Chana Magaj is an Indian fudge made with gram flour and loads of butter or butter ghee. I must admit I am not crazy about making Indian sweetmeats because when I see the amount of sugar and butter it scares me…lol!
In saying that I suppose it is a sweetmeat and in order for it to taste good some of it does need a whole lot of butter and sugar. I do try and reduce the amount of sugar where I can but sometimes not always possible.
Before I started developing my own recipes it was rather difficult to find recipes for small quantities of sweetmeat. If you browse the internet or recipe books sweetmeats are always made in large quantities. I suppose because it’s made only on special occassions and religious festivals people tend to go a little overboard.
I do have a sweet tooth but I can only handle so much sugar at a time. So if you give me a piece of sweetmeat I will be happy with just one piece. Because it is so rich I find it difficult to eat more than a piece.
It’s why I prefer making them in small quantities. I have enough to share with my friends and it lasts me a good few weeks too. I sometimes freeze them and eat it when I feel like some. My boys are not crazy about Indian sweetmeats, they will eat a couple of it and they will be done.
I will then have to finish them and that is not a good thing. I have tried making Chana Magaj a few times and often it was a complete disaster. But I am not one to give up so I had to perfect my recipe.
Smooth and Delicious
The last time I made it, it was hard as rock. Every time I took a bite it felt like a was biting into a piece of stone…haha! This time I did things a little differently and it worked like a charm. It turned out super smooth and delicious.. Chana Magaj is one of my favourite sweetmeats, I love the nutty flavor.
What is Chickpea Flour and Gram Flour
This sweetmeat is made from either chickpea flour or gram flour. There is a slight difference between these two flours but they both work for this recipe. Gram flour is made from brown chickpeas and Chickpea flour is made from white chickpeas.
Here in SA we call our little treats Sweetmeat. I have no idea why. I think I will have to study the history of South African food soon, (if I can find someone to enlighten me) I am always intrigued by the names. Only because in India everything has a completely different name…lol!
For this recipe you need to mix the powdered milk and butter ghee into the gram flour, until it resembles breadcrumbs. You then allow it to stand for an hour or longer. You then melt the ghee and mix in the gram flour and half the cardamom. Once the gram flour is added to the ghee you will have to keep a close eye on it and mix it at regular intervals.
The mixture will turn into a dark caramel colour after 25-30 minutes. You then mix in the icing sugar and almonds, pour the mixture into a parchment lined dish and allow it to set overnight before cutting them.
More Sweetmeat Recipes to try:
- 1&3/4 cup chickpea or gram flour
- 2 tbsp powdered milk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 250 gram butter or butter ghee
- 1 tsp ground elachie/cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1&1/2 tbsp ground almonds (optional)
- 1 tsp natural cocoa (optional)
- Mix the chickpea flour and powdered milk together. Soften 1 tablespoon butter ghee from the 250 gram and rub it into the chickpea flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Set aside and allow it to dry for an hour
- Heat the remaining butter or butter ghee on low heat. Mix in the chickpea mixture and half teaspoon elachie, ensuring there are no lumps. Allow it to cook for 25-30 minutes until the mixture turns a caramel colour. Be careful that it does not scorch, you need to mix at regular intervals and keep a close eye on the mixture
- Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar and the other half teaspoon elachie and ground almond
- If you wish you can remove a cup of the mixture into small bowl. Mix in 1 teaspoon of natural cocoa powder into the mixture. Pour this into the parchment lined dish and refrigerate for 5 minutes. Remove from fridge and pour the remaining mixture over the chocolate mixture. Leave it out of the fridge, covered with clingwrap to set overnight. Cut into desired shapes. Decorate with silver leaf and almonds
- You don't have to do the chocolate layer so you can omit the cocoa
- You can add more almonds and cardamom if you prefer