GUJARATI MAGAS - MAGAJ RECIPE

Magas or Magaj is a very popular authentic Gujarati sweet or mithai made during Diwali. This melt in your mouth fudge is made with roasted gram/chickpea flour, ghee and sugar. This delicious mixture can also be rolled into small balls to make Magas ladoo. Why not also try Stuffed Magas Ladoo for an exciting twist!

You just need 3 main ingredients to make this gluten-free Indian dessert. Here's a fully fool-proof recipe for perfect Magas that you'll keep making again and again!

Overhead shot of square gujarati magas garnished with pisctachio, almond slivers and rose petals


 

GUJARATI MAGAJ/MAGAS RECIPE

Magas or Magaj is Gujarati-style Besan barfi or ladoo, however it's not the same. This sweet and nutty mithai is popular and fondly loved in Gujarati homes, especially by adults. 

This traditional and old age Indian recipe is often passed down through generations of families.

Usually, in Gujarati households traditional sweets or recipes like Magaj are reserved for Diwali, similarly to these crispy yet flaky Sooji (Semolina) Ghughra , spicy crackers Choraphari and melt in your mouth Suwari or Suvari.

Magas or Magas Na Ladoo are prepared on occasions such as Diwali with other Diwali sweet and savoury dishes

It is also a winter delicasy and many families prefer to have these during cold months alongside winter warmers such as Gundar Pak. They help to boost immune syatem and energise the body. Afterall, in Gujarati Magaj means BRAIN :D

Also, in some communities during weddings, Magaj or Mohanthal is made in big quanitities and sent as a gift in big containers from the bride's family to groom's family. 

Magas na ladoo are distributed as prasad (offering) in most Swaminarayan temples for their visitors. 

The recipe of Gujarati magaj always amazes me. How can just three basic ingredients create such magic! Three basic ingredients - chickpea flour, ghee and sugar all come together so well. 

Although the recipe is easy and straight forward with few ingredients, the key of flavoursome and decadent magaj depends on how well is the magas is roasted. 

The flavour and taste of perfect Magas comes from roasting/toasting the flour correctly. Magaj flour must be slow roasted in generous amonuts of pure butter ghee.

Once the flour is roasted in desi ghee, we let it cool a bit, then powdered sugar and warm spices are added, such as cardamom and nutmeg powder. 

The Magas mixture is then left to set in a greased tray or rolled into small balls - these are called Magas Ladoo.  The set Magas is called Tharelo Magas in Gujarati.

You can make in any shape from the mixture, the taste and texture will be the same.

The classical taste and texture of magas is warming and melts in the mouth. However, it is not smooth due to the use of coarse chickpea flour giving it a grainy, nutty quality. It is also dense.  

To achieve proper melt in the mouth texture, do not compromise on ghee otherwise you will not get authentic and traditional magas.

WHY YOU WILL LIKE THIS RECIPE?

✅ Delicious pure vegetarian diwali sweet

✅ Eggless, Gluten-free Indian dessert

✅ Make ahead recipe

✅ Only required 3 basic main ingredients

✅ An authentic recipe from Gujarat

✅ Stays fresh for long


IS MAGAJ SAME AS BESAN BARFI? 

NO, although the ingredients almost the same, there is a diffrence between Gujarati Magas and North Indian style Besan Barfi. The texture and method of making of both mithais are different.

Besan barfi or ladoo is made with fine gram flour (besan) however in Magaj Pak recipe, coarse chickpea flour is used. 

Besan barfi is smooth and made using sugar syrup, whilst magas has grainy texture and sugar is directly added to the roasted flour once it is slightly cooled down retaining the sugar grain. 

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MAGAS AND MOHANTHAL

Magas and Mohanthal both are Gujarati mithai recipe and made with chickpea flour, sugar and ghee.

However, it is vital in making Mohanthal, that sugar syrup and mawa/khoya is used and same time it is also vital that in making Magas just caster or powdered sugar must be used else the final product won't turn out how it should be. 


INGREDIENTS FOR AUTHENTIC GUJARATI MAGAS/MAGAJ

This irresistable and old fashioned mithai will only require 3 main ingredients, that creates magic! The rest of the ingredients added just enhances the look and flavour. It is toally up to you if you want to keep it simple or as eloborate as you like. 

1. Magaj flour - this flour is basically coarse chickpea flour. It is easily available from Indian grocery stores in UK and USA. Some companies sell it as Maghaj flour/Magaz flour, some call it Ladu Besan. If it is not available in your area, see tips below.

2. Ghee - in this recipe, ghee plays vital role and one shold not reduce the amount of it if you want your magas to be perfect. Pure butter desi ghee is recommended for authentic taste, homemade is much better but shopbought will do the job too. 

