Sweet Potato and Chana Dal Modak/Sarkaraivalli kizhangu and Kadalai Paruppu Modagam, Vinayagar Chathurthi Recipe

Modak/Modagam, first face that pops up when you utter this word is Ganesh ji, he is fondly called as Modagapriya, one who loves modagam. Why not, it is such an healthy snack, soft, supple outer layer made of rice flour, stuffed with subtly sweet coconut and jaggery filling, flavored with cardamoms and steam cooked, don’t you love the description, fit to be in a 5-star hotel menu, right?😉
Ok, now apart for the regular sweet modagam, some have the tradition of making savory stuffed modagam, like this urad dal stuffed, some make sesame and jaggery stuffed modak
So, now for a healthy change, i made a modak/modagam with sweet potato-chana dal, sweetened with jaggery.  Trust me, it is like eating puran poli. None will identify the sweet potato in the stuffing. A delicious way to sneak a healthy veggie and hey you can also cheat saying you are eating steamed veggies dessert.
1/4 cup chana dal
1/2 cup sweet potato puree
1/3 cup powdered jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder or 3-4 nos cardamom pounded
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

For the outer cover
1 cup rice flour, i used store bought idiyappam flour
2 & 1/4 cups of water
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp of oil
  • Soak chana dal in 1/2 cup of water for an hour. Then drain the soaked water, add fresh water to it and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until soft. 
  • Let the pressure fall on its own, remove the cooked dal, drain the excess water. Do not throw away the water, use it making the outer cover of the modagam.
  • For the Sweet potato puree, Wash and peel a medium sized sweet potato, chop it roughly into big cubes. Take it in a microwave safe bowl, add enough water to immerse the potatoes, microwave cook it for 7-8 minutes or until it is fork tender. 
  • Drain the excess water.  Let the sweet potatoes cool completely. Mash it roughly. Keep aside until use.

For making the stuffing
  • Take jaggery in pan, add 1/2 cup of water to it, let it boil and the jaggery dissolve completely. Strain any impurities and take the jaggery back to stove. let it boil. 
  • To this boiling syrup, add cooked chana dal and mashed sweet potato puree, cardamom powder and coconut. 
  • Let this mixture cook together and all the liquid be absorbed. Once the liquid dries up, remove it from heat and set aside until use.
Let us make the outer cover
  • Take 2 and 1/4 cups of water in a big sauce pan and let it boil. To this add pinch of salt and oil. Once it gets to roiling boil, reduce the flame and now add the rice flour to it and whisk well. A whisk works well than a laddle. 
  • Once the flour is added, it will absorb all the water and turn into a soft dough. Keep whisking, add another tbsp of oil to it and take it off the stove. Keep it covered. 
  • Let it come down to touchable warm, then knead the dough with greased hands.  Now your outer cover and stuffing is ready, let us make the modak.
To make the modak
  • Pinch a ping-pong sized ball from the dough, grease your fingers with oil and start making a small bowl shape with the dough.
  • Stuff it with a tbsp of sweet-potato filling, gather the ends, pinch and close it to make a modak shape. I m attaching pictures of coconut filling modak, here for an idea.
  • Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Once done, steam cook the modak, in a steamer or pressure cooker for 5-8 minutes. Once done, remove it from the steamer/cooker, let it sit for a minute outside, then remove it from the plates. Offer it to Ganesh ji first and then enjoy.
Sending this vadai to Kids Delight – Hide & Seek with veggies, happening in my space, an event hosted by +srivalli jetti