Spicy Modak

For some reason the word modak reminds me of a very festive sweet. Of course a very popular version of modak is the festive sweet but there are so many other variations that just don’t top the charts in my head. The other sweet version of modaks are the fried modaks, dry fruit modaks, chocolate modaks(fancy) etc. There are plenty of savory ones as well. This one here is a very simple spicy modak with some basic tempering. Here is one more from mom’s cook list. There is strongly belief that modaks could be a very distant vegetarian cousin of momos. Something to think about.

The flavor & aroma of curry leaves and cumin seeds on soft rice flour modak balls. So these modaks might need some little effort when you are rolling out the rice flour balls. But this could be something that you can “outsource” to the people or person in your airspace. The detailed recipe is mentioned below but it is just Cook, Shape & Steam and Temper

Cook: Refined rice flour or Idiyappam flour is first mixed in hot water to form a soft dough. Add some salt to taste and some oil so that the four isn’t too sticky. The flour gets partially cooked in the hot water.

Shape & Steam: Shape the modaks balls and steam them

Temper: Mustard and cumin seeds in hot oil along with some curry leaves and green chili


Spicy Modak Recipe 


  • Refined rice flour / Idiyappam flour: 1 cup
  • Salt
  • Oil: 1 tsp
  • Water

For tempering

  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Slit Green chili: 2
  • Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 6 – 8
  • Oil: 2 tbsp
  • Salt

Here we go…

  • Heat two cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil
  • Add the oil and some salt to taste
  • Reduce the heat and keep adding the flour to the water while stirring
  • Turn off the heat and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed
  • Once the flour cools down a little, grease your palms with some oil, take small portions of the flour mix and roll into small balls
  • Steam the rice flour balls for about 5-7 mins. A sheen appears on the modak balls.
  • Heat oil in a wok/pan for tempering
  • Add the mustard seeds and let then crackle
  • Reduce the heat and add the cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillis and a pinch of salt and give it a shake
  • Turn of the heat and add the steamed rice flour balls and mix well so that there is an even coating of the tempering
  • Serve hot


  • Peanut powder or crushed peanut or dry coconut powder or spicy coconut powder can be sprinkled on top for some more punch

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