Magas/ Chickpea Flour Fudge
THEME: #218 DIWALI DHAMAKA
As the theme suggests, FoodieMonday/ Bloghop group is already in the mood to celebrate Diwali. Fellow bloggers or should I say friends, decided to cook something that we would normally make during Diwali, the festival of lights. This time I decided to make Magas as its called in Gujarati or chickpea flour fudge.
What is Diwali?
Diwali is the festival of lights, the victory of good over evil. Read more about Diwali here.
What does Diwali mean for me?
For so many years hubby and I have been alone for Diwali as our family members live in all different parts of the world. However, this year its so different. For one, we’ll be celebrating Diwali with hubby’s mum, my mother in law after over 12 years. Secondly, we are in India so the feel of festivity is already in the air. Can’t wait to decorate the home with flowers, rangolis (floor patterns) and diyas. Diya is often made from clay where we add ghee or oil and a cotton wick. A row of diyas is usually placed at the front entrance and around the home. I’ve already started cooking a variety of both savory and sweet food to enjoy during the festival.
What do I normally make for Diwali?
I love to make traditional recipes that I really don’t bother to make throughout the year. Diwali is incomplete without mathia (fried crispy flatbread made from yellow moong bean flour and spices)which I buy ready made, chevdo (a savory mixture of fried chickpea lentils, moong, potato, rice flakes, cashew nuts, and spices) that too ready made, googra and of course magas or chickpea flour fudge. Till date I’ve not tried making magas at home but have helped my sister in law quite often to make it. She is an expert at making magas. I always make farsi puri, lapsi, gur na ladwa, doodh paak and some cookies. There was a time when we made mathia and chevdo at home. Nowadays, a small quantity is required so it makes more sense to buy ready made.
What is Magas?
Magas is a famous sweet dish or mithai in the Gujarati Cuisine. Its a popular sweet fudge that is enjoyed by both adults and children. Some kids refer to it as ‘bavo’. Any Patel wedding you attend, or go to their homes during Diwali you will definitely find Magas. During weddings, huge quantities are made by the bride’s family and sent to the groom’s family and also shared with all those who attend the wedding. Made from chickpea flour, ghee, sugar and cardamom, its not a difficult mithai or sweet to make at all. After roasting the flour in ghee, sugar is added and then its other allowed to set in a greased tray or rolled into small balls. I am so glad that finally I got down to making Magas. Got the thumbs up from mother in law, so that means it turned out just perfect.
A bit more about Magas
Also known as magaz or chickpea flour fudge, it is a bit different from the famous besan ke laddoo or besan ki barfi. For magas, a coarse chickpea flour (besan, chana no lot) is used. The flour is roasted over very low heat in ghee till it becomes brown. Nuts like almonds and pistachios are added along with cardamom and nutmeg powders. Once the mixture becomes a bit cold, powdered sugar is added. Because of the coarse flour used, the texture of magas is not smooth. However, it still has the melt in the mouth texture. One should not reduce the amount of ghee used if you want the magas to turn out perfect. Also, let the flour roast well.
Lets get to the recipe now, but before you start making magas, make sure you have everything ready at hand including a greased tray if you want to set the magas.
MAGAS/CHICKPEA FLOUR FUDGE
16-20 Pieces, depending on the size of the bars or balls
250g (3 cups) besan, chana no lot, chickpea flour
3 + 3 tbsp milk
150g (¾ cup) + 2tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
150g (1-1¼ cup) powdered sugar
½ cup coarse almond powder
1 tsp cardamom powder (elachi)
½ tsp nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
¼ tsp mace powder (javantri)
few strands of saffron (kesar)
½ tsp cardamom seeds, lightly crushed
2-3 tbsp almond slivers
1-2 tbsp pistachio slivers or coarse powder
few strands of saffron
- Warm 3 tbsp milk and 2 tbsp ghee in a small pan over low heat till the ghee melts.
- Heat the remaining 3 tbsp of milk till it becomes hot. Add saffron strands to it. Mix well and leave it on the side till required.
- Add besan flour into a big bowl. Add the ghee milk mixture and rub it into the flour till it appears lumpy.
- Cover the flour with a lid or plate and let it rest for 15-30 minutes.
- Take a sieve with medium hole and strain the flour. Use you hand to rub the flour through the sieve till none is left in it.
- The flour should resemble like bread crumbs or semolina.
- Heat 150g ghee in a pan over low heat till it melts.
- Add the coarse besan flour.
- Roast the flour in the ghee over low heat, stirring all the time till it becomes brown in colour. This takes about 20-25 minutes.
- At first the mixture of ghee and besan flour will appear like a paste. Once the flour begins to get roasted, it will turn liquidy.
- Add 1 tbsp of the milk and saffron mixture and stir. Add another tbsp and stir well. Finally add the last tbsp of milk and mix well. This helps to develop the crunchy texture of magas.
- Add almond flour and roast it for 1 minute, stirring the mixture all the time.
- Take the pan off the heat. Add cardamom, nutmeg and mace powder and mix well.
- Let the mixture cool down.
- Add sugar and mix well.
- Grease a 8 X 8 inches tray or a small one with some ghee.
- As you add the sugar, the mixture will turn a bit liquid like, but not too much.
- Add the magas mixture into the prepared tray. Bang the tray lightly on the worktop to level out the mixture. Or you can roll them into balls.
- Sprinkle the topping immediately. Press it into the magas lightly with a spoon.
- Let the magas set for 1-2 hours. At this stage you can cut the magas into squares or diamond shape. This stage is important as when the magas sets completely, it becomes difficult to cut into pieces.
- Let the magas set completely in the tray. This will take 4-6 hours or overnight depending on the weather. Since the weather is cold in Bangalore, the magas set in about 6 hours time.
- Remove the pieces from the tray very carefully and store in a container.
- Magas stays at room temperature for about 2-3 weeks. However in warmer weather, its best to store it in the fridge after a week or so.
- Usually coarse besan flour is used for magas. However, since I didn’t have any, I used normal besan flour.
- Do not roast the besan flour over high heat. The flour will burn and not give a good taste.
- Roast the flour till it becomes brown and not yellow. If you don’t roast it well, you’ll get the raw taste of the flour.
- Do not reduce the amount of ghee required as the magas may not set well or you will not be able to roll it into balls.
- I used only 1 cup sugar and it was just right for us. For a more sweeter one you can add 1¼ cups.
- Adjust the spices according to your taste.
- Use a sharp knife to cut the set magas.
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