Ganesh Chaturthi (or Ganapati festival) is a very popular festival in India. A Ganesh idol made of special clay is brought home, wherever they have this tradition spanning generations. There is also public Ganesh pooja popularised by India’s national leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak since the days India’s freedom struggle. I am here to talk about how we celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi at home.

The preparations begin atleast one week before the ‘Bhadrapada shukla chaturthi‘ a day on the Hindu calendar which normally occurs in August or September of every year. There are three aspects to the preparation.

1. Mantapa
This is a structure normally made of wood, which is decorated, and the Ganesha idol sits inside this mantapa. Normally in our house, a mantap sits on the frontal edges of a waist height table big enough to host the three halves of the mantap. The mantap’s frontal is decorated with colored, gold/silver type papers and other decorative material. From the top and the corners is provided enough lighting for the Ganesha idol making it appear like its in a temple’s sanctum sanctorum. Also the house’s entrance and doors are decorated with mango leaves and flowers.

2. PhalavaLi
This is an assortment of fruits, vegetables and a coconut tied to a structure in a neat and organized fashion and hung from the top just infront of the mantap. Care is taken that the height of this PhalavaLi doesn’t interfere with people standing below it while performing the pooja.

3. Food preparations
Modak, maande, nevri, panchakajjaya are the most basic offerings to Ganesha. Many people add other sweets to this list as well.

On the day of Ganesha Chaturthi, we go to the Gudigar (or the one who makes the clay Ganesha idol) to whom we’ve ordered to make idol for us as per our liking. Normally we like Ganesha sat on a seat with right leg folded on the left one and colored skinny pink. After giving the price of idol wrapped in panna veedo(betel leaf with the betel nuts) to the maker, we bring home the idol carefully. At any point in time, care is taken so that no part of the idol gets broken in any way. This is very important. As per tradition, if this happens (Its called ‘bhagna‘ -in sanskrit) the tradition of Ganesha pooja at home is discontinued from that year. Before the idol is taken inside the home, at the main entrance, the idol is shown what is called as kumkum water (water mixed with kumkum) in a copper plate.

Then the Ganesha idol is placed inside the mantapa. Divli, a lamp with cotten threads in oil, is lit from 5 different sides in this. Then as per the Ganesha pooja proceedings, the prana pratishtha is carried out. It means to bring the Ganesha idol to life. There are mantras which go along with different proceedings. Usually this is done by the priest who goes to different homes. But in our place we do it ourselves after the priest instructed us how to perform the pooja. During the pooja all the various offerings are offered along with the meals which consists of dali thoy, rice, mooga randayi, biscuit Ambode (udid vada), khotto/hittu(idli batter cooked in jackfruit leaf basket), payasam, pancha kajjaya and various fruits. During the pooja, five different aarti are performed. We play the ‘Jayadeva Jayadeva Jaya Mangala moorthyaarti song in the background during the pooja. Ghantaanaad is also done.

After the pooja is over people who are invited as well as the people in the home sit for lunch served on banana leaves. After the Vayasa (meal offering to crows) and Gogras(meal offering to cows), the lunch begins.

Thus pooja is performed twice everyday until the day of visarjana – Ganesha idol immersion in either a well or a lake/river. Normally we keep the Ganesha at home for two days, meaning the next evening the visarjana is carried out. Many Sarvajanika (public) Ganesha are kept for 5 or 9 days. Some even 11 days.

Above Information about Ganesh Chaturthi is writen by my husband. At my parent’s house, we dont have the tradition of Ganesh pooja. We only celebrated Vayna pooja. But at my husband’s house, we have the tradition of Ganesh pooja (After my marriage, I never got an opportunity of attending this festival. So I asked him to write this post). This time we celebrated Ganesha pooja in a very small way here (The proper pooja with Ganesh idol is being performed at my in-law’s place in Kumta). Here is the picture of pooja (we had not planned it before. Just today morning we decided to have a small pooja. So we did it with whatever things available at home).

(From left- Nevri/karjikaayi, modak, dali thoy, mooga mole randayi, Down – Fruits, idli)

Here is the recipe for most popular dish of Ganesh Chaturthi. I prepared it with my MIL’s recipe which she has been following for years.



