Monthar is a traditional Gujarati sweet, and was my grandparents favourite. I was lucky enough to learn this recipe, which really takes time and patience to get it right. I have many favourite Indian sweets, and this is one of them. I am thrilled to be sharing this family recipe with you. If you have any questions regarding this recipe, feel free to contact me! Relish this sweet as much as I and my family do! Happy Cooking!
Preparation time: 10 min | Cook time: 1hr 20min | Vegetarian
Serves: 20 – 25 pieces
- 2 Cups Gram Flour
- 1/8 (30ml) Cup Water and (30ml) 1/8 Cup Milk mix
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Sugar
- ¼ Tsp Saffron
- 1/8 Tsp Yellow Food Colouring
- 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg powder
- 2 Tsp Ground Cardamom powder
- ¾ Cup Ghee
- 5 Tbsp Chopped Almonds
- 5 Tbsp Chopped Pistachios
Monthar Flour Mixture (about 5 minutes):
1. In a large bowl, sieve the 2 cups of Gram Flour. In a separate small – medium glass mix 1/8 cup (30ml) water and 1/8 cup (30ml) milk.
2. Slowly and gradually mix in the water-milk mixture as required (roughly around 2 tbsp water + milk mixture at a time) mix this into the bowl until you have a crumble texture (this should not be a wet or liquid texture, the texture should be grainy-crumble)
3. Place this grainy-crumble mixture into a smaller bowl. Using the same large bowl and a large sieve with medium size holes. Sieve the mixture through until you have a finer but even crumble texture (similar to mashed biscuits). And keep aside.
Sugar Syrup (about 15-20 minutes):
4. For the sugar syrup: On medium heat, use a small-medium size pot and boil the 2 cups Water and 1 cup Sugar until sugar dissolves and continuously mix the syrup.
5. After about 10 minutes, the syrup mixture should be boiling. At this point add ¼ Tsp Saffron and stir. The water will become a yellow-ish colour, continue to boil for another 2-3 minutes. After add the 1/8 Tsp yellow food colouring and stir through. Add in the 1 tsp ground Nutmeg powder and 1½ Tsp ground Cardamom powder and combine.
6. Continue to combine and boil for another 6-8 minutes, until the sugar syrup becomes sticky and stringy. Turn the heat off or turn the heat to the lowest temperature and keep aside for later.
Monthar Mixture (about 35 Minutes):
1. In a large wok pot (or anything similar), on medium temperature, melt the ¾ Cup Ghee.
2. Add the Monthar flour mixture to the ghee. Continuously mix the flour mixture with the ghee. For best result, mix from the middle and out, and scrape from the sides to the middle and repeat. Ensure the flour and ghee mixture does not stick and burn. Ensuring the flour mixture colour slightly turns brown.
3. After about 15 minutes, the Ghee should sperate from the flour and texture should loosen slightly. Continue to mix and cook. After 10 minutes add the rest of ½ Tsp Cardamom powder and mix through from inwards to outwards and turn the heat off.
4. Slowly and gradually pour in the sugar syrup mixture to the Monthar and ghee mixture. Immediately whilst pouring the sugar syrup (you will not be using all the sugar syrup for this), and briskly mix the Monthar and sugar syrup. Until the Monthar mixture is slightly loose, but also remains thick.
5. Continue to mix the mixture until the texture thickens and crumbly – this process should take atleast 5-7 minutes.
Final Part (15 minutes):
6. Grease a 20cm/8inch dish (2.5cm/1 inch deep) with ghee and pour the Monthar mixture into the plate. With the spoon or spatula even out the mixture (especially on the sides). However, don’t press/push the Monthar mixture downwards as this will ruin the crumble texture.
7. Finally sprinkle chopped Almonds and chopped Pistachios over the Monthar mixture. Leave aside in a cool place (not the refrigerator) for 10 – 15 minutes.
8. Once cool, cut the Monthar mixture into squares and leave aside for another 15 minutes.
9. When the Monthar mixture is completely cooled down, place in the refrigerator for at least 20 – 25 minutes, before serving.