The winning recipe of the #TasteSeKhelo Modak Twist Contest by Suman Chandnani Asnani. A wonderful twist to the traditional modak. Read on.

Ingredients:

For Covering:
1 cup water
1 cup (heaped) rice flour
¼ tsp salt
1tsp ghee

For Baklava Filling:
¼ cup each of Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts and Pistachios
5tbsp sugar
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp vanilla essence
1/4tsp salt
Orange zest of 1 orange

For Syrup:
1/2cup water
1/4cup sugar
2tbsp honey

Method:
1) Preheat the oven to 350F (180”C).
2) Spread the nuts on a cooking sheet and bake for 7 minutes till fragrant and slightly toasted.
3) Let them cool. After cooling, pulse the nuts, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon powder, vanilla essence and salt in a blender till coarsely powdered. This is the Baklava filling.
4) To prepare the syrup, put a small saucepan over medium heat and add the water, 1/4 cup sugar and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until reduced and slightly thickened, for about 8-10 minutes.
5) For the modak covering – Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add 1 tsp ghee and salt; add the rice flour and mix. Turn off the heat immediately. Keep a cover and let it stand for 10-15 minutes to cool. Knead the flour with slightly oiled hand into smooth dough. Keep it covered in moist cloth.
6) Keep a large vessel with some water to steam the modaks. Take a sieve/ strainer/ shallow vessel and line it with a thin cloth. The modaks will be steamed in this vessel. Make small rounds with the dough. Press with fingers to make flat rounds. This should be thin and without any cracks.
7) Place the Baklava filling in every modak. Add a teaspoon of the sugar-honey syrup to it. Mold the dough into ‘modak’ shape. First form as many pleats as possible. Then bring them together by gently pressing and rotating at the same time. Place these modaks into the cloth-lined vessel and steam (without any pressure/whistle) for 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with orange zest and serve with ghee!