Modakachi Aamti is a Khandeshi delicacy that consists of savoury modaks (dumplings stuffed with roasted dry coconut, peanut powder and a wide range of spices and condiments) soaked in an aamti (curry) made of lentils and grains. The modak stuffing is a mixture of roasted dry coconut, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, roasted sesame powder, peanut powder and salt. The modak cover is made of a dough prepared using chickpea flour, turmeric powder, chilli powder, carom seeds, salt and some oil. The stuffed dumplings are prepared by hand and kept aside while the aamti is prepared. For the aamti: First, a dry roasted mixture of grated dry coconut, sliced onions, pearl millets, rice grains and Bengal gram is blended into a powder and allowed to cool. Second, some oil is heated in a pan and mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves and the blended powder is added and sautéed, followed by peanut powder, sesame powder, poppy seeds, goda masala (blended mix of aromatic spices), garam masala (blend of warm ground spices) and chilli powder before it is sautéed some more. Finally, water and salt are added to this mixture and the aamti is brought to a boil before the modaks are added one by one. Once the modaks turn opaque, stop the heat and add a little coconut milk to impart a natural sweetness to the aamti. Garnish Modakachi Aamti with some fresh coriander and serve with a dollop of clarified butter and a lime wedge. Break the modaks into small pieces, mix them into the aamti and enjoy this delicious preparation with steamed rice or bhakri (coarse unleavened flatbreads).
© Pravin Masalewale, 2020