Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Mohanthaal - Traditional Indian Gram Flour And Cardamom Fudge

Every year, come Diwali and you will see me scouring my mother's cookbooks looking for a traditional Indian sweet recipe to try my hand at. And of course, when I say every year I mean every year since I started writing this food blog. For every other time, I believe in the convenience and practicality of store-bought. 

Turns out that I have apparently tried all the easy stuff there is to make. So, this year, it was time to get a bit ambitious. So, with great enthusiasm, encouraged by Mama of course, I zeroed in on making Mohanthaal, a traditional besan (gram flour) and cardamom sweet from Gujarat that is then topped off with slivered pistachios and almonds.

But honestly, when the time arrived to make it, the only person enthusiastic about making it was Mama. Thankfully, she insisted and persisted and made this absolutely delectable Mohanthaal that I can share with you. All that yours truly did was to measure out the ingredients, read aloud the directions from the recipe book and cut the squares of the finished product, which as you can see are all crooked and uneven!

However, if you have the enthusiasm, it all seemed quite easy or at least that's how Mama made it look. And not too time-consuming either. And the end product was nothing short of professional and even better than the shop bought stuff and no, I am not being biased!

Each little cube of this Mohanthaal is packed with all that is right about Indian festive sweets. It is rich, indulgent, flavoured with cardamom, topped off with nuts and meant to be shared with as many people as you can this festive season!

This Diwali, amidst all your shopping, I hope you bought some traditional diyas to light up your homes.The potters who create them are a traditional, cottage industry that will face an unfortunate decline without all our collective support and patronage.

Wishing all you beautiful people and your families a very happy and blessed Diwali, from our home to yours!!  

Mohanthaal - Traditional Indian Gram Flour And Cardamom Fudge

Serves 6-8. Recipe source: Tarla Dalal

  • 1 cup ghee
  • 2 cups coarsely ground Bengal gram flour (besan)
  • 1 cup grated khoya (mawa)
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
For the sugar syrup:
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons milk   
For the garnish:
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped almonds and pistachios
  • Place the gram flour (besan) in a bowl.
  • Heat the ghee and pour half of it over the gram flour.
  • Rub the ghee into the gram flour till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  • Add this to the remaining hot ghee in a kadhai (Indian style wok) and cook till the mixture is golden brown, stirring continuously.
  • Add the grated mawa and cardamom powder and stir for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool till it is warm.

For the sugar syrup

  • Mix the sugar with water in a pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • To the milk, add 2 tablespoons of water and pour this into the boiling sugar syrup. This is done to clarify the syrup of impurities.
  • It will form a grey layer which has to be removed gently, using a slotted spoon.
  • Simmer this till it is of one thread consistency*. Keep the syrup hot.

  • Pour the hot sugar syrup over the cooked gram flour mixture and stir well.
  • Pour into a greased 9-inch diameter thali. Sprinkle chopped almonds and pistachios and allow to set for 4-5 hours. 
  • Cut into squares.


* To test if the sugar syrup has reached a one thread consistency, lift some with a spoon and let it trickle down. If the syrup is dense and leaves a threadlike trail, it is ready to be used.


  1. I love Mohanthal and this looks amazing, Sarvani! Even though Diwali is over, I am going to look for an excuse to make this ASAP :)

    1. This will be a breeze for you Bina...after that huge array of sweets you made this Diwali!! Was quite dumbstruck by how much you got made.. happy Diwali!!

  2. I don't think I ever had this sweet but then I like any kind of fudge/burfi :)


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