My earliest memories of Diwali are those of a diya and mandana (the rangoli from Rajasthan) decorated home and big thaalis (large plates) of Besan chakki put to set a night prior to Chhoti Diwali/Roop chaudas. Also called besan burfee and Mohanthal, this is a rich and festive must-do confection for Holi and Diwali in my family. The recipe has been in my mother’s family for generations!
So here goes
Besan/gram flour- 1 kg
Desi Ghee- 1 kg
Khoy/maawa,grated – 1 kg
Sugar- 1 kg
Cardamom, powdered- 1 tbsp
Slivered almonds- ½ cup
Water- to knead the besan
Add water gradually to the besan to knead a medium firm dough. Take pinches off the dough and flatten to make dumplings/muthiyas.
Heat the ghee and fry then muthiyas on a medium flame for about 10 minutes.
Break the muthiyas and grind them in the mixer.
Meanwhile prepare sugar syrup with a kilo of sugar and with just enough water to cover the sugar (I added 220 mils). Make syrup of 1 ½ string consistency. To check the string consistency, dip a dry spoon in the syrup, wait for about 20 seconds and swipe your index finger on the spoon. Touch your thumb to your index finger repeatedly and see the strings that form. One clear string and a few small strings mean 1 ½ string sugar syrup.
After the khoya and the besan mixture is well blended, (about 10 minutes after adding the khoya) turn off the heat.
Add the sugar syrup, cardamom powder and mix well.
Transfer to thaalis/ plates and top with slivered almonds.
Leave to set overnight.
Cut into desired shapes and serve.
The above measurements make about three kilos of besan burfees and these stay good without refrigeration for up to a fortnight.
Happy Diwali 😀