What is Diwali without laddus! I think there are a couple of reasons why laddus are so popular: you can make them in advance and they do not have to be specially served (just pick one and pop it in your mouth).
Yes, making the laddus can sometimes be a task but then here I am with a collection of easy to make laddu recipes that will brighten up your Diwali!
I have been meaning to make Mohanthal (Besan Burfi) for ages now and have always been put off by how daunting it is. Then this Diwali, I decided to make it much like I overcame my reluctance to make Badushah | Balushahi last year. 🙂 I am glad I made the effort to make this traditional sweet as it turned out just perfect!
In India, sweets have a rather different connotation from desserts of the Western world. By sweets, here we mean an assortment of dishes that can be enjoyed as a post-meal dessert, be served as a snack, or then something you could just pop into your mouth when the mood takes (a la chocolates).
Mohanthal is essentially made by roasting Besan in ghee till it is brown and then adding sugar syrup to it before cooking it further. It sounds simple and it is simple I guess, except for the last part where you have to keep an eye on the Mohanthal else it will become too hard or chewy or then not set. Pretty much the same problems you have with the Traditional Mysore Pak.
There are many different variations of this traditional sweet; I chose the simplest one to try, the one without Mawa. It turned out to be decadent and delicious.
How to Make Mohanthal | Besan Burfi
Besan – 1 Cup
Ghee – 1/2 Cup + 1/2 tsp for greasing
Sugar – 1/2 Cup
Milk – 2 tsp
Water – 1/4 Cup
Lemon Juice – 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry Ginger Powder – 1/2 tsp
Almond Flakes – 1 tbsp
Pistachio Flakes – 1 tbsp
Method to Make Mohanthal
Grease a 6″ plate with 1″ edge with 1/2 tsp of ghee.
Preparing the Besan
Melt 1/4 cup ghee.
Sift the besan into a large plate.
Add 2 tsp milk to the besan and mix well.
Drizzle the ghee onto the besan.
With your fingers mix well till the besan becomes like crumbs.
Making the Sugar Syrup
In a pan, gently boil the sugar and water till the sugar dissolves.
Let it boil till it reaches the one thread consistency.
Turn off the heat.
Add the dry ginger, nutmeg and cardamom powders.
Add the lemon juice and mix well. The lemon juice prevents the sugar in the syrup from crystallizing.
Making the Mohanthal
In a kadai, heat 1/4 cup of ghee.
Add the besan mixture.
Over medium heat, saute till the besan turns a rich brown earthy colour and becomes aromatic.
Turn the heat to low.
Add the sugar syrup to the besan.
Mix well. It will becomes spongy at first.
Over medium heat, cook the mixture for about 2-3 minutes while stirring constantly. Essentially to ensure that the sugar syrup is well incorporated.
Pour this hot batter into the greased plate.
Ensure that the Mohanthal spreads evenly.
Sprinkle the almond and pistachio flakes over the Mohanthal.
Let the Mohanthal cook for about 1 hour.
Using a sharp knife, cut them into squares.
For the rich brown colour, ensure that the besan is well-sauteed in the ghee. It takes some muscle power but is needed.
After adding the sugar syrup, ensure you mix everything quickly and do not cook it too much or you will have rubbery, chewy Mohanthal.
You can store the Mohanthal at room temperature for 2-3 days. For a longer duration, I would recommend refrigerating it.
Diwali (called Deepavali in the South) is the renowned Indian festival of lights. It is the time families and friends come together to celebrate. And where there is a celebration there is always food aplenty. Here are a collection of Diwali recipes for sweets and savories that you could try this Diwali and enjoy with your near and dear ones.
While these Diwali recipes will help you cook wonderful food, Diwali are more than just about food! The oil bath or Abhyanga Snan is a very important part of Diwali. Want a quick and easy version of the oil bath? Read this post!
Diwali is a time for friends and family. Many a time families come together to make the Diwali Faral (the array of sweets and snacks that are made for Diwali). This Diwali Aparna and me worked in tandem to make a whole lot of goodies. This way between us we had an array of Diwali Sweets and Savouries to enjoy. Our collection this year included Mysore Pak, Seven Cup Cake, Kodubale,Gud Papdi or Sukhdi, Maa Laddu, and Sev Burfi or Singhar ji Burfi.
Thattai (as it is called in Tamil) or Chekkalu (as it is called in Telugu) is a very popular snack for Diwali and even weddings. It is very easy to make and can be stored for a while which makes it a boon during the festive season. Aparna made it this year and generously shared her recipe as well as pics for the blog.
Thank you, Aparna!
How to Make Chekkalu or Thattai
Time: 30 Minutes
Rice Flour – 1 Cup
Roasted Udad Dal Flour – 1 tsp
Roasted Chana Dal or Putnala Pappu – 2 tsp
Butter or Ghee – 2 tspn
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Asafoetida or Hing – A Large Pinch
Salt to Taste
Curry Leaves – A Few
Oil for Frying
Water as required
Method to Make the Chekkalu or Thattai
To Make the Dough:
Tear the curry leaves to fine pieces.
Sieve together the rice flour, salt, asafoetida, red chilli powder, and curry leaf pieces.
Heat the ghee or butter till hot.
Pour over the dry mix and mix well.
Add the putnala pappu and roasted udad dal.
Now using a little water, knead into a firm dough.
Cover with a damp cloth.
To Make the Thattai or Chekkalu:
Grease the palms with a little oil.
Divide the dough into 2″ balls.
Flatten each ball into a disc.
With a sharp knife, make small cuts on the surface. Or Use a fork and make some holes.
While you are still shaping the Chekkalu or Thattai, ensure that you keep the ones you made and the dough covered with a damp cloth.
To fry the Thattai or Chekkalu:
In a wok or kadhai, heat enough oil till it is medium hot.
Add a few Thattai or Chekkalu to the oil.
Over a medium flame, fry till golden brown.
Using a slotted spoon, remove from the oil.
Place on paper towels so that the extra oil is absorbed.
Wait till the Chekkalu or Thattai cool to room temperature.