October 26, 2009

Traditional Gujarati Mohanthal (Chickpea Flour Butter Fudge)


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.

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20 responses to “Traditional Gujarati Mohanthal (Chickpea Flour Butter Fudge)”

  1. Genny says:

    ever tasted, but I'm curious about a lot ..

  2. MaryMoh says:

    These look so pretty and delicious. I would love a few pieces. Love all the nuts.

  3. Kathy Gori says:

    yes, this is all i need right now!I have all the ingredients right here ..I also bought some milk powder at the Malabar market the other day. Mava milk powder. never used it before. , I take it that that is the correct milk powder. If so, I am good to go.

  4. Sanjana says:

    Genny- They are really great, please do have a go at making them!

    Mary- They are so moreish… once you've had a piece you really can't stop even though you know you should! 😀

    Yep that's correct Kathy- Get your apron on my love!

  5. Rochelle says:

    Sounds and looks yummy. I've been meaning to find a store around here that has chickpea flour, and this gives me one more excuse to look harder 🙂

  6. experimentalculinarypursuits says:

    The combination of sweet and salty sound so mouthwatering! I never knew you could make a dessert out of chickpeas!

  7. Sangeetha Subhash says:

    Oh Gosh !!!Its my favourite too………am drooling cing the picture

  8. Rohini says:

    Wow..Never heard of this before.. I must admit, I am always enchanted by Lord Krishna! So anything for him!! 😉 Will try this soon dear!!

  9. Annu says:

    Hi Sanjana,

    Thank you for your quick response!! I am very excited to get this recipe. I have all the ingredients so I will make it this weekend. I will let you know how it turns out. I can't thank you enough. You have a wonderful day. If you don't mind can I request more Gujarati recipes in near future?? (-: I love Gujarati food. Ok keep smiling. Cheers, Annu

  10. Divina Pe says:

    That looks and sounds interesting. The only problem I have is finding that chickpea flour. But that looks great and it's something new. Thanks for the recipe. Hope to try it soon.

  11. Vidya Rao says:

    Great recipe…will try sometime! Thanks for posting!

  12. A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine says:

    Hey Sanjana, there is surprise for you in our blog..please hopin by and check it out..Mohanthal is my fav sweet..it has come out very well..

  13. Sanjana says:

    Rochelle- Good luck, I hope you find it! If you can't find it under the name of chickpea flour just look for 'besan' or 'gram flour'.

    experimentalculinarypursuits- Yep, it's amazing what you can do with some ingredients!

    Sangeetha- I'm glad they're your fave because they're mine too! 🙂

    Rohini- I hope you enjoy the recipe! Please do let me know how it goes!

    Annu- No problem 🙂 I'm always happy to help. I will definetly try my best to post as many Gujarati recipes as I can! Please do let me know how your mohanthal turn out!

    Divina- I wish you the best of luck in finding it. Like I had said previously, if you cannot find it by the name of chickpea flour, try to look for 'gram flour' or 'besan'. Good luck! 😀

    Vidya- Thank you! Hope you enjoy it!

    A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine- Thank you so much for the awards. You are really too kind! Glad you enjoyed this recipe! 😀

  14. cmiranda says:

    This looks to pretty to eat.

  15. Vrinda says:

    Something totally new to me…looks lovely…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for Mohanthal I will make it ASAP. I am very much looking for Khaman. As a guju I like it too much and whomever I asked they don't understand dhokla and khaman difference. Please teach us Khaman.

  17. Anonymous says:

    hi i am from nz and have tried your mohanthal receipe today and it is excellent thanks a lot 9/8/11 my email is v.mevasia@hotmail.com

  18. Hi
    I was recently introduced to Mohanthal by my waiter from the restaurant, where I am a regular and curious like always, wanted to know the meaning behind the name Mohanthal, and none of them could give me the answer, including the man who make all the sweet there, and I promised them, I will not stop till I find out the meaning and my curiosity paid off.

    Thanks to you after loving the sweet now I hold the knowledge of the meaning behind the sweet.

  19. Darshita says:

    It’s very yummy.
    This is my Favorite sweet.

  20. Annu says:

    This is the best recipe for making Mohanthal. I make this every Diwali and it turns out 100% perfect. Thank you Sanjana.

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