I absolutely love desserts and this particular one happens to be a personal favorite. Besana chi Vadi (Besana chi Burfi or Mohanthal) is a delicious sweet dessert made from besan (gram flour or chickpea flour). It is a bit hard to describe since there is no direct English equivalent or translation. The best description I can provide is gram flour “fudge”, which truly does not do this tasty dessert any justice. In any event, I encourage you all to try this simple & easy to prepare, heavenly, melt in your mouth dessert. I promise, you will be well rewarded!
Besan (aka gram flour or chickpea flour) is easily available in any large Indian or Asian grocery store. I have seen also it in some large grocery stores & many specialty markets as well in the larger metropolitan cities.
BESANA CHI VADI (Gram Flour “Fudge”)
2 cups besan (gram flour or chickpea flour)
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
¾ cup butter (or you can use ghee)
½ tsp ground cardamom powder
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup golden raisins, optional
1 cup toasted chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds, cashews…. or a combination of nuts)
You will need a 8”x 8” glass baking dish or pan, lightly buttered
Soak the raisins in a little warm water for 10-15 minutes, drain well and set aside until needed. Reserve the soaking liquid, you can always add it to something!
In a small sauce pan on medium low heat, combine the water & sugar to make a simple syrup. Add the cardamom powder & nutmeg as well. Stir well to dissolve all the sugar & bring the liquid to a good boil. Keep the pan on a gentle boil until the syrup has thickened and can form a “string” between your thumb and index finger (careful when testing, its hot!). This may take awhile (about 12-15 minutes), let cool slightly & then set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet on medium heat, melt the butter (or ghee). Now slowly start adding the besan a little at a time, while continuously stirring to incorporate the besan with the butter. Let the mixture cook on low heat for about 6-8 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Next, carefully add the hot sugar syrup mixture along with the golden raisins and about ½ cup of nuts to the besan. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients into a smooth homogeneous mixture and then pour the entire mixture into your baking dish. Press down to fill the baking dish completely and evenly. Sprinkle the rest of your nuts liberally over the top & let set for at least 1 hour. You can serve it at either room temperature or chilled from the refrigerator, it’s a matter of personal preference. Cut into small squares or diamond shapes and serve as a delicious dessert along with some Indian tea or coffee.