The Sweeter Side of India

On October 11, 2017, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times


I was introduced to a dessert called magas a couple of weeks ago. A friend came over for a visit and brought a few of these sweet squares to try. I was instantly intrigued by this flavor profile and I asked how they were made. I was lucky enough to have a lesson from my neighbor, Shakuntla Patel, who was kind enough to share this recipe. It’s a common dessert of Gujarat in North East India. It has a nutty and buttery flavor and is best described as a fudge that is rich, dense and sweet.

2 Cups of Ghee (clarified butter), 14 Oz jar, Reserve 1 Teaspoon
2 Cups Chickpea Flour or Gram Flour
1/8 Cup Milk
2 Cups Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cardamom

You will need a 6-quart stock pot and a quarter sheet pan (9”x13”) for this recipe. Add the reserved teaspoon of ghee to the sheet pan and grease the bottom and sides of the pan and set aside. Place the ghee into the stockpot along with the chickpea flour, and blend well with a heat resistant spatula.

Over medium heat, while constantly stirring to avoid scorching, stir the mixture until it is smooth and gives off a slightly nutty aroma, about 10 minutes. Bring it to a rolling boil and add the milk. Make sure the mixture doesn’t boil over. Stir for another minute and take it off the heat and let it sit and cool for 15-20 minutes. Add the sugar and cardamom and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and let sit at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.

Cut into squares and place into an airtight container. I found by placing the pan in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes made them easier to cut and remove from the pan. These little treasures will hold for weeks in an airtight container stored at room temperature. That is if they last that long.

The chickpea/gram flour and ghee can be found at your local Indian grocery market. Little India, 438 Somerville Ave., Bombay Market, 359 Somerville Ave., both in Union Sq. and New Delhi Market, 1305 Broadway, Teele Sq., Somerville.

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