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A Sweet Fit for the Gods
Indian sweets are known all over the world for their delicious taste and variety. As a country of sweet lovers, all we need is an excuse to eat them on any and every occasion – be it festivals, birthdays, or just another ordinary day. Sweets, or mithais as they are popularly known, are relished before, during, or after a meal. They are also served to guests with tea or coffee and children are often caught in the act of stealing them any time of the day! We offer them as prasad during our prayers, gift them to friends and relatives on special occasions, and eat them to celebrate an event. With such fondness for sweets, it is no wonder that each state in the country has its lavish spread of mithais typical to the region and competes with other states in taste, quality, and originality.
The western state of Gujarat is known for its staggering array of savoury snacks and its sweets. From namkeens or farsans to desserts such as ghugra and shrikhand, the locals of this state are justifiably proud of the huge variety of lip-smacking fare available on every corner at every street. Mohanthal is a popular sweet made in Gujarat as well as its neighbouring desert state, Rajasthan. Named after Lord Krishna, or Mohan as he is fondly referred to at times, this sweet is usually bright orange – said to be the favourite colour of one of India’s most popular and revered deities. Mohanthal is a type of barfi – a dense, milk-based sweet. Some varieties of mohanthal are darker in colour, depending on the manufacturer and the region where they are made.
This rich and delectable sweet is prepared with gram flour or besan, pure clarified butter or ghee, milk, sugar, with aromatic spices such as nutmeg (optional) and green cardamom added for good measure. Blanched and chopped nuts such as almonds as well as pistachios are often used as garnish – lending it contrast, more flavour, as well as texture. Saffron gives it that bright and vibrant colour. Mohanthal sweet is indeed a labour of love and requires patience and skill to prepare. It is not unusual to see huge pots of steaming hot mohanthal being stirred at the neighbouring sweet shop early in the morning on your way to the park for jogging.
The name and the recipe for this very popular sweet may vary from region to region. While it is widely known as mohanthal in most parts of North India, it is commonly called mohanlal in the southern part of the country. The basic ingredients and preparation are more or less the same. First a sugar syrup is made by adding cold water to sugar and cooking over a low flame so that it does not come to a boil or caramelise and turn brown. When it reaches a thick consistency, it is ready to be mixed with the gram flour and ghee mix. In the meantime, thickened milk or mawa is cooked over low heat until it is crumbly in texture. Then pure ghee is warmed on slow fire and the gram flour is added to it gradually. This mixture is roasted till it becomes light golden brown – all the while mixing it so that it does not burn or darken. At this stage, the cardamom and nutmeg are added and the mixture is removed from fire. The now ready sugar syrup is added to the dry blend and mixed carefully. This is then transferred to a large, flat pan and patted down firmly. Almonds and pistachios are added on top as garnish. It is allowed to cool and set, then cut into squares or diamonds – just like most barfis are.
Mohanthal sweet is a popular mithai during Holi, Diwali, weddings, and other festivities. It is often placed on a thali and made as an offering to the gods and later distributed as prasad. Its crumbly texture and amazing taste are a favourite with both the young and the old alike.
Mohanthal has a shelf life of around fifteen days to a month, depending on the ingredients and the preparation. It should ideally be stored in an airtight jar and kept in a cool, dry place. Keeping it in a refrigerator could change its colour and consistency. This fudgy gram flour sweet can also be heated in the microwave and eaten warm with a generous serving of vanilla ice cream. Mohanthal comes in two different forms – in barfi – which can be eaten by hand, and in a gooey state to be scooped up with a spoon. While the former can be munched cool, the latter is enjoyed hot.
So, have you started craving for mohanthal? Do you feel the need to chomp on something mouth-watering? You need not go all the way to Gujarat or Rajasthan or slave over the stove to get your hands on this delicious sweet. All that you need to do is go online and order your pack of mohanthal from salebhai.com and enjoy this yummy mithai any time of the year. Be sure to check out the many varieties of mohanthal sweet that have been produced by different manufacturers at reasonable prices. You can opt for mohanthal sweets made by Sukhadia Garbaddas Bapuji (Anand), Sangam Sweets (Bangalore), Khavda Mesuk Ghar (Kutch), Punjabi Ghasitaram Halwai (Mumbai), and a few others.
SaleBhai offers you the best-quality mohanthal available online, at the most competitive prices. Why wait for a special occasion when you can order from within the comforts of your home and enjoy this delicious mithai today?
Mohanthal will satisfy your longing for sweets and is great to have with tea or coffee. Your guests and family will simply love it. Kids will want more and you will need an iron will to keep away from it. It also makes for a perfect gift for friends and relatives who miss sweets from home or who need some cheering up.