Friday 17 February 2012

Mohan Thal

I have met more Gujaratis in London than I had in India. This one came about in a divine way. We were headed to Southend-on-Sea for the Ganesh visarjan. P & I were the coach volunteers(how that came about is another story! Some other day, perhaps) & we had to ensure that all the devotees travelled safely from the temple to the sea coast & no one followed Ganapati Bappa into the sea.

Southend-on-Sea is a seaside resort in Essex,England. The Southend Pier is the longest pier in the world & breathtakingly beautiful. So excited were we at this outing that we forgot to carry food for the 46 miles journey. It was a 90 mins bus travel, we had started at 7am & our stomachs were growling. Before we knew it, the food packs started coming out. And by the time we reached the seaside, we had tasted more Gujarati cuisine in that one hour than in our entire life! Miracles happen to us because we believe in them.

That was when I first ate Mohan Thal. And immediately fell in love with it. Out came the writing pad & pen and the recipe religiously noted. Thank you Aunty whose name I do not know but who has left this sweet mark on my canvas. Traditionally, this sweet is made as a bhog for Bhagwan Krishna. Hence the name.                                                             

1. Besan(gram flour)- 1cup
2. Sugar- 1 cup
3. Water- 3/4 cup 
4. Milk- 1/2 cup
5. Ghee- 1/2cup
6. Khoya- 1/2 cup
7. Chopped Cashewnuts- 6-8
8. Chopped Almonds- 6-8

How to :

1. Make sugar syrup by boiling water sugar in water. Keep it as one tar syrup.  Test to see that the syrup makes  a wire between the forefinger & thumb.

 Let the syrup cool while you go on to the next step.                                                 

2. Heat ghee in a kadai & fry the besan on medium flame till a roasted aroma wafts.

  Fry the khoya along with the besan in the last 5 minutes.

3. Add milk to the besan & mix well. Stir till milk is soaked up in the besan khoya mixture.

4. Add the cold sugar syrup to the besan & stir till smooth, thick consistency. 
5. Add the cardamom powder & half the dry fruit & mix well. 

   Leave the rest of the dry fruit for garnish.  
 6. Spread out the sweet on a greased thali & garnish with the remaining dry fruit. Roll out with a greasy rolling pin for a smooth surface.

   Allow cooling.

7. Cut out in square/diamond shape & serve.

Insight: Mohan Thal has a shelf life of about 15 days. Prepare in advance before a function & delight your guests.

If you are lucky, you will be left with some till the Mohan Thal solidifies.
If not, thank Mohan that you have a family that relishes your cooking so much that you are left only with the thal.
Either way, you are blessed.

Monday is Shivratri. If you are not fasting,why not make what Krishna loves. After all, there is ONE God. Besan, considered anna, is not used as for bhog for Shiva.
Arpita, are you making this?

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