Modak is a sweet steamed dumpling quite popular in many Indian states, especially during festive seasons. It is also prepared in other south-east Asian countries under different names. For instance, in Malaysia and Singapore it is known as kuih modak, and in Indonesia as Kue modak; in Vietnam as nhân dừa, while a colored variety in Thailand is called khanom kho. A similar delicacy in Japan is referred to as kangidan.

Irrespective of its aliases, this ‘bundle of bliss’ is generally prepared from grated coconut mixed with sugar or jaggery (solidified, concentrated cane sugar syrup), The mixture is then wrapped in kneaded dough made of rice or wheat flour, and either steamed or fried.

Total time:
40 minutes.
Serving: 10 to12 pieces


For stuffing:

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ½ cup grated jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder
  • 5-6 almond/cashew (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • For wrapping:
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)


For making stuffing:

  • Mix together the grated coconut and jaggery in a pan on medium heat
  • Cook until the moisture evaporates, then mix in the cardamom, nutmeg powders Add the chopped almond/cashew, and raisins
  • Stir the mixture and cook for a minute
  • Transfer the stuffing to a plate and set aside to cool
  • For making the dough wrappingL
  • Bring water to a boil and add ghee, salt, rice flour and mix quickly to avoid lumps
  • Remove from flame and set aside until it cools enough to handle
  • Knead the mixture into a smooth, lump-free dough
  • Grease hands with a little ghee or oil and pinch out small balls from the dough
  • Flatten it evenly to a round shape and place a spoon of stuffing in the center
  • Pull the edges to bring it to the center and seal to form a dumpling
  • Alternatively, using a dumpling mold eases the shaping process
  • Add water to a steamer pot and bring to boil.
  • Grease the steamer plate, and arrange the dumplings on it.
  • Cover and steam over medium flame until the outer wrapping turns shiny
  • Take heed not to overcook or the dumplings could turn out hard
  • Serve hot or cold.

Indian Chef Chhaya Thakker, who has a huge following online on WhatsApp and YouTube will be sharing her favorite recipes and cooking tips with readers of The Times Kuwait. For feedback, you can write to


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