Janai-er Monohara (মনোহরা), Hoogly districts famous Sondesh! Sweet memory revisited!
 
Prep time
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Monohara is a Bengali Sondesh originally from a small town Janai, Hoogly. Simple taste, light smell of Cardamom, a crunchy Sugar coated outer crust and loaded with Chana, Monohara is divine.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Bengali
Serves: 5-6 People
Ingredients
  • Chana: 500g ( I have used locally available Chana)
  • Milk: 500 ml (with cream)
  • Mawa/ Khoya: 250g
  • Sugar: 100g (to make the stuffing)
  • Sugar: 100g (for thick Syrup/ Sugar Paste)
  • Green Cardamom Powder: ¼ Tsp.
  • Whole Green Cardamom: 2
Instructions
  1. Take Chana* over a Cheesecloth and tie the ends of the cloth.
  2. Put some weight over the Chana to remove the water content for 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, start boiling the Milk to reduce to thicken it.
  4. Cook in low flame for 20 minutes and stir in between.
  5. You will get around 4 Tbsp. of thickened Malai after the cooking is done.
  6. Grate the Mawa.
  7. Now take Chana, grated Mawa and Malai in a bowl and add Cardamom Powder and mix using your hand to make a lump-free paste.
  8. Heat a pan on medium flame and pour the paste along with the Sugar and start cooking.
  9. Stir continuously for 5-6 minutes and cook in low flame until the Sondesh leaves the edges of the pan.
  10. Switch the flame off and take out the Sondesh in a bowl.
  11. Once the mixture cooled down completely make 2" size balls* using your hands.
  12. Now take the Sugar kept for thick Syrup in a pan and add 5 Tbsp. of water just to cover the sugar.
  13. Add 2 Green Cardamoms.
  14. Keep melting the sugar in high flame.
  15. Stir continuously using a spatula; this will help crystal formation.
  16. Keep boiling till the syrup thickens; a consistency of 3 strings is ideal.
  17. Take the Syrup out in a bowl and leave it for 5 minutes to cool down a bit.
  18. Cover the Sondesh with Sugar syrup; use a spoon for this step.
  19. Place Manohara on a plate and wait till the sugar thickens and form a crunchy layer over the Sondesh.
  20. Serve Monohara once the Sondesh set completely.Monohara can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an air-tight container.
Notes
I am available with good quality Chana in Kolkata and hence used that. In case you are not available with the same, check this for the recipe of Chana.
The Monohara I had, used to be without any special decoration and were simple ball like and I keep that size and have not opted for any decoration.
Recipe by Debjanir Rannaghar at https://kitchenofdebjani.com/2017/10/janai-er-monohara/