Manda pitha also known as Modak in some parts of India, is a steamed pitha which is prepared all over orissa during festivals. Pitha is a type of cake or bread prepared in most parts of India and Bangladesh, especially eastern states of Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and northeastern states.
As Manda Pitha is steamed so it is very healthy and yummy. You can eat it steaming hot or cold. Enjoy it as it is or with dalma.
- Crushed Rice(chaula chuna): 2 cup
- Water: 3 cup
- Grated Coconut: 1 cup
- Jaggery: 3/4 cup
- Cardamom: 5-6 crushed
- Oil: 1tbsp
- Black Pepper: 2-4 freshly crushed
- Ginger: 1/2 inch grated
- Sugar: 1tbsp
- Salt: 1/2tbsp
For the stuffing, heat shredded coconut and jaggery in a pan. As the japery starts to melt a little add the crushed cardamom, black pepper, and grated ginger. cook for few minute and mix well. Divide it into 10 parts
For the dough heat the water in a pan and bring it to a nice boil. Add salt and sugar to the water and let it boil for another minute.
Take a small about to Crushed rice mix it with water into a smooth paste and pour into the boiling water. This would avoid lumps when we add rest of the rice powder. Now add all the rice powder give it a stir to make sure there are no lumps.
Cover and let it cook for couple of minutes, or till the mix starts getting dry. Remove the cover and keep cooking while continuously stirring till all the water is soaked in and the dough is complete dry.
Remove from heat and let it cool down for few minutes before you start kneading it.
When the dough reaches room temperature, knead it into a soft dough by adding 1 tbsp of oil.
Divide the dough into 10 balls and flatten then with your hands.
Place some 1 part of the stuffing in the center of the flattened dough and carefully close it, forming a ball again. Make sure the balls are not cracked anywhere.
Steam all the pitha balls for 5-6 mins and they are ready to it.
You can stem it using the same process as idli.
I used my rice cooker to do it.
Add 4 cups of water into the cooker. and put it on "keep warm" mode. This would heat up the water for steaming.
Place the balls on the plastic steamer that comes with the cooker and change the setting from "keep warm" to "smart steam" for 5 mins. and let the cooker do the checking for you.
Once the timer is up you pitha/modak is done.
You can always replace the rice powder with Suji. The only difference would be instead of adding the whole 2 cups of suji at once add little at a time and keep stirring through out. Also it would require just 3 1/2 cups of water instead. Rest remains the same.
Enjoy this delicious delicacy from Orissa and have a safe and happy Diwali.
Till then Happy Blogging