3. Sugar - we'll need powdered sugar (not icing sugar with corn starch neither regular sugar). Do not use brown or coconut sugar, the taste will differ. See tip below how to make powdered sugar at home.

4. Spices - cardamom and nutmeg powder (optional)

5. Nuts - Pistachio and almond slivers for decorations. (optional)


TOP TIPS TO FOLLOW FOR PERFECT GUJARATI MAGAJ RECIPE

➨Toasting gramflour for magaj - like I mentioned above, it is crucial to take your time slow roasting the flour as this can make or break how well the magaj turns out. Keep the heat very low and stir. The flour may brown quickly on high heat but will stay be raw and have bitterness. We want to achieve a terracotta colour of the flour.

➨ If you can't find coarse chickpea flour, you can make coarse texture flour from regular besan (gram flour) . To shorten the flour add warm milk and ghee in the flour. Mix it with your fingers, cover it and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then pass it through the medium hole size seive to create a grainy texture, use this in the recipe.

➨ Use fresh ghee if possible to make it. 

➨ Propportion of ghee and sugar should be equal. 

➨ Don't let the roasted flour cool down for too long, but add powdered sugar whilst slightly warm. 

A plateful of gujarati magas next to diwali diya


SERVING SUGGESTION

Magas is a confectionary and diwali sweet, thus it can be enjoyed any of these times as a snack. During Diwali we love to enjoy with savoury snacks like Kenyan style Chevdo/Chevro, Ratlami Sev , Farsi Khaman Poori and many other delicious Diwali snacks. 

Also, it can be served in a Gujarati thali among other dishes if preparing for any religous event. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Magas won't set or how to fix dry magas mix?

If your magaj is not setting or it is crumbly,  you may have not added enough ghee, or left the toasted flour longer to cool. In this case add more ghee, and slightly warm and set it again or quickly make roll into small balls to make ladoo

How to fix loose Magas?

If your magas is very loose and not setting, you may have added sugar whilst the mixture was quite warm or added extra ghee. To fix, simply dry roast some besan and mix it in the mixture, then set it again. 

Why does my Magas have ghee on the surface?

This happens if you have added too much ghee to the recipe. 

How to make vegan Magaj recipe?

To make vegan magas, simply replace the ghee in this recipe with vegan butter or coconut oil. In this recipe no other dairy ingredients are used so it is really simple to veganise. 

Is Magas gluten free?

Magas or Magaj recipe is naturally gluten-free recipe since it is made using chickpea flour. However, always check the packging for more details or warnings for allergies. 

How long can I keep magas for?

Magas stays fresh for more than 4 weeks since there is no moisture used in the preparation. Store magas or magaj ladoo in an airtight container and keep it at room temerature. 

No need to keep it in the refrigerator. 

Can you freeze Magaj?

Yes, Magaj freezes well. Make sure to pack them in the air tight and freezer proof containers. They stay well upto 3 months. Defrost at room temeparture before consuming. 


HOW TO MAKE MAGAS OR MAGAJ

There are three main steps in making Magas recipe. 

1. Toasting the chickpea flour (magaj flour)

2. Cool the toasted flour-adding sugar and spices

3. Allow to set 

Toasting chickpea flour for Magaj

The first step to make magaj is to toast coarse chickpea flour in copious amount of ghee. The toasting defines the quality of this chickpea flour fudge. It is a very important step

Combine ghee and flour in a wide mouth pan or kadai. Roast on low heat and constantly keep stirring. Once the magas mixture starts frying, every 7-8 minutes the flour will change it's colour from pale creamy to light pinkish then nice toasted brown. 

Also, you'll be able to see a diffrent texture. Once the flour start frying, it will go from thick to runny, then bubbly, then frothy as moisture evoprates. This takes a good total 45-50 minutes.

Cool the toasted flour

The second important step to allow the toasted magas flour to cool before adding powdered sugar. If you add whilst hot, sugar will release the water, and it will melt causing the mixture to get runny. The taste and texture of magas will be differ. If it gets too cold, it won't set. 

The mixture should be just warm that you can touch it with your fingers without it being too hot. This is the perfect time to add the sugar.

Allow to set 

Once you have added the sugar, quickly add cardamom and nutmeg powder if using. Combine well and spoon the mixture into the greased tray or thali. Spread evenly using a spatula. Ganish it with slivers of nuts if you want (this won't add any taste but looks quite fancy and good) 

HOMMADE GUJARATI MAGAS RECIPE STEP-BY-STEP

Prepare the ingredients list above and follow theses step by step instructions to make this decendent Magaj recipe. Correct measurements in the recipe card below. 

1. Add ghee in a kadai and heat.

2. Add magas flour.

3. Roast on low heat. 

Gujarati magas in the making. Ghee in pan with flour and stirring the mixture

4. It will change its colour from pale cream to light pink.

5. From light pinj to light tericotta.

6. Tericotta colour achieved, turn off the heat. Let it cool, then add sugar.

Overhead shot of magaj ladoo mixture in a pan.

