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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Chhena (Paneer ) Modak / Ganesh Chaturthi Special Recipe - Festive Cooking


 Ganesh Chaturthi also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi is celebrated by Hindus all over the world as the birthday of Lord Ganesha. This is a very auspicious day celebrated to pray the God , so that every new activity that is started is successfully completed without any obstacles (Vighna = Obstacles). Celebrations are traditionally held on the fourth day of the first fortnight (Shukla Chaturthi) in the month of Bhadrapada in the Hindu Calendar. At homes in Maharashtra , families install small clay statues for worship during the festival. To please Lord Ganesha , various kind of food is offered as naivedhyam during the Pooja. Modak and Ladoo are supposed to be Lord Ganesh's favourite sweets. 


Modak are small dumplings which are usually stuffed with sweet coconut and dry fruit fillings. Modak can be made in many ways. Traditionally we Maharashtrian make Ukadiche Modak ( Basically steamed rice flour dumplings stuffed with fresh scrapped Coconut , Jaggery and Nuts) and Talaniche Modak (  deep fried , crispy sweet preparation ) . Apart from
 these traditional Modaks, this year i have made Modak using Chena ( Crumbled Paneer) for Naivedhyam to Lord Ganesha.

                                

Chena Modak are sweet delicacies made from Chena ( Cottage Cheese / Paneer). Paneer gives nice creamy and grainy texture to the modak. I have used home made fresh chhena for the recipe. But you may use the store bought Paneer and crumble it for the recipe. This will surely save the time and efforts. This recipe is inspired from my own Instant Kalakand recipe which was a big hit at my place. I have used mould to give the modak shape. If you do not have one, you may just roll out a ball and flatten it slightly to make Paneer peda.

Ingredients:
  • 200 grams Chhena 
  • 1 cup full cream Milk ( boiled)
  • 100 grams Milk powder
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Ghee
  • ½ tsp Cardamom powder
Method:
  1. To make chhena at home , heat 1 litre full cream milk in a wok. Keep stirring the milk , so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan. 


 2.  Once the milk comes to a boil , put off the flame. Add 2-3 tbsp of Vinegar or lemon juice to the milk and stir.

  3.  The milk will curdle and we can see greenish yellow whey which separates. Add few ice cubes to the mixture, to arrest the coagulation process.



4.  Strain the whey and collect the chhena in a muslin cloth.


  5. Gather the kitchen towel from the sides and rinse the chhena very well in running water  to remove the after taste of vinegar or lemon juice.  Squeeze out all the whey from the muslin cloth and keep it under some weight for 10 minutes.




 6.   1 litre full cream milk yield me 200 grams Chhena . Crumble it and keep aside until use.


  7. In a non stick heavy bottom wok take 1 tbsp ghee, 100 gram milk powder , crumbled paneer , 1 cup full cream milk and 1/2 cup sugar. Heat it on a medium flame .


  8. Cook the mixture while continuously stirring on a low to medium flame , until all the moisture evaporates and the mixture is thick and no more sticks to the pan. This will roughly take 10 -12 minutes.



  9. Add the cardamom powder to the peda mixture and put off the flame.


  10. This is the Modak mould i have used to shape the peda dough into Modak.


  11. Once the dough has cooled down enough to handle , pinch out a large gooseberry shape ball and push it from the bottom hole of a greased modak mould. Press the mould and open it . You can see lovely impressions on the modak. Repeat the same process with rest of the dough.



  12. The above quantity yields approx 21 small sized Modaks. Offer them to lord Ganesha and later enjoy it as prasad with your loved ones !


I hope you would give this recipe a try to please Lord Ganesha. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back.

For more Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes, do check my posts on


Wishing a very Happy and Blessed Ganesh Chaturthi festivity to all those who celebrate. May Lord Ganesha shower his blessings on all of us !!



3 comments :

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