In Gujarati households, this sweet is made often for festive occasions and as a Diwali sweet.
The texture of magas is unique and it melts in your mouth! It has a distinct, slightly coarse, grainy texture which is attained by using magas flour or ladoo besan flour instead of plain besan flour.
Magaz flour can be found in Indian stores called either ladoo besan flour or magas flour (ground gram flour). This flour can also be used for besan burfi.
You can also make a dhabo using besan flour. This recipe covers the method using ladoo besan flour.
You may also hear this referred to as magaj pak.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Incredible texture
- Simple, basic ingredients needed
- Ease of making
- Make ahead
- Authentic Gujarati recipe
- Eggless, Gluten-free Indian dessert
Only three main ingredients are needed to make this sweet. The cardamom powder and nuts are optional
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!*
Maghaj flour (Coarse gram flour): At the Indian grocery store you will see this named either Magas Atta (Flour), Magaj Flour, or Ladoo Besan Flour. It is not the same as besan flour.
Magas flour is coarsely ground Bengal gram flour. It is different from besan flour which is finely ground.
What is Magaz flour? Magas flour is coarsely ground Bengal gram flour. Besan flour is finely ground.
Note: You can make this using besan flour. This process entails making a dhabo which is covered in the Variations section.
Sugar: Granulated sugar is ground in a food processor or blender to make powdered sugar. Store-bought powdered sugar is not used because it contains corn starch.
Optional ingredients: Cardamom powder and chopped nuts are optional, but I think they add great flavor and texture to magaz.
While my family makes this Indian sweet with a pinch of cardamom powder, you can also add in nutmeg.
Grease a mithai pan or thali with ghee in preparation to place the mixture once ready to set magas.
Grind sugar to make powdered sugar. Sugar is ground instead of using powdered sugar because store-bought powdered sugar has corn starch in it. (Image 1)
Heat ghee in a pan on the stovetop on medium heat. (Image 2)
Once the ghee has melted, add magas flour and mix. (Images 3 and 4)
Cook for about 6-7 minutes mixing intermittently so it does not burn (about every 30 seconds).
The coarse chickpea flour will begin to simmer lightly, deepen in color to golden brown, and become fragrant. Turn gas off.
Add warm milk to the mixture and mix well for 1 minute. (Images 6 and 7).
Turn gas on low and cook for 1 minute while mixing. (Image 8)
Turn off gas and remove from stove. Add cardamon and sugar and mix well. It will go from crumbly to a little moist as you mix. (Images 9, 10, and 11)
Place and spread magas into a ghee-greased tray. (Image 12)
Tap a few times to help the mixture settle in the pan.The ghee will rise to the top, that is ok. (Image 13)
Top with chopped nuts (I used almond slivers and crushed pistachios) and let cool. (Image 14)
Once cooled cut to make pieces. The longer you can let it set, the better
Ideally, let the magas set to cool for about 4-5 hours. You can have it sooner, but the longer you let it set at room temperature the ghee will solidify and make better shapes.
To make magas ladoo form small balls with your hands instead of placing the magaj pak mixture into a greased thali.
Make sure to let the mixture cool slightly before using warm magaj to form magas na ladoo.
Making it vegan
To make this magas a vegan recipe, replace the ghee and milk mixture with plant-based alternatives.
You can replace the ghee with plant-based margarine or butter.
Any vegan milk can work in place of dairy milk.
Keep an eye on the temperature and time: You will only be using medium-low heat for this magaj recipe. Don’t try using high heat to speed up the process as it will burn the mixture.
Color of magas flour: Use the change in color of the flour to help guide you through this recipe. As it is roasted the mixture changes from light yellow to golden brown as you can see in the pictures. These are indicators the roasting is complete. If it gets too dark brown, you may have burnt it. Once the sugar is added in, it lightens to a beautiful light brown color.
Ghee: Don’t skimp on the amount of ghee. It is key to helping the sweet set.
Cutting piece: Use a sharp knife and thin spatula to gently lift the pieces out of the thali.
This easy, make-ahead sweet can be used for many special occasions. In some communities during weddings, Magaj or Mohanthal is made in big quantities and sent as a gift in big containers from the bride’s family to the groom’s family. Magas na ladoo are distributed as prasad (offering) in most Swaminarayan temples for their visitors.
You may have overcooked the mixture resulting in a dry crumbly mix. To fix this, heat a little bit of ghee and mix melted ghee into the mixture to help it come together.
Magaj can be stored for 1-2 months in an airtight container. It can be made ahead of time as a big batch for special occasions or gift-giving for the Diwali festival.
You can also freeze magaz, but be sure to give it time to defrost before serving.
Wide, heavy bottom pan (I prefer using non-stick)
Mithai tray or thali
Hope you enjoyed this Gujarati-style homemade magas recipe!
25 Minute Gujarati Magas Recipe (Magaj)
- 1 wide bottom pan I use non-stick
- 1 cup magas flour or besan ladoo flour 115g
- ½ cup ghee 100g
- 2 tbsp milk warm
- ½ cup sugar 115g
- ¼ tsp cardamom powder
- Grind sugar to make powdered sugar. See note 1.
- Place pan on stovetop on medium heat. Add ghee and let melt.
- Once ghee has melted, add magas flour and mix. Cook about 5-6 minutes mixing intermittently so it does not burn (about every 30 seconds).
- Flour will begin to deepen in color and become fragrant. Turn gas to low.
- Add milk to mixture and mix well about 2 minutes.
- Turn off gas and remove from stove. Add cardamon and sugar and mix well.
- Spread magas into a mitai plate or plate greased with ghee. Tap a few times to help the mixture settle in the pan. Top with chopped nuts and let cool. Once cooled cut to make pieces. The longer you can let it set, the better (see note 2).