In a frying pan, heat ghee. Add melted jaggery and fry for 5 minutes on a low heat till fragrant.
Add grated coconut and mix it well. Do not cover with lid. Stir continuously and fry for 10 - 12 minutes on a low heat till the moisture content from the coconut - jaggery mixture dries up. Add cardamom powder and keep aside. Sweet filling should be dry in consistency.
In a microwave safe bowl, mix grated coconut and jaggery and microwave high on 750 w for 2 minutes.
For Outer covering:
Sieve Rice flour.
Heat a bowl of water with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp ghee.
When the water starts boiling, remove the lid, reduce heat to minimum.
Pour sieved rice flour evenly with one hand and simultaneously stir with a spatula with the other hand . Mixing of rice flour in boiling water is very important while making dough. It should be mixed evenly (until rice flour well combined with water). Switch off the heat.
Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and cover with a tight lid. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
Transfer this rice flour mixture to another wide bowl, knead again for 5 - 7 minutes on a moderate heat (sprinkle 1 tsp oil if required) and make an extra soft dough. Now the dough is very elastic in structure.
Divide rice dough into 6 - 7 portions and make round balls. Prepare modak immediately. Do not keep rice flour balls too long.
Apply little oil on your palm.
Cut 2 banana leaves (or good quality plastic sheets or zip lock bag) into 7 - cm pieces. Grease with 1/4 tsp oil.
Take a piece of banana leaf or a clean plastic sheet. Keep a lemon sized rice dough portion over it. Keep another piece of banana leaf or plastic sheet or zip lock bag smeared with oil (with oiled portion facing down) the dough. Press evenly to form a thin circle of rice dough (like puri) of approximately 8 - 10 cm (3.5 to 4 - inch) diameter. Carefully remove the leaf on top. Now one will see a thin circle of rice dough.
Keep 1 tbsp coconut - jaggery mixture in the centre and bring the edges together and seal the potli.
Repeat this process for the remaining dough / filling.
In a flat bowl (or in a steamer bowl) grease 1 tsp oil. Arrange potli modak carefully and steam in a steamer/pedavan/pressure cooker ( without weight) for 15 minutes on medium heat or until done and soft.
Serve warm with ghee.
Recipe Courtesy: Niya's World
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Subbalakshmi Renganathan is an expert in traditional Tamil cooking who inspires everyone through her simple, innovative blog.