Kaju modak is a delectable variation of the traditional modak and is incredibly easy to make. With just two main ingredients - cashew nuts and sugar, and the addition of saffron, these modaks offer a beautiful golden hue and a rich, decadent flavor.
Kaju modakum is easy to make and perfect for beginners as it does not involve sugar syrup or complex techniques. The recipe is ready in no time and can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for busy festival preparations. The delightful combination of cashew nuts and saffron adds a unique and indulgent flavor to this easy cashew modak, which is sure to be loved by Bappa and everyone.
What is kaju modak?
Modak is a beloved traditional sweet similar to dumplings, enjoyed during the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. It is said to be Bappa's favorite dish and is typically made with rice or wheat flour and a coconut and jaggery filling. Previously, I shared a recipe for the traditional steamed modak, also known as ukadiche modak, including tips for perfect preparation.
Kaju modak is a delicious take on this traditional modak and is simple to make too. You need just two main ingredients to make them - cashew and sugar. Saffron adds a beautiful golden color and flavor to these simple yet decadent modaks, which I have filled with pistachios, though any nuts of your choice can be used or skipped entirely. If a modak mold is unavailable, the mixture can be shaped into balls like laddus.
This modak can be prepared in under 30 minutes, making it ideal for busy festival preparations. Experience a decadent twist on a classic dessert by trying Kaju modak this festive season. Try them this festive season for a decadent twist on a classic dessert.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Easy to make: This cashew modak recipe is simple and easy to follow, requiring just two main ingredients - cashews and sugar. The recipe is ready in no time and doesn't involve making sugar syrup, making it a stress-free dessert option.
- Effortless: My recipe doesn't involve complex techniques or ingredients, which makes it suitable for those who are new to cooking.
- Decadent flavor: These modakums offer a rich and decadent flavor due to the cashews and sugar, along with the beautiful golden hue of saffron.
Cashews: Cashew is ground into a coarse powder. It is important to take care not to turn it into cashew butter (see tips below).
Saffron: Saffron adds not just flavor but also a beautiful golden hue to the modakas.
Ghee: Ghee or coconut oil can be used for this recipe.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Step 1: Take the cashews in a food processor or mixie jar and pulse them into a powder. Take care not to overprocess it as it may begin to release oil (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Pass it through a sieve and remove any big pieces. Set the cashew powder aside (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Take sugar and water in a pan and bring it to boil. Reduce the heat to low, add saffron and ghee (image 5). Mix well and add the cashew powder (image 6).
Step 4: Mix well and keep stirring the mixture on low-medium heat (images 7 and 8).
Step 4: The mixture comes together and begins to leave the sides of the pan (image 9). To check if it is done, take a small piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It should form a soft non-sticky ball (image 10).
Step 5: Let the cashew mixture cool down slightly (image 11). Fill the modak mould with cashew mixture and press gently to create a dent in the middle (image 12).
Step 6: Add a few pieces of pistachio in the center. Add some cashew mixture on top of the pista and press it gently to seal the modak completely (images 13 and 14).
Step 7: Unmold the cashew modak carefully (images 15 and 16). Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Pulse the cashew in small intervals, taking care it does not turn into cashew butter.
The cashew can be ground into a slightly coarse powder, but it is important to make sure there are no big chunks or pieces of cashew. To remove the chunks, pass the ground cashew through a large hole sieve. Take the big chunks and grind again.
I use ½ cup of sugar for 3 cups of cashew. This gives me a mildly sweet kaju modak. If you prefer a sweeter modakas, increase the sugar to ¾ cup.
The cashew modakum is ready to be shaped when the whole mixture comes together and begins to leave the sides of the pan. To check, take a small portion of the mixture and roll it. It should easily come together to form a ball (see step-by-step instructions below).
Grease your hands with a little ghee before shaping the modak to avoid the mixture sticking to your hands. Also, make sure you grease the modak mold before using it.
Pro-tip: For a vegan version of these modaks, replace ghee with any neutral cooking oil.
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Prep the cashews:
- Take cashew in a food processor or mixie jar and pulse into a powder (take care not to overprocess it).
- Pass it through a sieve and remove any big pieces. Grind the big pieces again and pass them through the sieve.
Make the cashew-sugar mixture:
- Take sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil. Let the sugar melt completely.
- Reduce the heat to low, and add saffron and ghee. Mix well.
- Add the cashew powder. Keep stirring until the mixture comes together and begins to leave the sides of the pan.
- To check if it is done, take a small piece of the mixture and roll it into a ball. It should form a soft non-sticky ball. If it is sticky, continue stirring for a few minutes and check
- Let the cashew mixture cool down slightly.
Shape the modaks:
- While the mixture is warm, begin shaping the modak. Lightly grease the modak mold with ghee and close the mold.
- Fill the cashew mixture and press gently. Make sure the entire mold is covered and there is a gap in the center for the filling.
- Add a few pieces of pistachio.
- Add some cashew mixture and press it gently to seal the modak completely (see step-by-step pictures above).
- Unmould the cashew modak carefully.
- Cashew modak is ready to be served.