Blogging Marathon #69 Week 3 Day 1
Theme: Indian or American Sweets
Dish: Gujarati Magaj / Magaz
Today is the last day of the Blogging Marathon for this week. My theme for the week is Indian sweets and today I bring THE family favorite recipe. Magaj, a sweet made from coarse chickpea flour is our family's weak spot! Everybody in the family relishes it and my mother in law is the expert who makes truck loads of this each time we go India.
On her last visit here, I made sure I get the magaj flour and keep ready. The Indian stores generally carry it but if you cannot find it, regular besan works well too. I got the packet and she helped me make it myself for the first time! Ever since, I have gained the confidence to make it by myself. While the ingredients remain the same, the taste is different when I make it and when she does. Over time my husband is learning to like my version too!!
Magaj is a recipe that needs just a few ingredients; flour, ghee and sugar being the basic ingredients. The ingredients would easily be available in any pantry! Making this one takes 30 minutes of stirring and another 15 minutes to add in sugar. The method is pretty easy and really a no fail recipe. Magaj is perfect for almost all festivals and beyond. It is great to carry for a short trip; neat cubes that are easy to pack and eat. Plus, they are healthy and filling. We bring back a BIG box of this sweet each time we come back from India. It has a great shelf like, about 10 days at room temperature and about a month if refrigerated.
This recipe is exactly how my mother in law makes it. The sweet is made differently in different households. I simply follow what she taught me. However, I saw this recipe on the blog The Route to Roots. Though I did not follow the recipe mentioned on the blog, the decoration using magaj seeds was simply too good. So I decorated mine using the technique. I did not have charodi (a local Gujarati seed) so I used cardamom seeds. However, we generally top our magaj using slivered almonds or just leave it uncovered. They will taste equally great without all the decoration.
Magaj Flour/ Coarse Chickpea Flour 1 cup
Ghee/ Clarified Butter 1/3 cup+ 1 tsp
Powdered Sugar 1/3- 1/2 cup
Nutmeg and Cardamom Powder 2 tsp
Magaj seeds and cardamom seeds to decorate
In a heavy bottom pan, heat 1/3 cup ghee. Once it melts, add the magaj flour and cook on medium flame till the flour begins to feel light. This step is really important. Keep stirring to ensure it does not stick to the bottom. Generally it takes about 30-35 minutes and by the end the entire house starts to become fragrant!
Once the flour is cooked and well done, turn down the heat, add cardamom and nutmeg powders and let the mixture cool completely. While the flour is cooling, powder the sugar. Line a tray with the remaining ghee and keep ready.
When the flour is completely cool, add 1/3 cup sugar. Mix well till all the sugar is incorporated. If the sweetness is less, add in more sugar. Transfer the magaj to the lined tray and spread out in an even layer.
Let the magaj cool to room temperature. Decorate with magaj seeds and cardamom seeds if desired. Cool the tray in the refrigerator and once set, cut into equal size pieces. Enjoy the awesome sweet!