Deep fried dumplings stuffed with sweet coconut and jaggery filling traditionally offered to god during Ganapati festival
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 -10 modaks


  • Outer Covering:
  • 1 cup maida
  • Salt
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Stuffing:
  • 3/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 tea spn cardamom powder
  • 1 tea spn sesame seeds


  • Heat 2 tbl spns of oil and add it to maida.
  • Mix it very well till all the maida gets the oil.
  • Add salt and water to make it a very stiff dough.
  • Keep aside the dough for around 1/2 an hour.
  • Roast the sesame seeds.
  • Heat jaggery and coconut together till jaggery melts and forms a uniform mixture with coconut. Mix sesame seeds well.
  • Remove from heat and add cardamom powder. Mix well.
  • Take small balls of the dough, roll it into small puris (if the puri becomes too thick, the modaks get a rubbery texture).
  • Keep a round ball of stuffing on the puri and cover with the dough to give modak shape.
  • Heat oil and deep fry the modaks.


Some people also use rice flour to make modaks. I have not tried that version any time.


Note : Reposting the recipe which was posted on Aug 28th 2006.

89 thoughts on “Modak”

  1. A nice post and a beautiful photograph of Ganesh, Shilpa. Thanks to your husband for writing this.
    One question: I have never heard of Visarjan being carried out after 21 days. The maximum time period that I know of is 11 days (Ganesh Chaturthi to Anant Chaturdashi).
    And hey, the fried Modaks look good. I wish I could pop one into my mouth right now. πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Shilpa, thanks to you and your husband for this post which I read with much interest. The photographs are lovely as well.
    I wish you all the best.

  3. Hi Shilpa ….I know i am late for the day in checking your post. I was busy too in Vaayna Pooja and Ganesh Pooja. By the time all was over, i was tired. Very neat and detailed description abt Ganesh Chaturti. Lot of patience in writing abt it. By the way in Maharashtra, i have heard abt keeping the idol for 21 and 51 days. When i saw a procession, i followed and asked them, they said it is a Ganapati which they always keep for 51 days. And there are people who do follow it. Abt the modak, i have eaten it a couple of times, but never tried making it. Must give it a try. Hope you post the other one too soon. Thanks for sharing such valuable information.

  4. Hi Shilpa,
    Thanks for all the wonderful konkani recipes. Today is panchmi. Can you kindly sent the recipes relating to panchami ie Rice vadis, kheer and all those goodies.


  5. Hi Shilpa,
    I always love ur detailed description of festivals. Thanks for ur husband for the neat writeup. I have’nt tried with maida and next time would try it out..Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thanks a lot for all your wishes :).
    Suchita, I could not post any of Panchami dishes today because I was very busy. It would take some time to find what is specific to the festival, cook and post about them. Will post them some other time for future reference.

  7. Happy chathurthi…and wonderful write up…I too had posted a modak using maid a couple of months back…i like the maida version more than the rice…So Ganesha is all happy with u’r modaks now!!

  8. hi all,
    first of all shilpa thanks for sharing recipe…i do have ukadhi che modhak recipe…but i dont know how to post it on webiste i am new …

  9. Hi friends,
    thanks shilpa for this recipe.
    Iam a maharashtrian and Lord Ganesha has a special place in our lives and festivals.I would like to share a traditional recipe of “Modak” by my mother.I think it is called as Ukadiche Modak.
    The ingredients for stuffing will be same as of shilpa’s recipe but instead of Maida we can use Rice flour.
    Here is the recipe for the outer shell
    Take 2 and half cup of water and boil it.Add one cup of rice flour ,two or three pinch salt and 2 tsp ghee or butter. Cover the pan & cook the rice flour until the water will be absorbed.stirr in between and take care not to burn it.It should be soft like Kneaded flour dough used for chapatis.Take some cooked dough and pat it to make small poori on a greased sheet with ghee.Fill the stuffing in between and close it in the shape of modak,round ball or half moon .Serve in a dish ,Microwave it for 2 min and add melted ghee over it.It’s ready to offer to god and eat.


    Shilpa: Here is the song
    Here is the lyrics

  11. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks a ton to you…

    Thanks a lot …..

    thanks a lot…

    thanku thanku thanku


    Shilpa: You are welcome dear.

  12. Thanks shilpa for the song and my search is on to find out the meaning of the song, as iam south india, so want to understand the song u know the meaning plse plse it …thanks a ton dear…thanks..

    Shilpa: Darshini, as of now, I dont know word by word meaning. But I will surely find out soon….

  13. Hi, I have tried to translate the aarti into simple english. Hope this helps. May not be absolutely correct word to word but is very close.

