Sunday, 26 July 2009

Patoli/Modak



Today is" Nag Panchmi" the day snakes are worshiped.
Mythology has many stories about this day; the most recent one that I read was that a woman was tilling her field and she accidentally killed the cobra's babies. The mother cobra cursed the woman. So you do not use sharp objects on this day.
So no chopping, no tava/ griddle is used.
But, I do believe that all these stories had a scientific background and were put forth by our ancient sages, in this form to stop people from hurting the snakes. After all snakes have an important role to play in ecology.
Also the food that you eat on this day is steamed. Good for your tummy.
Our ancients were indeed wise!
Today I made patoli. It's a Goan Delicacy that is made from coconut Goa's staple food. The only difference between steamed modak and patoli is the shape and that patoli is steamed in fresh green turmeric leaves. The end result is a fragrant and healthy low fat completely satisfying experience.
I have already said that the ingredients for both modak and patoli. Make the filling first so that it cools down for you to use your hands if necessary.
For the filling:
1 ½ cups coconut grated
1 ½ cups jaggery
5-6 cardamom/ elichi powdered
  1. Mix all these together and fry till the mixture forms a uniform mixture and is almost dry.
  2. Cool.
For the covering:
2 ½ cups water
1 tsp oil
A little salt
2 cups rice flour
  1. Boil the water with salt and oil.
  2. Lower the flame and add the rice flour mix well so that no lumps are formed.
  3. Cover with a tight lid and keep aside.
To put together:
  1. Clean and dry the turmeric leaves.
  2. Smear the leaves with a little oil.
  3. While it is still warm rub some ghee on your palms and take a small portion of the rice flour. Make a ball out of it.
  4. With your fingers spread on the turmeric leaf into a thin layer. (You could also roll it with a rolling pin but it's very messy).
  5. With a spoon spread the jaggery mixture along the length of the leaf on one side.
  6. Close the other section of the leaf and press gently but firmly.
  7. Place them in a colander.
  8. Place the colander in a steamer and steam the patoli for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve hot drizzled with ghee.
Variations:
This is the regular patoli to make modak replace point 4 as with your thumb shape the ball into a cup. Put two teaspoons of the filling and close the ends in a manner to get the shape of a fresh fig. only use a greased colander for steaming and don't let the modak touch one another.
If you are still interested dear reader you know that there has to be something different in my recipe, so here goes.
1 ½ cup coconut, freshly grated
¼ cup fresh coriander leaves
2 green chillies (Adjust as per taste)
½ tsp asafoetida
2 tsp red chilli powder (Adjust as per taste)
A pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
1.Grind all the ingredients except the coconut.
2. Mix with coconut.
Use this mixture in place of the sweet filling.

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