The ultimate Diwali mithai, Gujarati Mohanthal! This recipe contains mawa or khoya to create proper crumbly Mohanthal that is as good as kandoi or mithai shops. This style of Mohanthal is readily found in temples and in Havelis (Vaishnav temples) around the world.

Gujarati style chickpea flour fudge stacked on a plate



Mohanthal is a rich Indian sweet primarily made from chickpea flour or gram flour. It has a nutty, aromatic and warming flavour with a special grainy texture. 

This particular mohanthal is set into squares but you can also prepare dhilo (loose) or lachko mohanthal that can be enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream or lachha rabdi

My Grandma was always the Mohanthal maker in her household and she passed the skill down to my Mum who is a fantastic cook and the mithai maker in our family. I've learnt and am still learning from the BEST. 

My Mum as always loved good mohanthal, and she is so particular about its taste, texture and shape. Yes shape too! Mohanthal should be in square tall cubes and not in thin slices. Also, she loves (being a Vaishnav) the haveli no mohanthal which is considered to be BEST! 

I recently attempted Mohanthal myself for the first time and thanks to my Grandma's fool-proof recipe, the Mohanthal turned out perfectly. We actually ate more than half that day!

The recipe hails from Gujarat in India and there are some features of Mohanthal that make it specifically unique to there. Mohanthal is also prepared in Rajasthan too. 

These are the distinct features of good Gujarati Mohanthal

  • The Mohanthal should be thick and have height
  • The colour should be similar to terracotta
  • The addition of Mace powder is a MUST for Gujarati Mohanthal

There are some similarities but also obvious differences between Indian sweets that are made with gram flour.

Mohanthal served on a plate

Kandoi style Gujarati Mohanthal

✔️Lord Krishna's favourite, thus offered as prasad in temples and Havelis. 

✔️Gluten-free dessert 

✔️Exquisite and delicious 

✔️A classic and foolproof recipe

✔️Make-ahead dessert 

✔️Crowd pleasure 

✔️Can be store for a long time

Don't you agree that the world's best desserts are made only using basic ingredients? Chickpea flour, ghee and sugar considered very basic ingredients but mix them together and see what magic you can create ... 

Besan ladoo 

Besan halwa

Ghotma ladoo

Meethi Boondi or ladoo 

Mysore pak

Besan barfi 


Difference between Mohanthal and Magas

Mohanthal and Magas/Magaj have the same ingredients, however, the method of preparation is slightly different/ Mohanthal is made with sugar syrup but in magas, we don't make a sugar syrup but use caster sugar directly. 

In Magas, we don't add mawa.

Both these differences do impart a unique taste to each sweet, so it is worth noticing the differences. 

Difference between Mohanthal and Besan Barfi

Mohanthal is danedar (grainy) and crumbly. 

In besan barfi, we do not "shorten" the besan flour first (the first method where we mix and rub together besan and ghee). Besan barfi has a smoother texture and has a melt-in-mouth feel. 

Besan barfi is a golden colour and not a reddish/brown like mohanthal. 

Indian sweet Mohanthal garnished with almond slivers

When to serve Mohanthal

Mohanthal is mostly known as a Diwali sweet, and must in our house every Diwali that never forgotten or lost in a variety of other dishes. 

In Gujrat, it will also be served at weddings, in temples, and other religious occasions. 

Mohanthal Ingredients 

This list includes all ingredients you will need to make Mohanthal and also includes variations/tips for each of the ingredients

Gram flour - aka chickpea flour or besan. We have used the fine variety of gram flour for this recipe. If you use coarse gram flour, then you can skip the initial step of "shortening" or "Dharbo/Dhabo Devo" and roast the flour directly. 

Ghee - we have used homemade ghee. If you use shop-bought ghee, you may find that you need to use more ghee than we have used. 

Milk - we used whole milk. You can use semi-skimmed milk too

Sugar - we have used granulated white sugar to make the sugar syrup

Mawa/Khoya - We have used homemade mawa. If you do not use or have mawa, then add the equivalent of extra ghee. 

