How to Make Panchakhadaya (Maharashtrian Coconut Sweet):
Preparation for Stuffing:
Roast poppy seeds in a small skillet and cool. Grind it coarsely and keep it aside.
In a heavy bottom kadai mix all the ingredients for stuffing except poppy seed powder and let it sit for 15 mins.
Now start heating the mixture over medium heat. In about 10-12 minutes, the mixture will boil and turn yellowish brown. Take the kadai off the heat, add poppy seeds powder and mix well. Set it aside to cool down.
Preparation for cover:
Take vessel that has a tight fitting lid. Start boiling water in that vessel with salt and oil. When water starts boiling, lower the heat and slowly add rice flour. Mix vigorously with a heavy spoon. Then close the lid and take the pot off the heat.
Let the covered pot cool down for 15 minutes or so. Then with wet hands, mix the dough properly. It will be warm so be careful and use cold water to keep your hands from burning but do not use too much water.
For making Modak :
Start boiling water in a large vessel that can fit a steamer.
Oil the steamer and set it aside.
Make about 20 balls of the dough and 20 parts of the stuffing.
Start making small puris with the balls on an oiled paper/aluminium foil. Keep one part of stuffing in the middle of the puri and gather the puri gently to shape like a modak with modak mould.
Now dip each modak in cold water and put it in the steamer.
Put the steamer on boiling water and cover it. Let the modaks steam for 20 minutes on medium to high heat.
Take the steamer out and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing modak from steamer.
Method to prepare Stuffing:
Wash and soak urad dal for 4-5 hours. Place in a big vessel as it will expand after soaking.
Then drain water from the urad dal and grind to fine paste adding very little water. The batter is almost like thick dosa batter.
Add salt and leave it aside covered.
Pressure cook the channa dal with just enough water to cover it. Even if excess water is there, you can always use the water for chaaru. But less water is better.
Cook the jaggery to remove any scum. Then once the dal is well cooked, drain and cook it along with the jaggery. It should become very soft enough for you to mash well.
Add Cardamom powder and grated coconut, when the dal starts to leave the sides, it's done.
Remove and cool. Divide them into equal balls.
Heat a thick bottom kadai for frying. Once the oil is hot, turn to sim.
Then dip each ball in the urad dal batter. Then gently drop them into the hot oil. Turn and cook on all sides. Once couple of batches are done, strain the oil to remove the scum. It hardly takes more than 2-3 mins to get cooked. Drain them on to a kitchen towel.
Dry roast grated coconut on a very light heat and set aside. Dry roast poppy seeds and grind them coarsely after cooling them for 5 minutes. Take the seeds off the dried dates and grind them coarsely as well. Mix all these ingredients and nuts powder, cardamom, nutmeg, powdered sugar together. Panchakhadya is ready.
Wash the black sesame seeds and dry it over a towel or else under sun. Dry roast the sesame seeds and keep aside, grind together the sesame seeds and jaggery. Make 12-15balls from this mixture.