Friday, March 19, 2010
Sweet Dessert Dumplings..Gluten Free!!!
When I posted a recipe for dhoklas, the delicious fermented Gujarati bread made from chickpea flour, I was surprised at how many people I heard from who were interested in yet another gluten free dish. How great would it be if I could find some gluten free desserts? Turns out there are quite a few in the Indian kitchen.
Modaks are a traditional sweet served all over Western and South India for the festival of Lord Ganesha.
These delicious, coconut stuffed sweets are sometimes made using wheat flour. Sometimes the dumplings are deep fried, sometimes they are steamed. In the south of India however, the dumplings are steamed and made of rice flour. Gluten free rice flour!
These little treats first came to my attention when I ran across them at the blog Niyas'World. They looked so tempting I just had to have some. I did my research and studied every modak recipe I could find. Most of them were pretty similar.I had all the fixings at home and since I was curious to explore more gluten free recipes, I thought why not give them a try? So I did.
And here's how I did it.
1 cup of grated dried unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup of jaggery or brown sugar
2 tsp of ghee or melted butter
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of chopped pistachios
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1 tsp of ground cardamom
In a heavy pan heat the jaggery or sugar. When it begins to melt, add in the grated coconut and melted butter and everything else. Stir it together. It will become thick. Take it off the heat and let it cool. That's the filling for the dumplings.
1 cup of rice flour
4 tsp of ghee or melted butter
1 cup of water
A pinch of salt
Putting It All Together
Bring the water to a boil
When it boils add the melted butter
Mix in the rice flour and the pinch of salt.
It will quickly congeal into a thick doughy mass.
Take it off the stove and grease your hands lightly. I sprayed mine with Pam spray (no smart remarks please) the dough will be very hot, so be careful.
Knead it briefly, the greasing of the palms will help.
Roll pieces of the dough into balls and then flatten them as though making small chapattis.
Place a small scoop of the stuffing in the center of the flat flour disc
Shape it into a garlic clove shaped dumpling and place the dumplings into a steamer that has been lightly greased.
Steam the dumplings for 20 minutes.
These Modaks are said to be the favorite food of Lord Ganesha, also known as the Remover of Obstacles and therefore always served at his Festival. If gluten is an obstacle keeping you from enjoying desserts, this might be one for you.