Mawa makes Mohanthal moist and soft and gives a creaminess. This is more common in Rajasthani Mohanthal but is definitely used in the Gujarati recipe too - particulaly areas of Gujarat that border Rajasthan. 

Cardamom Powder to flavour the sweets.

Mace Powder - a must for Gujarati Mohanthal, it lends the distinct and unique taste for Gujarati Mohanthal. 

Saffron - we used some saffron threads.

Slivered nuts - we have used pistachio and slivered almonds. You can add other nuts should you wish.

Mohanthal served in a metal plate

How to make the best Mohanthal + Tips


  • Whenever you try new dishes, make in small quantity to begin with, but keep extra ingredients of the same recipe on the side, so if any mishaps whilst making the dish occur, you can use those ingredients to salvage it.
  • Always use quality and pure ingredients to yield excellent results.
  • Warm ghee and milk should be used to laminate the flour - cold ghee and milk will not give the same texture that is required
  • Use heavy-based pan or kadai that is wide, so you can stir the mixture freely and less chance of the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan. 
  • Roast the flour properly on low heat. High heat will burn the flour but will still taste raw, so patience is best here!
  • Stir continuously so the flour roasts uniformly. 
  • Besan will initially go thick, then as the moisture disappears, the mixture will froth (see video).
  • When the flour has set, you'll be left with a silken mixture with a terracotta colour.
  • If the sugar syrup isn't cooked properly, you may get chewy Mohanthal.
  • Do not compromise on using ghee but using too much will cause issues too, so stick to the given amount. 

How to prepare Sugar Syrup for Mohanthal 

A very important and crucial part of the recipe, this can really make or break the mohanthal.   If it is undercooked then mohanthal won't set,  if overcooked it will turn rock solid. 

Place a drop of sugar syrup between your thumb and index finger and slowly pull your fingers apart - we are looking for a 1 1/2 string/thread consistency. 

If you end up overcooking, then add a little water and do not cook for longer. 

If using a cooking candy thermometer, go for around 102/105C. 

square cubes of mohanthal

How to set Mohanthal?

If the Mohanthal doesn't set, the sugar syrup may be undercooked in which case, you can recook the Mohanthal in a pan again. Once the mixture leaves the side of the pan, it has now cooked. 

The Mohanthal will set best at room temperature, so leave it on the worktop away from direct sunlight. 

If your Mohanthal is hard, it may be because the sugar syrup is overcooked. In this case, grate the pieces using a cheese grater, add some ghee and water and cook again, however, can't be guaranteed that you'll have the best Mohanthal but at least is edible. 

How to cut set Indian Mithai?

Usually, we set the sweets such as barfi, chikki and mohanthal in a greased tray, but when we cut it it always so difficult to take out an entire batch in neat pieces. 

To combat that, lay a greaseproof or butter paper in a greased tray or baking dish, keep the paper longer, so you can lift out easily from the tray and then cut.

Vegan and sugar-free Mohanthal 

Although, a true classic mohanthal recipe is best when used dairy products, changing times have influenced our approaches when one wants to avoid dairy due to various reasons.

Replace ghee with vegan butter or ghee (known as vegetable ghee or dalda). Use any plant milk for Dharbo step, (for gluten-free version use any nut or rice milk) and skip khoya or use soya milk powder.

To make refined sugar free Mohanthal, one can use Jaggery or for sugar-free other sweeteners such as stevia that is natural with zero calories. (please note that using Jaggery does not make Mohanthal sugar free)


Mohanthal stays fresh up to one month at room temperature. Keep it in an airtight container. As the days pass you may notice the texture of mohanthal will harden that's normal. 


Follow this step by step TUTORIALS, for the exact measurements in cups and grams check out the recipe card below.

Mohanthal needs patience, skill and experience. But using this recipe, I can guarantee that you can make this with so much confidence and ease. 

Mohanthal preparation happens in a few different steps so do not skip those steps to achieve that perfect Mithai - wallah style grainy and oh-so-delicious Mohanthal. 

First step Dhabo/Dharbo (laminating the flour)

Dhabo/Dharbo devo is a Gujarati word to laminate the flour. 