    Sukhkarta Dukhharta Varta Vighnachi ll
    Oh Lord who provides Joy, takes away Sadness and removes all “vighnas” (obstacles) in life

    Nurvi Purvi Prem Krupa Jayachi ll
    Who spreads love everywhere as his blessing

    Sarvangi Sundar Uti Shendurachi ll
    Who has lovely “shendur utna”(yellow-orange fragrance paste) all over his body

    Kanti Jhalke Mal Mukataphalaanchi..ll
    Who has a necklace of “Mukataphal”(pearls in Sanskrit) around his neck

    Jaidev Jaidev Jai Mangal Murti ll
    Hail the god, Hail the god, Hail the auspicious idol

    Darshan Maatre Man: Kaamna Phurti ll
    All our wishes are fulfilled just by “darshan” (looking at the idol)

    Ratnakhachit Phara Tujh Gaurikumra ll
    Offering you Seat studded with Ratna(jewels) for you “Gaurikumra” (son of Gauri)

    Chandanaachi Uti Kumkumkeshara ll
    Smearing you with Chandan(Sandalwood) utna(paste) and Kumkum(Red Tilak) on the head

    Hirejadit Mukut Shobhato Bara ll
    Diamond studded crown suites you right

    Runjhunati Nupure(2) Charani Ghagriya ll
    Whose anklets tingle in his feet

    Lambodar Pitaambar Phanivarvandana ll
    Lambodar Who wears Pitaambar(yellow cloth worn by men during puja)
    “Lambodar” – from the long – ‘lambo’, tummy – ‘udar’

    Saral Sond Vakratunda Trinayana ll
    Who has Straight trunk and is Vakratunda and Trinayana
    “Vakratunda”one who breaks the ego of he who behaves anti-socially (‘Vakra’).
    “Trinayana” the son of the 3 eyed (Lord Shiva)

    Das Ramacha Vat Pahe Sadana ll
    I am waiting for you in my “Sadana” (home) just like the slave(used as devotee) of Lord Rama

    Sankati Pavave Nirvani Rakshave ll
    Please help us and protect us during bad times

    Survarvandana ll



    Shilpa: Thanks Swati, I really appreciate it.

  14. Ganesha chaturthi – legends and prayers : Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated as the

    birthday of Lord Ganesh on the fourth day (Chaturthi) of the bright fortnight of

    Bhadrapada month of Hindu calendar. It is among the most celebrated of the

    festivals in India, and perhaps the only one involving general public (others only

    involve families and friends and are celebrated privately). It is interesting to note

    that the festival was not celebrated until the times of Lokamanya Bal Gangadhar

    Tilak, who used it a great means to unite Hindus all over India and educate them the

    evils of colonization.

  15. Hi Shilpa,
    Wish you and your family a very happy Ganesh chaturthi! I stumbled upon your website recently and fell in love with it.You are doing a very good job..thanks and all the best…

  16. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!!

    Hello Swati mujhe aapse kuch information chahiye ke mujhe english nahi aati hain kya koi website hain joh main hindi main type karu usko english main translate karke de

    pls reply me i am waiting for ur reply

  17. Thank you very much for this information. I am not a Hindu but I love Lord Ganesh and I will celbrate Ganesh Chaturthi this year as good as I can. Your tips are very helpful!

    Paco (Hamburg, Germany)

  18. Hi Shilpa,

    You have put up an amazing website which is my be-all and end-all in Konkani recipes.I’ve tried many of your recipes at home which includes-Modak,Ambe/pineapple/strawberry paank,goda phovu…the list is endless..Thank you.

  19. Thank you Shilpa,
    I am Gujerati and my mum always made small Laddos which we called modaks on Chaturthi day it was recently I founf out by my Maharastri Collegue that Modaks are made as above thought I will try it this way this year. happy Chaturthis day to you all.


  20. can we fry modaks made of rice flour ???

    Shilpa: Minal, I am not sure about the rice flour version, because I have never tried it. I have updated the post with maida version which is tried and tested.

  21. Hi! Shilpa,
    I make modaks with wheat flour and if rice flour is used it is steamed. For 1 cup wheat flour I add about 2-3 tbsps of samolina [ rava], add a pinch of salt and add 2-3 tbsp of melted hot ghee. pour over the flour mixture and rub well and then knead it tightly as for puris. Keep it aside for abt an hour . It turns out good though brownish in colour. Shipa I thught you would send special menu fot gowri pooja [ vayana pooja ]

  22. thanks shilpa…………….
    i am now in USA and as usual i keep forgetting the proportions……..and thus i would have to wait till i can call up aai who is in India………..but your receipe has served my purpose


  23. Shilpa,
    Beautiful Ganesh Chathurthi Darshan in your description.
    Comment on Darshini(comment#26), most of the Ganesh aarti, I picked up 3-4 VCD at Sidhhi Vinayak temple, Prabhadevi, Mumbai and most of them have this famous Aaarti sung by Bhajan artists and named ones such as Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam, etc. Unfornunately nobody has any websites for person like you to order, but I can read one e-mail from VCD Tittled: Sri Siddhinvinayak Ganesh Mantra and AArtinyaa by Rathod Cassettes PVT. Ltd. and e-mail is [email protected] and [email protected] . This has also same aarti SukhKarta DukhHarta Vaartaa Vighnachi…….I believe in this cause it is better to buy rather than make a copy to encourage artists.

