Madgane (pronounced mud-guh-nay) is a quintessential Konkani dessert/payasu prepared during most festivals and served at weddings as well. Traditionally, it is served with Khottos during festivals like Ugadi, Ganesh Chathurthi and Diwali. Khotto-Madgane is an eternal favorite for us Konkani speaking people and I guess that particular combo is an acquired taste. It is a coconut based dessert and jaggery is used as the sweetener instead of sugar. I remember my Mom making coconut milk at home by first grating the coconut and then grinding the grated coconut repeatedly to extract the milk. I skip this step and use store bought coconut milk. This step cuts down on the preparation time as well. Madgane has a thicker consistency compared to other payasams. Payasams are a genre of South Indian desserts that are usually prepared during festivals.
Of all the payasams that my mom makes, this is at the top of the list for me. I had made Madgane for Ugadi this past Friday and decided to share the recipe. This is the kind of dish which tastes great served either hot or cold. In my house, I like to eat this warm and Rajesh eats this cold or at room temperature.
- Bengal gram/chana daal - 1/2 cup
- Tender cashewnuts/bibbos - 25 (more can be added if you like)
- Jaggery shavings - 1 cup
- Grated coconut - 1 cup
- Rice flour - 2 tblsp
- Cardamom pods - 8, divided
- Coconut milk - 1 can (400 ml)
Soak the tender cashewnuts/bibbos in water overnight or atleast for 4-6 hours. Peel the skin and split the bibbos in halves and set aside.
Wash and soak the Bengal gram/chana daal for about 30 mins or so.
Jaggery is sold in the form of blocks. We need shavings from this block. Traditionally, this is done on the versatile "Adoli", the fixed curved blade that is a staple of most homes in South India. Use a knife to shave off edges of the block of jaggery.
Blend the grated coconut, rice flour and 4 cardamom pods to a smooth paste. Rice flour is added to give a thick consistency to the dish.
Peel the remaining cardamom pods and extract the seeds. Using a mortar and pestle, powder the cardamom seeds to a fine powder.
In a pressure cooker, add the soaked chana daal along with the water its soaked in as well as the split cashew nuts. Cover and pressure cook for exactly one whistle. Any more than that, the daal and cashewnuts can turn mushy. Set aside.
In a wide non stick pan, pour in the cooked daal, tender cashewnuts along with the stock it was cooked in. Add the jaggery shavings and on medium flame, bring it to a boil.
Add the blended mixture. Rinse the blender with a cup of water and add this to the mixture. Continue cooking this on medium flame. At this point, it is very important that you keep stirring the mixture as it starts to thicken and if it is not stirred continuously, it can stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes or so.
Pour in the canned coconut milk and mix well. You can also rinse the can with water and add this to the mixture and bring it to a boil. Cook this mixture for another 10-12 minutes. KEEP STIRRING as you are doing this. If for any reason, you have to step away from your stove, make sure to remove the pan from the heat.
When the mixture has reached the consistency of pancake batter, add the cardamom powder, bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.
Serve hot or at room temperature or cold, its totally up to you!
- I remember my Mom mentioning that they used to add a little soaked rice when blending the grated coconut as rice flour was not readily available when she was growing up. I take the easy way out and add rice flour.
- Every pressure cooker varies, so cook the daal according to your cooker. My pressure cooker is comparatively new, so it cooks relatively faster.
- The more the mixture is cooked, the thicker it gets! As it cools down, it gets thicker as well.
- You can also adjust the sweetness by adding more jaggery if required. I felt one cup of jaggery shavings was more than enough for the quantity that I prepared.
- The color of the dish is also dependent on the jaggery used. The fresher the jaggery(golden brown color), the lighter the color of the dish. If the jaggery is old, it turns to turn a dark shade of brown and in turn, the Madgane also turns out to be a shade darker.