The Indian festive season is on full swing, having just wrapped up Navratri and Diwali being just around the corner. Now this definitely calls for some sweet/dessert recipes as no celebration in India is complete without sweets 🙂
Moving away from milk based sweets (actually my husband’s fixation), this post is on another popular Indian (Western India) sweet dish made from roasted chickpea flour (gram flour/besan) and clarified butter (ghee) – Mohanthal. It is just like a fudge with an authentic touch of cardamom and chopped dry fruits. It is also known as Chickpea Flour Fudge. It looks like Besan Barfi but the making process and the taste are totally different.
This sweet is regarded as one of the favourites of God Krishna; one of his many names is Mohan and, hence the term Mohanthal.
People generally make Mohanthal with khoya but I have made this (successfully) without khoya.
The ingredients for making Mohanthal are:
- Chickpea Flour (Gramflour / Besan) : 4 cup
- Clarified butter (ghee) : 2 cup
- Milk : 1/2 cup
- Sugar : 2 cup
- Water : 1 1/2 cup
- Cardamom Powder : 1-2 Tbsp
- Almonds, Pistachios : 1/2 cup (sliced)
Take chickpea flour in a big bowl and add 1.5 cup of clarified butter into it. Mix it well with fingers – this will feel like coarse bread crumbs.
Now add milk in it and mix it well. Then allow this mixture to rest for half an hour.
Heat a pan with water and sugar, stir occasionally till the sugar dissolves in water. Boil and cook the sugar syrup till you get one thread consistency. Then remove it from the flame and keep covered so that it will be warm.
A deep dive into the making of One thread sugar syrup:
Boil the water and sugar together in a pan, until sugar dissolves and it reaches a rolling boil. Now turn the heat down to keep it boiling gently.
When the sugar is fully dissolved, add 2 tsp milk to the syrup. The milk causes any impurities to come to the surface in the form of a scum, which can be removed by skimming the syrup with a spoon.
Dip a spatula in this syrup; lift it out, and touch it with the tip of your forefinger to pick a drop of the syrup. Be very careful – it can burn your finger! Touch your forefinger with your thumb and pull apart slowly, to see how many threads are stretched between your finger and thumb. When you see one thread or wire it means your one thread sugar syrup is ready. Continue to boil/cook till you get one thread consistency.
Heat the remaining clarified butter in a large pan and add chickpea flour mixture. Cook and stir continuously until the mixture gets golden brown and releases a roasted aroma. It takes about 15 minutes to get this stage.
Add dry fruits and cardamom powder and mix it well.
Now add the sugar syrup and continuously stir the mixture. The mixture will turn thick, will leave the sides and it will be a little dry (it will take around 10-12 minutes). Be careful during stirring – don’t stir it for too long otherwise it will become chewy/rubbery.
Grease a rectangular plate/tray with clarified butter. Transfer the mixture onto it, level the surface, spread some dry fruits and press gently.
Allow the mixture to cool and then cut it into rectangular shape. Your Mohanthal is ready to be served! You should get around 20 pieces of Mohanthal from this recipe.
Let the festivities begin !!
Insider Tips / Finer Points:
- You can safely store Mohanthal in an airtight container for about 2 weeks.