A variety of Modaks is prepared across Maharashtra. The variation is seen in the ingredients and the process of making according to the availability of resources in the region. Modak is a sweet dessert prepared mainly in two forms as fried and steamed ones. Some of the communities even refer to Ladoo as Modak. In short, the variety of preparations that are primarily spherical or ball-like are referred to as Modak in Maharashtra. It has got importance due to Ganapati Festival in Maharashtra.
Modak is an Indian sweet dumpling dish widely popular amongst people as dessert or sweet. The sweet filling inside a modak consists of freshly grated coconut and jaggery, while the outer soft shell is made from rice flour or wheat flour. There are two methods of making Modak, one is the steamed one, and the other is fried. Steam Modaks have little variation and are mainly cooked in the Konkan region. The steamed version is known as Ukadiche Modak and consumed hot and with ghee added. The cover of this type of Modak is made of rice flour, and the stuffing is made of fresh coconut. The fried version of Modak is deep-fried that makes it last longer. The cover of fried modak is made of wheat flour and usually of dry coconut. The third category of Modak is a type of Modak made of Mawa (also known as Khoa) with various flavours like Mango, Strawberry, Chocolate, etc.
The documented history of Modak is not known, it is a popular food culturally known to Maharashtra for the last 2000 years. There are references to Modak in ancient Indian literature, though the recipes of those preparations are not known to us. Culturally Modak is associated with Lord Ganesha. That is considered his favourite food. Modak is a cultural identity of Maharashtra.