Mawa Modak

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Infused with saffron and cardamom, here is my easy Kesar Mawa Modak recipe. These Instant Modak need just four ingredients and are ready in under 20 minutes. Don’t have Modak Mould? No worries, I am also going to show you how to shape them as Pedas.

Mawa Modak in a platter
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Modak are a must for Ganapati Bappa, especially during the 10-day Ganesh festival celebrated in India. In Western India, Ukadiche Modak and Talniche Modak are quiet popular. In addition to these “Peda Modak” are also offered as Prasad and they are very easy to make at home!

What is Mawa

Mawa also known as Khoa or Khoya are concentrated milk solids. It is made by simply cooking down milk until the moisture is evaporated and just the milk solids are left.

Making homemade Mawa takes time and patience. I love the convinience of using store bought Mawa that is readily available in Indian stores here in the US. I have tried a few brands of Mawa for this recipe and found the Vadilal brand the best as it has only two ingredients – milk and heavy cream and does not have any additives.

What is Mawa Modak

A very popular sweet dish from India, Modak is a sweet treat made using milk solids and sugar, laced with saffron and cardamom to offer as prasad to Lord Ganesha. Mawa Modak are also known as “Khavyache Modak” in Maharashtra. There are many different variations of Modak Made from Mawa, this Kesar Mawa Modak recipe uses Saffron (Kesar) and cardamom (Elaichi).

Mawa Modak from the famous Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai are well known and this is my humble attempt to try them at home.

Ingredients

  • Mawa – Frozen Mawa is readily available in the freezer aisle at Indian grocery stores. Make sure to buy one with no additives as it will completely change the texture of the Modak. The one from Vadilal has milk and cream as ingredients, it has a grainy texture and can be easily crumbled by hand.
  • Sugar – granulated sugar works perfectly for this recipe as it easily melts along with the khoya.
  • Saffron – saffron adds a rich floral aroma and a beautiful orange color
  • Cardamom – a must in Indian dessert, cardamom adds warm sweet notes
ingredients for Mawa Modak

How to Make Mawa Modak

  • Crush saffron strands to fine powder using a mortar and pestle. Reserve
  • Crumble the Mawa
phots one and two showing prep for Mawa Modak
  • Add the Mawa to a pan. Cook on medium-low heat for two minutes or until the Mawa starts to melt.
  • Add sugar, cardamom, and saffron. Mix well.
photos three through six showing how to make Khoya Modak
  • Cook as the mixture starts to bubble and the fats start to separate for about two minutes
  • Continue cooking for another five to seven minutes or until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan and starts to thicken. The texture should be like a thick cake batter at this point. Note: Do not overcook the Mawa as it will make the Modak chewy. Also keep the heat low, so the Mawa does not brown.
  • Take out the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture will continue to thicken up and become more dough-like as it cools down.
photos seven through ten showing how to cook Khoya Modak mixture
  • Lightly grease the Modak Mould. Make balls using about 2 teaspoons of Mawa dough and place them in the Mould. Close the Mould and push the dough from the bottom opening of the Mould making sure the dough is completely filling the Modak shape and remove any excess dough that may be on the outside of the Mould.
  • Gently open the Modak Mould and you will have the Modak shaped beautifully in the center of each indent. Remove any excess that is around the sides of the Modak shape using a small pointy spoon or a butter knife.
photos elevan though fourteen showing how to shape mawa modak using a mould

Storing

Mawa Modak are a perfect make ahead dessert. They can stay well at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. I recommed refrigerating them for upto 2 weeks in an airtight container. Before serving bring them to room temperature by simply keeping them out on the counter for an hour.

Peda Modak

If you do not have Modak Mould, simply shape the dough like pedas. Take a tablespoon of dough and roll it on the palm of your hands to make a round ball. Gently press teh ball to form a thick disc. 

Optional Steps:

  1. Using the back of a clean highlighter make an indent in the middle of the Peda. 
  2. Garnish the Peda with sliced nuts if you like.
Photos showing how to shape Mawa Peda

Tips for Best Mawa Modak

  • Use good quality Mawa. Although, I am using the frozen Mawa, make sure to check the date on it so it’s fresh.
  • Do not overcook the dough, this way the Modak (or Peda) will not become chewy
  • Do not have Modak Mold? Shape them as Peda!

More Indian Dessert Recipes

Recipe

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Mawa Modak in a platter

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Mawa Modak Recipe

Easy recipe for Peda Modak flavored with Saffron and Cardamom

Prep Time5 minutes

Cook Time5 minutes

Shaping10 minutes

Total Time20 minutes

Course: Dessert

Cuisine: Indian

Servings: 30 Mini Modak

Calories: 74kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Crush saffron strands to fine powder using a mortar and pestle. Reserve

  • Crumble the Mawa and add to a pan. Cook on medium-low heat for two minutes or until the Mawa starts to melt.

  • Add sugar, cardamom, and saffron. Mix well and cook as the mixture starts to bubble and the fats start to separate, about two minutes

  • Continue cooking for another five to seven minutes or until the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan and starts to thicken. The texture should be like a thick cake batter at this point. Note: Do not overcook the Mawa as it will make the Modak chewy. Also keep the heat low, so the Mawa does not brown.

  • Take out the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture will continue to thicken up and become more dough like as it cools down.

  • Lightly grease the Modak Mould. Make balls using about 2 teaspoons of Mawa dough and place them in the Mould. Close the Mould and push the dough from the bottom opening of the Mould making sure the dough is completely filling the Modak shape and remove any excess dough that may be on the outside of the Mould.

  • Gently open the Modak Mould and you will have the Modak shaped beautifully in the center of each indent. Remove any excess that is around the sides of the Modak shape using a small pointy spoon or a butter knife.

  • Carefully take out the Modak on a serving plate. Continue to shape Modak with the remaining dough.

Notes

Mawa – Frozen Mawa is readily available in the freezer aisle at Indian grocery stores. Make sure to buy one with no additives.  Vadilal brand had the best Mawa with only milk and cream as ingredients. It has a grainy texture and can be easily crumbled by hand and makes best Mawa Modak. 

Nutrition

Calories: 74kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 1mg | Fiber: 0.02g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 72IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 0.01mg

Author: Archana

Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.

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