Sweet Soft Delicate Steamed Rice Dumplings/Modak|How to prepare Modak from scratch

Is a delicious traditional sweet made during special occasions. It is a very healthy dish & loved by many. The outer soft shell is made of rice & the stuffing is made of peanuts or coconut & jaggery etc. I am sharing with you the traditional recipe where the rice dough is prepared from scratch & an easy filling recipe made from peanuts & jaggery. We also get store bought rice powder which can be used or you can prepare the rice dough at home from scratch.

Please do try this recipe, it is a true art to make this dish & you will enjoy making it & you will have an amazing experience eating it, sharing with family & friends.

You can also watch my video on YouTube


  • 1 Cup – Raw Rice (I used Sona Masoori rice)
  • ¼ Cup – Water (to make batter)
  • ½ Cup – Peanuts/Groundnuts
  • ½ Cup – Jaggery or Brown Sugar
  • 2 Pinch Salt
  • 1 Tsp – Oil
  • 1 Tsp – Ghee


Prep Work:

  • Rinse & soak rice in water for atleast 2 ½ hours

Prepare the Filling:

  • Heat a wok/kadai add peanuts/groundnuts & dry fry (please keep heat on medium low).
  • We dry fry until the peanuts are toasted well (turn light brown).
  • Turn off heat & transfer it to a mixy/blender jar & let it cool.
  • Once it has cooled down grind it a coarse powder (use whip/pulse option & whip/pulse 2 -3 times).
  • Transfer it into a bowl.
  • Add jaggery/brown sugar, mix well & set it aside.

Prepare the Rice Dough:

  • After it is soaked atleast for 2 ½ hours, drain out the water & transfer rice into a mixy/blender jar.
  • Add little water, salt & grind it to a fine, smooth batter (It is important that the batter should not be too thick nor too liquid).
  • Heat a non-stick pan/wok (please keep heat on low).
  • Add 1 tsp oil & 1 Tsp ghee (traditionally sesame oil is used, you can use any flavourless oil too).
  • Gently pour the batter onto the oil in the pan/wok.
  • With a silicon/wooden spoon mix it well.
  • We need to mix until it forms into a soft dough.
  • After 7 to 8 minutes it forms into a soft dough (we turn off heat & knead with the heat of the pan).
  • As we knead it with the spoon it turn to a nice soft pliable dough & it does not stick to the spoon or our fingers much (this quantity makes atleast 10-12 rice dumplings/modak/kadubu).
  • Rice dough is ready, we transfer it to a hot-case so it stays warm (it took 8-10 minutes in total to prepare the rice dough).

Prepare the Stuffed Rice Dumplings/Modak/Kadubu:

  • We first oil the steam plate & set it aside.
  • We oil the mould & set it aside.
  • We need to oil our hands (palms & fingers).
  • We take out the rice dough & knead it to smoothen it.
  • Then we roll it into a log shape & with a knife we cut it to small rolls/balls (1 or 1 ½ inch size).
  • We place it all into the hot-case (when the rice dough is warm it is easy to work with & makes less cracks).

I will show you 3 different types of Rice Dumpling Patterns:

Type 1 – We prepare with mould:

  • We place a ziplock bag or a polythene sheet & apply oil on it.
  • We take one piece of the dough, roll it into a ball.
  • Dip our finger in little oil & keep our fingers oiled.
  • We place the dough in the sheet & pat it to a round flat disc (we pat it to the size of the mould).
  • We gently lift the polythene sheet & slowly peel off the disc & gently place it on the mould.
  • We add the required filling (1 to 1 ½ tsp).
  • Gently we close the mould & peel of the excess.
  • We slowly open the mould remove the rice dumpling/modak & set it on the greased steam plate.

Type 2 – (a) We prepare free hand:

  • We oil the sheet again & oil our fingers.
  • Take another piece of dough & pat it to a round flat disc.
  • As we pat we can move the sheet around to get good round flat disc.
  • Once the disc is done we gently lift the disc with sheet & place it on our palm & add the filling in the middle of the disc.
  • We gently close the sheet, as we close we make sure the tips of the disc are joined evenly & we press it evenly.
  • We place it back on the board & gently remove one side of the sheet.
  • We take a fork, oil it & gently press the edges to seal it & to make a pattern.
  • Now we place it on the greased steam plate.

Type2 (b): We prepare easy free hand:

  • We take another piece of the rolled dough & cut it into two.
  • We take one of the cut piece & roll it into a ball.
  • With index finger we make an indent & then place thumb in the dent & move it around with fingers to make a cup like shape.
  • We add the filling into the cup (add ¾ of the cup).
  • We gently press the filling to set it firmly.
  • Then we gently bring the edges together while gently moving it around.
  • We pinch the edges together to seal the filling into the dough.
  • Then we make a peak shape on the top part of the dumpling/modak/kadubu.
  • We set it on the greased steam plate.

Steam the Rice Dumplings/Modak/Kadubu:

  • We prepare all of them & place it on the greased steam plate.
  • We pre heat the steamer & place the plate with dumplings into the steamer & let it cook.
  • We let it steam for 7-8 minutes (since we cooked the rice dough there no need to cook the dumplings/modak/kadubu for long).
  • After 7-8 minutes we remove from steamer & place all the dumplings/modak/kadubu into a hot case.
  • Ready to serve.

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