Ganesh Chaturthi: Chef Shailendra Kekade's Unique Modak Recipes
Image Credit: Sante Spa Cuisine

Ganesh Chaturthi is one of the most important Hindu festivals of the year and is celebrated across many states of India with great festive spirit. In 2023, Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on September 19, following which the 10-day festival will continue till September 28, which is Anant Chaturdashi. During this festive period dedicated to Lord Ganesha, many special dishes are traditionally prepared, ranging from Modaks in Maharashtra to Kozhukattai in Tamil Nadu

But for those with health issues and those who have turned to veganism for health reasons, indulging in many of these traditional sweets can be quite difficult. And then there are those who are constantly looking for innovative new ways to turn traditional dishes into new-age delicacies that can be served to family, friends and loved ones on Ganesh Chaturthi.  

For all these people who want to indulge in delicious and healthy Ganesh Chaturthi dishes that blend traditions and global cuisines together, Chef Shailendra Kekade from Santé Spa Cuisine, Pune has the perfect recipes. Take a look and give these dishes a try. 

Mango Kesar and White Chocolate Modak 

Loaded with the flavours of white chocolate, mango and saffron, this Modak variety is vegan and perfect for those who want to indulge in the refined flavours of this flavour combination.  


60g Vegan White Chocolate Compound  

60g Cocoa Butter45g Fresh Mango Pulp  

5g Cardamom Powder  

1g Saffron 

Gold Dust (for garnish)  

Mint Leaves (for garnish)  

30g Peach and Rose Petal Compote (for garnish)  


1. In a microwave or using a double boiler, melt the vegan white chocolate compound and cocoa butter until smooth and well combined.  

2. Add fresh mango pulp to the melted chocolate mixture and mix until fully incorporated.  

3. Stir in cardamom powder and a pinch of saffron threads to enhance the flavor.  

4. Allow the mixture to cool slightly until it thickens to a fondant-like consistency.  

5. Take small portions of the mango fondant mixture and shape them into modak molds or small cone-shaped dumplings.  

6. Once shaped, refrigerate the modaks for a short while to set.  

7. Before serving, dust the modaks with gold dust for an elegant touch.  

8. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a dollop of peach and rose petal compote. 

Pistachio and Walnut Baklava Modak 

Love to indulge in Baklava layered with pistachios and more? This fusion Modak with typical Baklava ingredients is just what you need. An added benefit: The recipe is vegan and healthy too! 


40g Filo Pastry Sheet  

20g Margarine  

30g Pistachios 

15g Walnuts  

15g Marzipan Dough 

15ml Sugar Syrup  

15ml Passion Fruit Pulp  

5g Assorted Seeds    

2g Mint 


1. Prepare the filling by roasting and chopping pistachios and walnuts. Mix them with marzipan paste to create a flavorful filling.  

2. Gently loosen the filo pastry sheets and layer them in a muffin mold.  

3. Apply a layer of soft margarine in between each filo sheet.  

4. Create a cavity in the center of the layered filo sheets and insert the prepared pistachio and walnut stuffing. 

5. Carefully bring the sheets together to form a modak-like shape around the stuffing.  

6. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit).  

7. Place the assembled modaks on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until they turn golden brown.  

8. Once baked, remove the modaks from the molds.  

9. Plate the modaks over a bed of pulpy passionfruit coulis.  

10. Sprinkle toasted seeds on top of the modaks for added texture and flavor.  

11. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.   

Vegan Siu Mai-Style Modak 

Rich, creamy, indulgent and yet vegan, this Indo-Chinese fusion Modak recipe is the perfect dish to treat your guests on Ganesh Chaturthi with. Here’s the recipe. 


For the Dough:  

120 grams of Rice Flour  

75 ml of Warm Water  

For the Filling:  

20 grams of Coconut Oil  

150 grams of Freshly grated Coconut  

45 grams of Jaggery, grated  

2 grams of Cardamom Powder  

20 grams of Poppy Seeds  


For the Dough:  

1. In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour and warm water. Knead the mixture into a smooth, pliable dough. Cover it and let it rest for about 15-20 minutes.  

For the Filling:  

2. In a pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add the poppy seeds and roast them for a minute or until they release their aroma.  

3. Add freshly grated coconut to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until it turns slightly golden.  

4. Stir in the grated jaggery and cardamom powder. Cook until the jaggery melts and coats the coconut mixture evenly. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.  

5. Now, divide the dough into equal-sized balls. Roll out the dough and stuff each with the stuffing. Shape the Modak like Siu Mai dimsums. 

6. Steam the Siu Mai-Style Modak in a steamer for 10-15 minutes. Serve it warm with a fresh coconut rabri.