First, take besan in a big and wide plate. Add warm milk and ghee, and mix it with a spoon or hands. Make sure all the liquid is nicely absorbed into the flour, just the way you rub butter and flour to make basic pastry or crumble. 

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. 

This step ensures you crumbly pieces to achieve that danedar or grainy textured mohanthal. 

Next, take a not too fine or large hole sieve and sift or pass through 'Dharbo' flour. You may have to give little extra pressure on the grains. (if you don't have a sieve, carefully grind the 'Dharbo' flour in the coffee grinder but make sure to keep a coarse mixture). 

Second Step to cook the Dhabo/Dharbo (crumbly flour)

Optional - Mix water and sugar in a pan and leave it aside to make chasni later. 

Heat ghee in a kadai , add sifted flour and start roasting the flour. Keep heat on low to medium and stir the mixture all the time.

Once the mixture combines, it will go thicken and you may slightly find it difficult to stir, not to worry keep going (little work out for your biceps right?)

After 8-10 minutes you'll see mixture getting thinner and frothy because whatever moisture is in the flour is reducing at this stage. (remember you have used milk, and milk has water in it)

Keep stirring, the mixture will start turning beige then pinkish to almost caramel or almond skin colour. This process will take another 7-8 minutes or more (keep heat low) 

Once the flour is roasted, automatically the froth will go down, Turn off the heat.

Add khoya or mawa and mix well, mawa doesn't need too much heat, in hot flour mixture it will cook automatically. 

Remove the pan from the heat, but still keep stirring as pan stays hot and it may burn the mixture or you can remove it into another plate. 

Add cardamom, mace and saffron threads to flavour the mohanthal and mix well to incorporate. At this stage, the mixture should be like loose halwa but not stiff. 

Thrid step to make sugar syrup (CHASHNI)

Mix water and sugar in a pan, bring it to boil on medium heat. Cook the syrup until it reaches one and half 1 1/2 thread consistency. Turn off the heat straight away. If using food colour add now and mix.

Fourth step to set and cut the mohanthal

As soon as sugar syrup is done, carefully add in the roasted flour mixture and mix well. 

Once the mixture is properly mixed, pour and spread evenly it into the greased tray or thali and gently press it using a spatula. 

Sprinkle slivered nuts and apply silver varq if using. 

Leave it aside to set it, it will take approximately from 2 hours to 8 hours (depends on the weather) but do not need to put it in the refrigerator to set. 

Once set cut into CHOSLA ( Gujarati word for square cubes) carefully using a sharp knife.

Store in the air-tight container for up to one month. No need to refrigerate. 


Other Diwali mithai/sweets recipes 

mohanthal, gujarati, indian sweets, mithai, diwali recipes, kandoi style mithai
Yield: 20-22 PIECES
Author: Hayley Dhanecha


The ultimate Diwali mithai, Gujarati Mohanthal! This recipe contains mawa or khoya to create proper crumbly Mohanthal that is as good as kandoi or mithai shops. This style of Mohanthal is readily found in temples and in Havelis (Vaishnav temples) around the world.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 35 Mininactive time: 20 MinTotal time: 1 Hour


  • 2 big wide plates
  • Spatula 
  • Sieve
  • Kadai
  • Pan 
  • Tray to set the Mohanthal 
  • Parchment paper
  • Cups/Scale 
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 1/2 cup / 300g regular white sugar
  • 1 cup / 250ml tap water 
  • 1/8 tsp. food colour orange/yellow (optional)
Mohanthal - 1 CUP = 250ML
  • 2 1/2 cup chickpea flour-besan 281g
  • 1 1/4 cup ghee 275 G /310 ml
  • 1 cup khoya 200g 
  • 60ml whole milk 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp. mace powder
  • Big pinch saffron
  • 3-4 tbsp. almond and pistachio slivers