  24. Modaks are traditional in from all over Maharashtra and upto N.Kanara border whether KOnkani or Maharatstrian celebration of Genesh Chaturthi. And from S. Kanara to all the way to Cochi, most of the Konkanis were preparing Patholi(see beautiful pictorial description of this Recipe on Vee’s website, past-present-future)as substitute to modaks. Both have similar fillings only Patholi has natural flavor of Haldi(Turmeric) Leaves. Although boundries of N and S Kanara Konkanis have tradition of both Modaks and Patholis. When my parents moved to Bombay several years ago before Independence time, they kept the same tradition of making Patholi all the time during Chavathi celebration and I have not seen them making Modaks during that time. Of course because of local influence, now most of the Konkanis in Mumbai make both during this festive season.

    Shilpa: Patholi recipe

  25. Hi,
    I love these steamed modaks(Riceones) a lot..Mom used to make it for me.Now that I away from home, tried doing it, from the receipes that I read it.

    But when I tried making modaks, it breaks. It doesn’t come together in a proper shape.
    Will somebody tell me, what is going wrong ??

  26. Happy Ganapati to all!

    This is a nice translation :
    Das Ramacha Vat Pahe Sadana ll
    I am waiting for you in my Ò€œSadanaÒ€ (home) just like the slave(used as devotee) of Lord Rama

    But i believe that when Ramdas Swami wrote it, he meant ” I, Ramdas am waiting for you o’ lord in my abode”

    Jai deva

  27. The write up brought back very good memories:) Very well written…surely making modaks today!Thanks for sharing the recipe…Happy Ganesh Chathurthi to all of you!


    Shilpa: Usually Khoya is made by heating milk for a long time till all water evaporates and it reduces to semi solid/solid state. I will try to post it sometime.

  29. Hema Says,

    Very well written and in great detail. Would be more informative if “Vaayana Puja” is also mentioned.

    Shilpa: Hema, I have written about Vaayna pooja in a separate post and also mentioned the link in the above post.

  30. i never knew that “Modak” are so easy to make………was alwz hesitant wid the idea of makin modaks….but this reciepe seems so eazyyyyyyyyyy !!!
    i wanna try it out as soon as possible…thanx !!!

  31. hello…

    well i wanted to know the recipe of modak which we get in the sweetz shops, the one which is not deep fried its made of khoya/mawa. can any 1 help me find that original recipe.


  32. Hi, Modaks….Kollukattas in the South…… are traditionally made out of rice flour instead of maida flour. (its healthier too!)
    To make the riceflour dough, first roast the rice flour on low heat in an open pan….. once the grains are roasted well, spread out and let cool.
    Using warm water (it should be hot. Around 60deg or so) start by mixing parts of the flour with the water. the resulting dough will be warm, soft and pliable. make palm size balls and flatten them out as per the rest of the recipe.
    Makes for a wonderful alternative. Plus the modaks will be softer (Maida on cooling tends to get chewy which makes it tough for slightly older people)

    1. Modaks are different from Kollukattas.We make oondi on the lines of kollukattas for traditional breakfast snacks.We use soaked, semi dried rice, ground to coarse rava consistency for making oondis.

  33. Ms. Aparna Nayak

    Hi, I want to know the recipes of mawa modak which we find in sweet shop. plz can you help me find the recipe. i’ll be grateful to you.

  34. Hi
    The whole vidhi vidaan in brief was wonderful . I was desperate to know how to make modaks and this simple step by step recipe with pictures was explicit .

    MAY DEAREST GUNDU GANU (I fondly call Ganesh by this nickname and I am sure he will not mind it) BLESSYOU AND YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH THE BEST OF EVERYTHING !!!!!

    Thank you .

  35. Hi,
    Aayi’s recipes is my fav site,,,n my saviour when it comes 2 cooking,for a girl who never even made chai at marriage in da US can be daunting atleast in the kitchen..whenever i need recipes i turn to ur wepage as the recipes r explained very well n stepwise which is great for beginners like me…2day m goin 2 make modaks as I am a follower of bappa and wnt 2 offer him his favourite treat..hope they turn out good..thnks 4 da wonderful job u r doin with ur recipes..

