I have been meaning to post this up for a while and thanks to a recipe request from my lovely reader Annu, I have finally gotten around to it. Mohanthal (pronounced: moHanTHaal) is a type of mistan (Indian sweet) which is said to have been loved by Lord Krishna. The name comes from one of Krishna’s alternative names ‘Mohan’ meaning charming and enchanting and ‘thal’ meaning dish (like thali). So the name I believe loosely translates as ‘Mohan’s dish’. Please do correct me if I am wrong! My belief in Lord Krishna is immense (hence the peacock feather images used in the KO Rasoi logo), and so I am aware that He does love bright colours like orange. This why I love Mohanthal to be bright orange and beautiful! So Annu, this one is for you… and for Lord Krishna of course!
Ingredients (for the ‘dhrabo’- the bit that makes the Mohanthal melt in the mouth and adds crunchy lil nuggets!)
2 cups gram flour (a.k.a chickpea flour/besan)
1 tbsp melted ghee
2 tbsp milk
You will also need
1 cup melted ghee
1 cup milk powder
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp chopped almonds
2 tbsp chopped pistachios
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp mace powder (javantri)
A pinch of orange food colour (optional)
For the sugar syrup
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp milk (optional- if you are using unrefined sugar add this to the sugar syrup while it is boiling and skim off the foam that appears on top- this will remove any impurities from the sugar)
1. To make the dhrabo place the gram flour in a bowl and add 1 tbsp melted ghee and 2 tbsp milk. Rub the mixture in between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs (almost as if you were making crumble topping for a fruit crumble). Allow this to sit for 30 minutes.
2. Sieve the dhrabo mixture through a medium-holed colander (you can also use a ladoo sieve). Set aside.
3. In a pan, add the ingredients for the sugar syrup and simmer until it is of a one-string consistency (this is the ‘soft-ball’ stage if you have a candy thermometer). Keep this hot but do not let it go past the soft ball stage.
4. In a wide karahi add one cup of ghee and the dhrabo mixture you have passed through a sieve. Cook this on a medium heat until it becomes a pinkish, almond colour (and smells fantastic!) Keep stirring. Remove from the heat and allow this to cool until it is just warm. Add the cardamom powder, saffron, milk powder and mace powder.
5. Pour the hot syrup over the cooked besan mixture (please be very careful!) and stir until fully incorporated. Add some orange food colouring if you wish to do so.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased thali or wide dish with sides. Sprinkle with chopped almonds and chopped pistachios.
7. Allow this to set for 4-5 hours at room temperature.
8. Cut into pieces and devour!
Thank you to my amazing mum for passing this recipe on to me so that I could share it with you guys!
P.S. Sorry about only the one picture taken from a phone. I will update this post with step by step pictures once I have had the time to make some Mohanthal again. Thanks for your patience.