February 21, 2020
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Modak: Eat Till They Run Out

If you are the type who likes vintage wine, then you should really care about modak.

Modak: Eat Till They Run Out
Illustration by Saahil
Modak: Eat Till They Run Out

The biggest festival of Mumbai is here; the pot-bellied elephant god has arrived and he has brought tons and tons of modak with him. Ladies and gentlemen, it is an exotic sweet, a piece of art, as not everyone can mould a modak. If you are the type who likes vintage wine, then you should really care about modak because the first reference to this delicacy dates as far back as the Mahabha­rata. Your local cupcake store may not even survive the next five years.

The most special thing about modak is that it is made of rice flour, coconut, jaggery and is eaten with huge helpings of desi ghee. This makes it low/medium on glycemic index and high on nutrients. And if you are worried about coconut and ghee, know that even the USFDA is now on the same page as the Mahabharata and feels that modak must be celebrated. But then every Federal guideline for heart and public health has the burden of sounding scientific and therefore boring, so this is how they word it: “cholesterol is not a nutrient for concern for over-consumption”. It’s what your grandmom told you when you exclaimed that you had already three modaks. Eat as many as you want!

As for all those who want to go sugar-free or add a low-calorie sweetener in the modak, know that the same usfda is also saying since April 2015 that sweeteners should not be promoted for weight loss or even blood sugar control. Now there is a big chance that your doc/dietitian is NOT updated on this and therefore is issuing the diktat to not eat modak, not eat ghee, avoiding coconut or using sweetener inst­ead of sugar or jaggery. However, your grandmother has always anticipated science.

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