The literal translation of Manoharam is Mind Stealer or Heart Winner! A savoury dish called Thaen Kuzhal (meaning Honey tubes) is first prepared and later dipped in jaggery syrup and is transformed into the delicious Manoharam. This can be relished as it is or formed into balls for easy handling.
Black gram dal - 1/3 glass
Green gram dal - 1/3 glass
Bengal gram dal - 1/3 glass
Salt - 1 pinch
Ghee - 4 tbsps
Powdered jaggery - 3 glasses
Dry ginger powder - 1 pinch
Oil - for frying
2. Mix rice flour and the tri lentil flour in a wide bowl.
3. Add salt and rub in 2 tbsps of ghee thoroughly into the flour.
4. Add water little by little and knead the flour into a smooth dough.
5. Add the remaining 2 tbsps of ghee and finish the kneading process.
6. Grease the inside of the chakli press ( a device to get strands of dough when pressed through it) and fill it with the dough.
7. Heat oil and press the dough into it samultaneously swirling your hands, so that the strands of dough form coils.
8. Cook on medium flame turning it now and then till the Thaen Kuzhal becomes crisp and turns into a light honey (thaen) colour.
9. Remove the Thaen Kuzhal with a perforated ladle and drain on a kitchen towel. It will become crisp as it cools down. When a strand of the cooked savoury is broken you can see a fine bore running through the length of the strand making it look like a tube (Kuzhal).
10. Allow the Thaen kuzhal to cool well.
11. Melt jaggery powder in 2 gasses of water and filter it.
12. Break the Thaen kuzhal into small bits and spread them out on a greased plate.
13. Add ginger powder and cook jaggery syrup till it reaches a soft ball stage.
14. Remove syrup from flame and add it little by little to the Tthaen Kuzhal strands.
16. Make balls or store as it is in an air tight container after it cools down.
Though the steps may seem elaborate, it can be prepared with great ease once the ingredients are ready at hand. Manoharam is sure to steal your hearts when you bite into the crispy sweet delicacy.