  36. hi
    wishin every1 a very HAPPY GANESH CHATURTHI πŸ™‚
    checkd out ur modak recipe. i hv never made modaks, aayi n aajji che haatha che ch khalle aaheth πŸ™‚ bt dis time i wil definitely give it a try. hv noted ur recipe, wil let u knw how they turned out.

  37. Nice post. You sounded konkani. Brought back fondest childhood memories of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrating in Honnavar(Karnatak) at my grandma’s sister’s house.

  38. dear shilpa

    i have seen your receipi on 5th sept 08 and tried it it is wonderful thanks a lot and wish you and your family a happy ganesh chaturthi may ganesha fulfill all your deams and give you more strength to pass on more receipies like this.

    p s kamath

  39. thanks a lot my alway used to but this i was realy looking for thank foy help i love it
    and i wish shilpa a happy tamil new year

  40. Hi Shilpa,
    I go thru ur receipes almost everyday.Hey, do u have the receipe for gud phav.( sweet beaten rice made using jaggery).

    Siddhi Shenoy

  41. I tried the modak today for Ganesh Chaturti and it has turned out yummy..I substituted the maida flour for wheat flour (atta) and it worked just fine.
    Thanks for this grt recipe

  42. Hi to all
    deep frying….not such a healthy version… i got to know of the steamed version from this site

    I tried it out……it was toothsome….and yes …recipe was guilt free(no calories)…….
    Also thanks to Indira of this site….………
    hats off to her for sharing beautiful pics and recipes of other site friends of her….Because i got to know of the Rice modak recipe from Indira’s blog…..
    A plus point of her blogging site is that if we want other variety or other recipes of the same ingredients then we can go to her friends site……on her blog……

    do visit

    thanks & tke care

    1. Lizy, these modaks are part of the festival traditions at our place. Every part of India has its own traditions for the festivals. I don’t think eating deep fried stuff once a year is such a bad thing. Ukdiche modak is more popular in Maharashtra and I have not seen it in our place, but yes, I would love to try it sometime. Btw, Anupama has a great blog with my fav Marathi recipes, one of my favorite blogs.

  43. Hi Shilpa,
    thanks for your reply….,
    u said it right….India that’s the reason is said to be multicultural and multilingual….so every state has its own festive tradition & yes being from maharashtra state…UKDICHE modak is a tradition out there especially during Ganesh Chaturthi…In our family deep frying has always been a no-no for various reasons….for me steamed version is better….so all of you who feel the same try the steamed version…..


  44. Hello
    As I belong to east India.Here people hardly know about Modaks. But becoz I love so Much my Gannu Bhaiya(Lord Ganesha I call Him by this nickname) so it’s my pleasure to make his fav. recipes Like (Laddu, Modaks etc.) and u hv helped me to know how to make diffrent type of Modaks by fry or steamed. Thanks A lot for this. My Gannu Bro make u n ur family happeist.


  45. Hi,

    Modaks are made of rice flour and they are not deep fried, but steamed. Rice flour instead of maida and steaming instead of frying is obviously healthier.

  46. Hi!
    Was looking for simple recipe for “MODAK” making and in the process learnt a lot.
    “GANShashiPATI’ dada has come home FIRST time.
    So excited!
    Good luck!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Hi, one slight modification, sesame seeds are not used for the stuffing….the Steamed version usingRice Flour is more tastier & healthir then the fried version

  48. Thank you so much, i have tried rice flour modak but desperately wanted to try wheat flour modak………. πŸ™‚

    Will make this for Ganesh this year, i hope my family likes it !!!

  49. Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. Today is Ganesh Chaturthi and I wanted to make modaks. I have never made it before. I saw your recipe and followed each and every step. My modak came out very-very delicious. Everyone liked it.
    Thanks Thanks and BIG THANKS

  50. The Steamed Modaks are indeed the healthier version but they do need more time to make with the cooking of the flour and then steaming them.For people who have the time to make these,it is fine but the fried ones can be made really quickly.
    In the end I am sure Bappa loves them both and so do all of us.
    Great Job on the Blog ,Shilpa …Keep it up.

  51. Happy Tayee/Gowri puja & Chavthi/Ganpati puja to all !!!
    I make the modaks’ & karanjya stuffing almost the same way as u do but I use sugar,coconut,roasted til,cardamom & a little roasted fine rawa. They turned out very yummy !!

  52. Hello,
    I keep trying your recipes which is really helpful as I am new to cooking konkani foods [unlike eating them ;-)]
    I recently tried “Modak” for Chaturti, along with “Patholi” for Gowri. My husband really loved it and my efforts paid off
    Thank You so much

  53. 5 stars
    Hi Shilpa, Each year i look-up this modak recipe and make it for Ganapati. I am thankful to you for making it available to us. Its a great help ..

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