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
- 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.
- Set aside.
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.
- Mix well.
- 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.