Kaju modak step-by-step recipe with photos.
What is kaju modak
Modak is a traditional sweet similar to dumplings. According to Hindu mythology, it is considered the favourite dish of Lord Ganesha. It is usually made with rice flour or wheat flour and has a coconut and jaggery filling. I have earlier shared the recipe for traditional steamed modak, also known as ukadiche modak. You can find all the tips to make modak perfectly as well.
Kaju modak is a delicious take on this traditional modak and is simple to make too. You need just two main ingredients to make them - cashew and sugar. Saffron adds a beautiful golden hue along with its flavour making these easy modaks rich and decadent. Traditional modakums have a filling in them, and here I am using pistachio as the filling. You may skip it or use any nuts of your choice. If you do not have access to modak mould, you can shape them into a ball like a laddu. This modaka is ready in less than 30 minutes, making them perfect when you are busy with other festival preparations.
Try them this festive season for a decadent twist on a classic dessert.
Cashew: Cashew is ground into a coarse powder. It is important to take care not to turn it into cashew butter (see tips below).
Sugar: I use raw sugar to make the cashew modakum; however, plain sugar can also be used.
Saffron: Saffron adds not just flavour but also a beautiful golden hue to the modakas.
Ghee: I use homemade ghee to make them.
Pistachio: I use pistachio as the stuffing. You may either skip it or use any other nut of your choice.
Tips and tricks
Pulse the cashew in small intervals taking care it does not turn into cashew butter.
The cashew can be ground into a slightly coarse powder but it is important to make sure there are no big chunks or pieces of cashew. To remove the chunks, pass the ground cashew through a large hole sieve. Take the big chunks and grind again.
I use ½ cup of sugar for 3 cups of cashew. This gives me a mildly sweet modak. If you prefer a sweeter modakas, increase the sugar to ¾ cup.
The cashew modakum is ready to be shaped when the whole mixture comes together and begins to leave the sides of the pan. To check, take a small portion of the mixture and roll it. It should easily come together to form a ball (see step by step instruction below).
Grease your hands with little ghee before shaping the modak to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands. Also, make sure you grease the modak mold before using it.
Pro-tip: For a vegan version of these modaks, replace ghee with any neutral cooking oil.
Other modak recipes
Here are some other modak recipes for you to try during Ganesha Chaturthi.
This kaju modak is:
- rich and decadent
- easy to make and suitable for beginners
- ready in no time and doesn't involve making sugar syrup
- perfect for Ganesh Chaturthi
Step by step instructions
1. Chop the pistachio and set aside
2. Take cashew in a food processor or mixie jar and pulse into a powder (take care not to overprocess it)
3. Pass it through a sieve and remove any big pieces
4. Cashew powder is ready
5. Take sugar and water in a pan and bring it to boil
6. Reduce the heat to low, and saffron and ghee. Mix well
7. Add the cashew powder
8. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together
9. To check if it is done, take a small piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It should form a soft non-sticky ball
10. Let the cashew mixture cool down slightly
11. Fill the modak mould with cashew mixture and press gently12. Add a few pieces of pistachio in the center
13. Add some cashew mixture on the filling and press it gently to seal the modak completely
14. Unmould the cashew modal carefully
Kaju Modak | Cashew Modak
- 3 cups cashew
- 1 tsp saffron
- ½-¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tbsp pistachio
- Take cashew in a food processor or mixie jar and pulse into a powder (take care not to overprocess it)
- Pass it through a sieve and remove any big pieces. Grind the big pieces again and pass it through the sieve
- Take sugar and water in a pan and bring it to boil. Let the sugar melt completely
- Reduce the heat to low, add saffron and ghee. Mix well
- Add the cashew powder. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together
- To check if it is done, take a small piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It should form a soft non-sticky ball. If it is sticky, continue stirring for a few minutes and check
- Let the cashew mixture cool down slightly
- While the mixture is warm, begin shaping the modak
- Lightly grease the modak mould with ghee and close the mould
- Fill the cashew mixture and press gently
- Make sure the entire mould is covered and there is a gap in the center for the filling
- Add a few pieces of pistachio
- Add some cashew mixture and press it gently to seal the modak completely (see step by step pictures above)
- Unmould the cashew modak carefully
- Cashew modak is ready to be served