This recipe of modak used to be a regular feature in our kitchen back home for Ganesh Chaturthi. I love this variation of modaks as compared to the fried version, but my husband prefers the fried ones. Now that explains why this was the first time that I tried this at my place. In Goa or I guess along the coastal belt from Maharashtra to Kerala this version of modaks or kadabu steamed in turmeric leaves is very common. They are called as ‘Patholeos’ in Goa. Hindus In Goa make them for Nag Panchami and Christians make them for the ‘Feast of our Lady’ which falls on 15th of August which is also our Independence day. Every Independence day used to be a festival back home and we would relish patholeos given by ours neighbors.
My friend Gokul actually has a turmeric plant in her place and I couldn’t resist my excitement at the site of those leaves. I was already imagining and drooling over the idea of making modaks as it was still Ganesh chaturthi season. She very sweetly plucked a few leaves and gave me after seeing the child like enthusiasm in me:).. I had thought that I would actually go in search for the leaves which later I got to know are generally available at any Mangalore store here in Bangalore. Thank you Gokul for the turmeric leaves:) and you made my day.
Here’s the recipe. It’s a normal steamed modak recipe which are steamed in turmeric leaves. The actual recipe of making ‘Patholeos’ is a little different and tedious, but they taste the same. The shape of patholeos is generally semicircular just like kadabus. Anyways, I got to taste some patholeos after 7 long years and they tasted heavenly:)..
Here’s the Recipe:
Rice Flour: 1 cup
Water : 1-1/4 cup
salt: a pinch
Ghee: 1/2 teaspn + 2 teaspns to knead.
Turmeric leaves for Steaming: 3 leaves cut into halves( 6 pieces)
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Jaggery: 3/4 cup
elaichi: 1/2 teaspn
Ghee: 1/2 tablespn
Roasted sesame seeds: 2 teaspns
Roasted poppy seeds: 2 teaspns
raisins: 2 teaspns (optional)
Mix coconut and jaggery in a bowl and leave it for sometime. The jaggery will melt and get mixed with coconut and this makes it easier to cook. In a thick bottom pan, add some ghee and add the raisins and fry them. Once the raisins are done, add coconut-jaggery mix and keep stirring till the mix starts to leave the edges and a wonderful aroma starts to emanate. Switch of the gas and add roasted sesame seeds and poppy seeds and mix well. Let this mixture cool a bit.
In a thick bottomed pan, add the water. Add salt and 1/2 teaspn ghee to the water. let the water boil a bit and to that add the rice flour and mix well. The rice flour will start forming a dough. Switch off the gas and transfer this dough on to the clean kitchen platform or a large plate. Knead the dough by adding some more ghee little by little till it forms a very soft pliable dough. It will take quite some time and effort at this stage. Good exercise for your upper arms. If the dough is not kneaded properly then the modaks will develop cracks while steaming.
Once the dough is done, divide the dough into small lemon size balls and pat them into a circle with the help of your fingers and your palms. This is a little difficult to roll with a pin, hence this procedure, where you make puri shape with your fingers and put the stuffing in the centre and gathers all the edges like a potli or a wonton and keep them aside. Once all the modaks are done, pour enough water in the pressure cooker and keep an elevated perforated plate or an idli plate will also do. I have used a perforated plate. Place the cut turmeric leaves onto the perforated plate. Arrange the modaks on leaves, space them out evenly as they tend to fluff a bit once they are steamed. Put the cooker lid on and pressure cook without the weight for about 10-12 minutes just like your idlis.
For the kadabus or patholeos, make a puri with your fingers just like for modaks and fill the stuffing inside and fold the circle or puri into a half or a semicircle. Seal the edges properly and place them into a turmeric leaf. You can further seal the edges of the turmeric leaf with the help of cloves or cinnamon sticks. It’s like wrapping the patholeo in the turmeric leaf. Steam them in the similar way as you would steam the modaks. The house will be filled with lovely aroma of turmeric leaves and not to forget the lovely steamed modaks and patholeos which are ready to be served…Enjoy.