Sweet potatoes lend themselves extremely well to a sweet dish and especially for a salty-sweet dessert on Gudi Padwa.
Try your hand at Chef Jerson Fernandes‘s novel Sweet Potato Modak.
A graduate of the Institute of Hotel Management, Hyderabad, Chef Jerson has worked at the Marriott International, Dubai, and the Sea Princess, Mumbai, before joining the Accor Group.
Quinoa and Sweet Potato Modak
- 150 gm raw quinoa, washed
- 250 ml water
- 150 gm sweet potato
- 20 gm dates, chopped
- 50 gm raw papaya, peeled, grated
- 20 gm peanuts, chopped
- 25 gm cashews, chopped
- 25 gm raisins, chopped
- 50 gm red and yellow bell pepper or capsicum, chopped
- 1 tbsp rai or mustard paste
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 30 gm green dhania or coriander or cilantro
- Pinch salt
- Edible flowers, for garnish
- Saffron strands, for garnish
- Boil the quinoa with the water and the salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
After it comes to a boil, let it simmer until cooked and the water is absorbed.
Take off heat and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes well to get off the dirt and keep the skin on.
Pressure cook with enough water for 3-4 whistles over medium heat.
Take off heat, cool and peel the sweet potatoes.
Transfer into a bowl and mash to a paste-like consistency.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed saucepan or kadhai over medium-high heat.
Roast the peanuts, raisins, cashews, take off heat and cool.
- In a bowl, mix the sweet potato mixture with the cooked quinoa, roasted nuts, raisins, mustard, mayonnaise, capsicum, papaya, coriander and additional salt, if required, until you get a dough-like texture.
Divide into 6-8 equal portions and roll into small balls.
Place the balls in a modak mould and spread it out evenly.
Shut the mould and once released, the modak will be ready.
Repeat the process for the balance balls.
Garnish with edible flowers and saffron strands.
Chef Fernandes’s Note: Apply coconut oil to the mould before stuffing in the sweet potato mixture to ensure it doesn’t stick while removing the mould.
Chef Jerson Fernandes is the culinary director at Novotel Mumbai Juhu Beach.
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