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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Food » Recipe: Aloo Halwa Modak

Recipe: Aloo Halwa Modak

By Chef VIDHYA GAWAS
September 09, 2022 13:24 IST
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Isn't it hard to imagine a modak made out of potato?

That's the exact sentiment shared by Chef Vidhya Gawas's family and friends after she told them about her Aloo Halwa Modak.

"I wanted to amplify the humble potato and make it a star in a sweet dish," she explains.

"In Goa there is a dessert made with sweet potatoes called Kangyacheo Nevryo. I replaced the stuffing (for the modaks) with potatoes instead of the sweet potatoes."

During Ganesh Puja season, Vidhya makes this recipe at home along with traditional modaks.

Vidhya's strength is her pacca Goan cooking that she learned in her mom's old-style kitchen.

Photograph: Kind courtesy DoubleTree by Hilton Goa Panaji

Aloo Halwa Modaks

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients

For the stuffing

  • 2-3 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch jaiphal or nutmeg powder, optional
  • Pinch kesar or saffron and a few strands for garnish

For the shell

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp ghee + for garnish
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • Pinch salt

Method

For the stuffing 

  • Heat the grated potato and the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or kadhai over low heat.
    Cook 5 five minutes, stirring frequently.
    Add the nutmeg powder, saffron.
    Mix well.
    Cook for another 5 minutes.
    Take off heat and keep aside to cool.

For the shell

  • In a deep saucepan, boil water with the ghee.
    Add the salt, flour in a steady flow, stirring continuously to prevent lumps from forming.
    Cover the pan and let the mixture cook till it's a smooth.
    Take off heat.
  • Spread some ghee on the surface of large parat or plate.
    Transfer the dough to the plate while it is still hot.
    Using your hands, carefully knead till completely smooth.
    Take a little dough, roll it into a ball, flatten it and shape the edges to get a potli.
    Put a spoonful of the filling in the centre of the potli and bring the edges together to seal it.
    Repeat the process with the other modaks.
    Place the modaks in a muslin cloth.
  • Heat sufficient water in a steamer.
    Place the modaks on a perforated plate in the steamer.
    Steam for 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve hot garnished with strands of saffron and optionally a dot of ghee.

Editor's Note: If on a diabetic diet, substitute sugar with a little jaggery or stevia and use oil instead of ghee. And instead of potatoes use pumpkin. Each brand of stevia has its own stevia for sugar substitution ratio provided on its packing. 

For a vegan version, use cashew butter instead of ghee.

Pumpkin can be used for a Jain adaptation of these modaks.

 
Photograph: Kind courtesy Chef Vidhya Gawas

Vidhya Gawas is the sous chef at DoubleTree by Hilton Goa, Panaji.

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Chef VIDHYA GAWAS