7. Mix well, add cardamom and nutmeg powder.

8. Set in a greased or lined tray.

9. Once totally cooled and set firm, cut into desired shape using sharp knife. 


Three images of step by step instruction on how to make magaj recipe

A very close up shot of a one square piece of Magas on a decorative metal plate



IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE

...you might also like our other Diwali sweets/mithai/desserts recipes

1. Pumpkin Kalakand 

2. Almond butter Barfi Bars

3. Easy Peanut Katli

4. 19 Best Barfi-peda recipes

5. Badam Besan Ka Halwa

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magas, magas recipe, magas ladoo, magaj recipe, magaj ladoo, gujarati magas, easy diwali recipe, tharelo magas , gluten-free indian dessert
dessert, snack
Indian Gujarati
Yield: 12-15 PIECES
Author: Hayley Dhanecha
GUJARATI MAGAS/MAGAJ LADOO

GUJARATI MAGAS/MAGAJ LADOO

Magas or Magaj is a very popular authentic Gujarati sweet or mithai made during Diwali. This melt in your mouth fudge is made with roasted gram/chickpea flour, ghee and sugar. This delicious mixture can also be rolled into small balls to make Magas ladoo.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 40 MinInactive time: 6 H & 45 MTotal time: 7 H & 30 M

Ingredients   

Magas
  • 500 gram coarse chickpea flour (magaj flour)*
  • 250 gram homemade ghee**
  • 250g powdered sugar***
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
Garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon almond slivers
  • 2 tablespoon pistachio slivers

Instructions

  1. In a heavy base wide mouth pan or kadai (non-stick pan will work too) heat ghee on low heat.
  2. Add coarse chickpea flour and fry the flour till golden and fragrant. 
  3. Check the video for refrence. It can take at least 30-35 minutes. 
  4. Make sure you keep the heat low all the time. 
  5. Once done, turn off the heat. 
  6. Either transfer it into the another bowl or plate OR keep stirring the mixture for another 7-8 minutes in the same pan (make sure the heat is turned off)
  7. Once it is cool enough to touch, add powdered sugar, cardamom and nutmeg powder.
  8. Mix well, if you want set magas (tharelo magas) then spoon it into the greased tray, spread it evenly. 
  9. If you want to make ladoo, let the mixture sit another half an hour after mixing it with sugar. 
  10. Let the magas set for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  11. Then cut it into square shape using a sharp knife. 
  12. Store it in the air tight container for 2-3 weeks. 

Notes:

*Magaj flour is easily available in the Indian grocery stores.

** For traditional and authentic taste use homemade desi ghee.

*** Make powdered sugar at home by grinding regular suagr into the grinder till you get fine powder sugar.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

438.04

Fat (grams)

24.61

Sat. Fat (grams)

13.31

Carbs (grams)

45.51

Fiber (grams)

4.79

Net carbs

40.73

Sugar (grams)

25.02

Protein (grams)

9.85

Sodium (milligrams)

37.45

Cholesterol (grams)

53.33

The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.

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Note- This Magas/Magaj recipe has been updated from our recipe archives with new images and content. First published on 30th October 2013. 





8 comments

  1. Awesome looking magaj setting the tone for Diwali.
    Deepa

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, this looks so tasty, Jagruti! Can anything not taste delicious with so much butter? And I love the use of the nuts and cardamom together with the nutmeg...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Try powdered sugar instead. It makes for a luxuriously silky texture.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for posting this. My Gran would make magas every Diwali. I would always help her make it but I never wrote the recipe down. When she passed away I would crave magas but nobody made it like my Grans as i think people we for short cuts and did not use the whole method. When i say this recipe it and it said about using a sieve i knew it was on the right lines and my Gran used this technique. I tried it out and although my Grans was much better I have to say my effort is not bad at all even if i do say so myself.

    So thank you very much for sharing this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, Thank you very much for visiting JCO. I hope you enjoyed making it and it is nice to read that this recipe reminds you of your Gran. If it came any way near your grands method then I am so happy that you liked it. Obviously in the beginning it is trial and error but with more practise maybe we can achieve like your gran used to make.
      Wishing you a very happy Diwali !

      Delete
  5. These look wonderful and I love the way you have presented this recipe with masses of vibrant photos it gives it a great feel of Diwali. That is one of the things we miss in coming to live in France, being able to get authentic Indian produce or even being able to go out now and again for a traditional Indian meal. I shall have a go at making these, we regularly eat gram savoury pancakes and I'm always looking for new ideas for using this delicious flour.
    Wishing you all the very best for Diwali, Sue

    ReplyDelete

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