Ganesh Chaturthi 2023: Diet-Friendly Modaks to Celebrate

Ganesh Chaturthi, one of India's most cherished festivals, celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed god of wisdom and prosperity. This joyous occasion is marked by elaborate processions, devotional songs, and the creation of intricate idols of Lord Ganesha. Central to the festivities is the offering of Modak, a sweet dumpling, to Lord Ganesha as a symbol of devotion and good fortune. Traditionally, Modaks are made with rice flour and filled with a mixture of grated coconut and jaggery, then steamed or fried to perfection. However, in recent times, there has been a growing awareness of the need for healthier alternatives. Here, we explore five ways to make protein-rich, gluten-free Modaks, ensuring that this beloved treat remains not only delicious but also nutritious. 

Vegan Protein-Packed Modaks 

For a protein-rich option, use roasted chickpea flour (besan) as the main ingredient for the outer shell. Chickpea flour is not only gluten-free but also high in plant-based protein. To sweeten the filling, combine chopped nuts, dried fruits, and a sugar-free sweetener like jaggery or honey. Shape the mixture into Modaks, steam them, and enjoy guilt-free protein goodness.  

Almond and Coconut Flour Modaks (Gluten-Free and Sugar-Free) 

Blend almond flour and coconut flour for a gluten-free, nutty, and low-carb outer layer. The filling can consist of finely chopped dates, a sprinkle of cardamom powder for flavor, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. These Modaks are not only gluten-free and sugar-free but also rich in healthy fats and protein. 

Quinoa and Chia Seed Modaks (Protein and Fiber Boost) 

Create a unique Modak shell by using a mixture of quinoa flour and chia seeds, both of which are rich in protein and fiber. The filling can be made with a blend of dried fruits, nuts, and a sugar-free sweetener like palm sugar. These Modaks offer a satisfying protein and fiber boost while being gluten-free and sugar-free.  

Coconut and Seed Butter Modaks (Vegan, Gluten-free, Sugar-free, Protein-rich)

For the dough, use a combination of coconut flour and almond flour, keeping it both vegan and gluten-free. Sweeten the dough with a sugar alternative like honey. Create a filling by blending seed butter (like sunflower or pumpkin seed butter) with finely shredded coconut and a sugar-free sweetener. These Modaks offer a unique blend of flavours, ample protein, and adherence to dietary restrictions. 

Peanut Butter and Flaxseed Modaks (Protein-Rich and Gluten-Free) 

Use a combination of peanut butter and ground flaxseeds to make a protein-rich and gluten-free outer layer for your Modaks. The filling can consist of crushed nuts, a touch of vanilla extract for flavor, and a sugar-free sweetener like maple syrup. These Modaks are an excellent source of plant-based protein and healthy fats.