Then spread the dough to make a thin discussing thumb and forefinger. Make pleats at a distance of 1/2 inch on the outer side of the disc. Place the coconut in the centre. Bring the pleats and join them carefully. Steam them in a steam basket in a pressure cooker for 10 to 12 minutes. After 5 minutes remove them and keep them in the tray.

Dry Fruits  Modak

By Parul Bhatt

 Ingredients
Figs: 6, Seedless dates: 8 
Almonds: 15-16, Walnuts: 1 tsp 
Pistachios: 5
Cashewnuts: 10  
Rose water: 1.5 tbsp 
Khus Khus: 1 tsp
Desiccated coconut: 1 tsp 
Ghee: 1 tbsp, Raisins: 10 

Cardamom powder: 1 tsp 
Cinnamon powder: ¼ tsp 
Method  
Put the nuts in a food processor. Process them into a slightly coarse powder. Set them aside.
Add the pitted dates, figs, and rose water to the processor and blitz them until they come together like soft dough.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Grease the modak mould with ghee.
Fill the dough mixture into the mould, close it, and trim off excess dough. Gently unmould and it is ready to be served.

Coconut Rose Modak

By Indira Narayan
Ingredients

Desiccated coconut: 1/4 cups
Condensed milk: 1/2 cup
Beetroot juice: 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder: a pinch
Rose essence: 1/4 tsp
Pistachio (crushed)
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Method
Heat condensed milk, coconut and beetroot juice in a heavy bottom pan. Cook on low flame and stir till it comes together.
Add a little ghee and when it becomes like a ball, switch off the stove.
Grease the modak mould with ghee. Pinch a small portion of the dough and push it from the bottom. Press tightly. Gently open the modak mould.
Roll the modak over the crushed pistachios.

 (Inputs by Archita Raghu, Diya Maria George and Sonu M Kothari)

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