Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Lachko Mohanthal - Indian Chickpea flour Pudding #diwalisweets # Mithai #yummy #diwalispecial

I am not an overly a religious person, I do not like to talk constantly about any religion or do not  like to take part in too many religious ceremonies or activities, neither I do believe in making big donations to any religious organizations or can remember many full Bhajans or Aartis . Lol, I do not fill our diya with lots of ghee either.  However, I do visit religious buildings for interest and definitely I enjoy it's history, art and talent.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong whether one is an atheist or not, as long as you put humanity before any religion and do not become Kattarpanthi ( fanatic ) and always to have one's way on the name of religion.

Maybe I do not make regular visits to temple or don't keep fast on each and every festival, I still firmly believe that traditions and some rituals are important for a family as long as those belief do not upset or harm anyone, and they provide numerous benefits to the family and to our younger generations ! However I do not go overboard, just pick up few and believe that quality beats to quantity. Not necessarily traditions and rituals has to be religious.  Surely do not try to force or create more stress than joy.

These rituals, traditions and customs creates long lasting memories for everyone and also builds bridges between older and younger generations. Family bond gets stronger, gives comfort and security to us and works as antidote in our worried and fast paced life where we are growing 'Super Children'. It teaches values whether they are religious or secular and it adds some kind of rhythm as you pass down the culture, religious history and some fun filled family traditions to our next generations. Traditions and rituals when they are done rightly,  lends happiness, harmony and magic into our everyday lives.

I have been lucky that I grew up in a family and settled in a family where religion and cast system never was our first priority, but traditions, culture and rituals always plays a big role in our life. There are few traditions passed down from generations in our family, and to perform them in my own home with my own family gives me great pleasure same time makes me nostalgic. To pass down benefits of Nostalgia to our next generations, I need to stock up 'Nostalgia Repository' and there is no other way to fill that repository other than by making and maintaining meaningful traditions, family customs and history and heritage.

And Festival Diwali conjures up a lot of family traditions and Diwali Pujan is one of the tradition and rituals passed down from my parents and grandparents that really drives home the importance of gratitude, we perform pooja to thank God, ( Maa Laxmi ) how grateful we are that we have roof on our head and food to eat. Also we go and watch one Movie during Diwali period, this year we have already seen SPECTRE  planned to watch 'PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO' , purely for to see traditional, colourful and  glamorous dresses :)

My mum and grandparents were specific about offering prasad on Diwali Poojan, it has to be something made with Chickpea flour, either it could be Mohanthal or Magas and that too homemade. And same rituals I follow now too, no matter how many other sweets or Mithai I prepare for Diwali celebrations, but prasad would be Mohanthal or Magas.

This Diwali I prepared Thor and Habshi halwa, they were delicious ! There was a lot of nice words I did get to hear for Thor, One of my daughter's friend said that to everyone 'Thor was the food of gods' ! Also it was praised that 'Thor is one of the finest Mithai that you've made' !
I would say traditions and rituals also keeps traditional and authentic recipes floating in our lives and on our menus. So this year with keeping family tradition in mind , I prepared 'Lachko Mohanthal' 'Lachko means thick and smooth' same ingredients and method, instead of set pieces, Lachko Mohanthal is scoop with a spoon and served warm in a bowl.

I've been told by elders that Mohanthal was Lord Krishna's favourite sweet , that is why it's called Mohanthal as Lord Krishna was (aka) Mohan ! Everything and anything I need to know to prepare Mohanthal, I learnt from my Mum, I would watch like a hawk as soon as Mum starts preparing Mohanthal from very first step when she would make Dhabo in Chickpea flour to the last step when she would pour Mohanthal mix in a greased plate to set. Oh yes, also I would take great care to keep an eye on that plate whether Mohanthal set or not.

Many thinks that to get Mohanthal right it's not an easy job, yes I agree, to whirl  up right consistency sugar syrup ( chasani ) and not to make any mistakes while roasting chick pea flour is no child play, but if you can fetch lots of patience, little bit of confidence ( sometime over confidence does not work ) and accuracy in measurements, will not stop you in making and succeeding this recipe.

Lachko Mohanthal is as tasty and delicious as set Mohanthal, warm Mohanthal gives that unique aroma and flavour. Ingredients and methods are same too, only little change in making sugar syrup ( Chasni ) for Lachko Mohanthal chasni should be just like Gulab Jamun consistency.

Notes :-
Besan will work as well, if you can not find coarse chick pea flour.      

You will need :-

  • 1 cup coarse chick pea flour 
  • 2 tbsp melted desi ghee
  • 1-2 tbsp lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup Desi Ghee
  • 1/2 cup homemade khoya or Mawa
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg powder
  • Pinch javentri powder
  • Few saffron threads
  • 2-3 tbsp. almond and pistachio slivers
Method :-
Place chick pea flour in a bowl, add melted ghee and warm milk. 
Mix gently and leave it aside for half an hour. ( This procedure call Dhabo devo )
Rub chickpea flour mixture with your fingertips to make crumbly.
Sieve chickpea flour mixture in special mohantaal sieve. 
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat 1/4 cup desi ghee and roast chickpea flour for at least 35-40 mins on a very low heat until a roasting aroma is reached and the flour should be a light brown colour.  DO NOT BE HASTY during this step.
After roasting, add grated mawa or khoya to mixture and roast for a further 7-8 mins. 
Meanwhile start making the sugar syrup on medium heat, by placing sugar and water in a pan.
As soon as sugar dissolves properly switch of the heat.
Gently pour the sugar syrup and saffron into roasted Mohanthal mixture and keep stirring.
Switch off the heat, but keep continue stirring.
After 3-4 minutes you will see mixture getting thicker.
Add cardamom, nutmeg and javentri powder, mix well.
Let it cool for couple of minutes.
Serve in a serving bowl and garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
Enjoy ! 


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