For someone making coconut mawa modak for the first time, the sweet rapturous world of these stunning delicacies can be mind-boggling. Every recipe is more tempting than the next. If you’re in the same boat as me, save yourself from a lot of mouthwatering temptation and start with this easy modak recipe

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Coconut modak recipe

Tips to make modak

Coconut modak variations

How to garnish modak

More mithai recipes

Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

What is modak?

Modak is an Indian sweet dumpling, typically made during Ganesh Chaturthi – the festival that celebrates the arrival of Lord Ganesh. It is believed modak was his favorite treat (hence the moniker modak priya).

The origins of it can be traced to Maharashtra, but today, modak is made in all parts of India. Each has a different name (kudumu in Telugu, mothagam in Tamil, modhaka in Kannada) and its own way to prepare it. 

Of the many variations, the most common ones are ukadiche modak and khavyache modak. The first is a steamed sweet dumpling made from rice flour and jaggery and grated coconut. The second is made from mawa or khoya and stuffed with nuts and dates. My recipe is an adaptation of it. 

How to make coconut mawa modak?

Start with the modak filling

Filling for Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

Make the modak shell

  • Over medium heat, cook grated mawa (khoya) with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.
  • In about 5 to 7 minutes, the mixture will melt, form a thick paste, and start to leave the sides of the pan.
  • At this point, take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. 
Ingredients for making Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

Shape the coconut modak

  • Take your modak mold and very, very lightly grease it with ghee. 
  • By now, the mawa mixture will be cool enough to handle (but still warm).
  • Make a ball of it and place it into the closed mold using the gap at the bottom. 
  • With your finger, press the mixture around the mold edges so that it takes the right shape, and you have a hollow cavity in the center.
  • Now, place a small portion of your coconut filling in the cavity.
  • Press and pack it tightly, and then, using some more of the mawa mixture, close the base of the modak.
  • Open the mold, remove the modak, and repeat the process till you use up all the mixture. (If you follow my measurements, you’ll have about 22 modak.)
  • Serve!
Steps for making Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

Tips for making perfect coconut modak 

  • It’s important to use the mawa mixture while it is still warm because that helps get the right shape. 
  • If the mawa/khoya mixture feels dry to you, add some milk to correct the consistency. 
Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

What else can you use in a modak recipe?

Do I need to use marzipan in the filling?

I personally think that marzipan is a great fit in Indian mithais simply because it lends a gorgeous nutty flavor, uplifting that typical tempting taste of ghee.

But if you don’t have homemade marzipan (or can’t find it in a store), chop up the nuts of your preference and mix them with the desiccated coconut and dates to make the stuffing. 

What is mawa and do I need to make it at home?

Mawa, khoya, or khoa is evaporated milk solids used copiously in Indian sweets. (I tell the story of how it came to be here). Typically, it is prepared at home, but this time I didn’t want to make the effort, so I used store-bought

I leave the choice of which to use, homemade or ready-made, to you. 

Can I add other flavors to modak?

Yes, of course. I preferred to keep the modaks plain and let the nutty flavors from coconut and marzipan shine through. You can incorporate a few drops of rose water or even kewra water for a nice aromatic punch

Or you can include saffron in the recipe. Soak a few strands of it in warm milk and whisk it in when you cook the mawa mixture. 

Love to experiment in the kitchen? Add cocoa powder to make chocolate modaks. Really, the possibilities of variations are endless with this treat. 

How to make modak without a mold?

Those well-versed with the art of modak making can get the right shape by hand. I don’t count as one, so I bought one online. They’re easily available in both plastic and aluminum. I highly recommend them if you want to get the quintessential shape.

Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

Garnishing ideas for coconut modak

The modaks need no garnishing. The melt-in-the-mouth creaminess of khoya, the slight crunch from the coconut, and the sweet, delicious almond-flavored marzipan are heavenly as-is. 

In case you’re in the mood for something more extravagant, sprinkle some finely chopped nuts or coat it with varak (silver leaf).

All the reasons you should try the coconut mawa modak recipe:

Easiest recipe ever

Uses just 4 ingredients

Fun project to include kids

A rich but not overly sweet treat

No molds? Make stuffed ladoos!

Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak

More mithai recipes for festivities:

Easy Homemade Gulab Jamun

Coconut Cardamom Peda

Pumpkin Besan Burfi

Shankarpali Recipe

Kaju Katli

Coconut Mawa Modak

Coconut Mawa Modak – All it takes is 4 ingredients to make these delicious, melt-in-your-mouth treats. Marzipan filling in the center just takes it to another level!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: stuffed mawa modak, modak recipe, mawa modak
Servings: 22 Modaks
Calories:
Author: Natasha Minocha

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups Khoya, grated or crumbled
  • 3/4 cup Desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup Icing sugar

Filling

  • 1/2 cup Marzipan
  • 1/4 cup Desiccated coconut

Instructions

Modak Filling

  • Mix desiccated coconut with marzipan and keep it aside.

Modak Shell

  • Over medium heat, cook grated mawa (khoya) with icing sugar and desiccated coconut.
  •  In about 5 to 7minutes, the mawa will melt, forming a thick paste, and start to leave the sides of the pan.
  • At this point, take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  • Take your modak mold and very, very lightly grease it with ghee.
  • Break a small piece of the mawa mixture and make a ball. Place it into the closed mold using the gap at the bottom. 
  • With your finger, press the mixture around the mold edges so that it takes the right shape, and you have a hollow cavity in the center.
  • Place a small portion of your coconut filling in the cavity.
  • Press and pack it tightly, and then, using some more of the mawa mixture, close the base of the modak.
  • Open the mold, remove the modak, and repeat the process till you use up all the mixture.
  • Your modaks are now ready to serve. Enjoy!
Coconut Mawa Modak | Stuffed Mawa Modak | Marzipan stuffed Modak