Mohan thal is an Indian sweet which is considered a favourite of Lord Krishna’s. Simply put, it is Mohan ( Lord Krishna) kaa Thal (Food served). Tradionally prepared as a part of bhog for The Lord on Janmashthmi and Diwali, it is a very simple dessert to prepare. Delicious in taste, it takes about 1.5 hours to prepare.
As I have Bal Gopal at my home, this is a sweet which I have learned from my Grand mother & mother and believe me, the little joys of learning from them beat everything. I have added some tips which my grandmother used in order to ensure the best in class taste! Enjoy!
- 31/2 cups coarse gram flour (Besan)
- 2.5 cups powdered sugar
- 250 – 300 ml milk
- 2.5 cups ghee
- chopped dry fruits
- Cardamom powder
- Sift the gram flour properly and take in a broad vessel.
- Heat the milk in a pan. Let it simmer for a while and add about 100 gm of ghee in it. Mix this properly.
- Add the milk and ghee mixture to the flour.Now, mix this the mixture properly with the flour. We don’t want to make a dough. Mix just enough so that granules are formed. Let the mixture cool down for at least 20 mins.(Tip: Do not add the milk and its contents all at once in the gram flour. Keep on adding as required. If it exceeds the required amount then the mixture will result in a dough and we only want granules)
- This mixture has to be sifted now using a sieve. What will be left below are finer and smaller granules. Add the rest of the mixture to a grinder and grind it till you get finer and smaller granules. Take care that you don’t grind it to a complete powder form. A powder form will not help you to get the right bite in the final dessert.
(Tip: You can directly grind the mixture without sieving it provided you have added just the right amount of milk mixture to the flour)
- Now heat the remaining ghee in a pan on a medium flame and after a couple of minutes, add the fine granular mixture that you have prepared and start roasting it. (Side by side, start preparing your sugar syrup – As guided in the next step). This step is very important and it might take a good 30 minutes for you yo get that roasted aroma and for the flour colour to change to a pinkish brown. Ensure that you constantly stir the flour and ghee until you see the ghee leaving the sides and the colour changing. Let it cool for a while till the sugar syrup is ready.
- It is very important that the sugar syrup (chaashni) gets ready by the time the flour gets roasted properly. So as soon as you start roasting the flour mixture, start preparing your sugar syrup on the side. Take a big pan and add the sugar. Add enough water to cover the sugar completely with a little above the sugar layer. Put this on a high flame and keep on checking until the right consistency is met. Switch off the flame as soon as the syrup becomes enough dense so as form a 1.5 thread when tested between two fingers. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes.(Tip: In order to get the perfect consistency, put a drop of the syrup on a plate and tilt the plate on one side. If the drop does not roll down and stays intact then your syrup is ready. Another way to check is to mix about a spoonful of the syrup and the roasted flour mixture in a separate bowl. If you get the desired result then the syrup is done.)
- Once you see the ghee on top, add the saffron, cardamom powder and the dry fruits.
When the sugar syrup and the roasted flour mixture are both ready, add the flour mixture to the sugar syrup. This will help ensure that the syrup does not fall short in quantity. Mix well and let it cool. Pour it into a large dish and tap the dish so that you get a flat surface and the mixture is evenly spread out. Sprinkle dry fruits and saffron on top while it is still hot so that they set in well.Cut it into small pieces with while it is still hot otherwise you won’t be able to get your knife inside once it cools down and turns hard.
Let this cool down for a while and then you can take out the pieces! And lo! your mohanthal is ready to serve!