My bag of Dove’s gram flour has been made into a few things, none of them a success.
The onion bhajis it first became (using the recipe on the bag) tasted good, but came out like flat, spongy pancakes, which wasn’t quite right. I then tried Dan Lepard’s chickpea cob loaf, which I wasn’t a fan of – it tasted a little like how I imagine uncooked chickpeas would taste (I haven’t ever tasted an uncooked chickpea). Thirdly I tried Gibraltar’s national dish, calentita, which was an abject failure. The edges went crispy and the middle still wasn’t cooked or set after two hours cooking (double the recommended), and I ended up spooning it out like soft polenta.
So, I approached my fourth attempt with trepidation. I settled on trying out a recipe for mohan thal (gram flour fudge), for something a bit different.
My effort doesn’t look much like the one at the link above. Helpfully the link contains a video showing each step, and mine started to look different immediately. Adding the butter to the gram flour turned it a bright butter yellow, rather than a darker brown. Then, instead of going powdery like the recipe stresses, mine went all clumpy, and it took ages (about 15 minutes) stir frying before it started to break up, but even then I was worried it was going to burn, and had to take it off the heat before the lumps had completely broken up. I tried to rub the lumps out between my fingers once it had cooled, but instead the action just formed more clumps. As I suspected, when I added the sugar syrup the clumps didn’t break up, and you can see some yellow balls of gram flour in the picture above.
Because the mixture wasn’t homogeneous not as much of the syrup was soaked up as ought to have been, and the mixture was much runnier than in the recipe video, so I hurriedly poured it into a 24x24cm tin instead of spooning it onto a plate (turns out that size tin makes the end result a bit thin). When the mixture had cooled to room temperature it was still very sloppy and I couldn’t easily separate an individual piece. So, I put it into the fridge to firm up, and 24 hours later it’s nicely solidified.
The result is interesting. A nice, strong, but not overpowering cardamom flavour (I ground my own seeds). A chewy, but not traditionally fudge-like texture. A bit granular, but not grainy. It’s actually quite refreshing, the sort of thing I’d like to eat after a heavy or spicy meal. I don’t think the result is quite right, but it’s certainly an improvement on my earlier gram flour adventures.