Dhabo/Dharbo or Laminating the flour
  1. Take besan in a big and wide plate, then add 1/4 cup melted ghee and warm milk. 
  2. Mix it with spoon/fork or with your fingertips.
  3. Leave it aside for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Mix water and sugar in a pan and leave it aside to make chasni later - optional 
Fry the Dhabo/Dharbo mixture
  1. Sieve dhabo chickpea flour mixture in a special Mohanthal sieve or medium hole sieve. 
  2. The majority of crumbs should be just larger than mustard seeds. 
  3. Heat 1 cup ghee in a kadai or pan, make sure it has a thick base.
  4. Add sieved flour, and start stirring. Keep heat LOW. 
  5. At this stage, the mixture will be thick, but that's fine. Keep stirring all the time.
  6. After 8-10 minutes it will start to loosen and you will see there will be a little change in colour. 
  7. Also, there will be a roasting flour aroma starts too. 
  8. After 12-15 minutes the flour will go frothy, almost like a honeycomb mixture and flour gets darker in colour too. 
  9. Once the flour roasted properly, the froth will go down, around 22-25 minutes. At this stage, the mixture should be terracotta colour.
  10. Turn off the heat, but keep stirring.
  11. Add khoya and mix well.
  12. Then add saffron, cardamom and mace powder. Mix
  13. Take it away from heat and leave it aside to cool.
Sugar syrup/Chasni
  1. Put the sugar and water mix pan on the stove, keep the heat on medium flame.
  2. Mix it with a spatula and dissolve the sugar.
  3. Bring it to boil, stir in between.
  4. Around 5-7 minutes the syrup will get sticky.
  5. 10-12 minutes you'll see one thread chasni ( see video)
  6. 13-14 minutes you'll have 1 1/2 thread chasni.
  7. Turn off the and add food colour if using.
  8. Mix well.
Set the Mohanthal
  1. Carefully pour the chasni into the roasted flour mixture.
  2. Stir well to incorporate everything.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tray or thali. 
  4. Sprinkle nuts slivers and let it set.
  5. It will take approximately 2-4 hours to set, it may take longer as 10 hours too, depends on the weather. Do not rush to cut it.
  6. Once set properly cut into square cubes. 
  7. Store in the airtight container. 


Check Tips and tricks above in the post. If not using parchment paper, grease the tray or thali with ghee.



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  1. Beautiful photographs and great recipe. I love Mohanthal but never knew that making it at home will be this easy. I am so glad that I discovered your recipe before Diwali, will definitely make it for Diwali.

    1. Thank you Vandana! Let us now how you get on.

  2. I have always loved Mohanthal and looking at your pics you took me years back into my Mom's kitchen.
    Your mohanthal has come out perfect with lovely texture and beautiful colour.

    1. Than you Lata! I've seen my Mum making every Diwali and this year I made it, I'm pretty happy with the results :)

  3. The mohanthal looks picture perfect Hayley! Your mu must be so proud of you. The rich color and the texture indicate how deep and yummy the flavor must be!

  4. I make mohanthal every year on Janmashtami and Gowardhan puja. Yours looks so delicious amd perfectly done. Can imagine the taste of this fudge with mava going in. Beautiful photographs as always !

  5. I miss the times when for weddings one could enjoy Gur na Ladwa, Mohanthal, barfi churmu. Nowadays its all the non Gujarati sweets like rasmalai and fusion desserts. You've made the mohanthal perfectly Hayley. You've learnt from the best.

    1. Thank you Mayuri for stopping by. Yes, my mum also has same views as yours. Sad to see this pattern.

  6. So well explained hayley. Loved reading the entire process! Sweets made with so much love and care always turns out brillaint.!! Would love to try this recipe later sometime!! Thanks for the detailed share! And as usual gorgeous gorgeous pictures!

  7. ahaaa what a lovely sweet you have shared here. he texture if these mohanthal looks so delectable.
    Nice info regarding the diff between besan barfi and this too.

  8. Sweets have always been my weak point and when they are made with such a charm and presented so beautifully, it becomes more hard to resist myself.
    Literally drooling over mohanthal.

  9. Your pictures literally had me gazing at your post for few minutes before I could even read the recipe. I love Mohanthal more than besan burfi. Thanks for explaining in detail the difference between the two.


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