December 8, 2011


With karthigai (a south indian festival) around the corner, I decided to try my hand at making Manoharam. Manoharam is a mouth-watering crunchy sweet relish made of thenkuzhal (means tubes of honey) and jaggery.

Manoharam immediately reminds me of the crowded corner of 'Grand Sweets & Snacks' in Adyar, Chennai. They make such 'out of the world' manoharam that you can't stop yourself from going back (eventhough they are slightly on the expensive side).

Manoharam is a two step process - first is to make the thenkuzhal, and the next is to mix it with jaggery syrup. Usually for marraiges & other functions manoharam is shaped as a cone. But, today we are going to roll them into balls.

Doesn't these balls look beautiful & delicious? Interestingly, Manoharam in Tamil means 'beautiful'.

Rice flour - 1 cup
Urid dal flour - 1 tablespoon
Moong dal flour - 1 tablespoon
Salt - a pinch
Butter - 1 tablespoon (at room temperature)
Oil - for frying
Thenkuzhal achu - press mold with three slightly larger holes for making thenkuzhal.
Jaggery - 1 cup approx
Cardamom powder - 2-3 pinches

Step 1: Thenkuzhal
Sieve the rice flour, urid dal flour and moong dal flour together. Knead the butter and salt together by hand. Add enough water to make a soft & pliable dough (Make sure dough is hard enough to put in the mold). Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot & ready, press the dough through the mold & make thenkuzhal. Fry both sides until they are crispy & crunchy. Drain off excess oil and remove in a vessel.

Now, break the thenkuzhal into small pieces of about 1 inches and spread it in a large plate.

Step 2: Jaggery syrup
Melt the jaggery in 1 cup of water. Pour into a heavy bottomed pan, and boil to get a thick syrup. To test the thickness of the syrup, drop syrup into a little cup of cold water and you should be able to roll it into a ball. When the jaggery syrup is ready, add cardamom powder, stir well and remove from heat.

Now, pour the jaggery syrup immediately over broken thenkuzhal pieces and mix well to cover all parts of the thenkuzhal.

When it is still warm, grease your hands with ghee and roll them into small balls. 

Making jaggery syrup is a slightly tedious process. If the jaggery syrup is removed too quickly manoharam will go soggy, and if the syrup is thickened a little longer, manoharam will go hard. So, removing syrup at the right time requires some patience and practice.

Linking to "Jingle-all-way-event-announcement" hosted by Kavi.


  1. thanks so much for linking to Jingle All The Way. Thenkuzhal is my favorite batchanam! ;)
    Kavi (Edible Entertainment)

  2. Thanks so much for participating in Jingle All The Way. I’ve posted the Roundup here. Do have a look.
    Also, I’m hosting Kid's Delight - Something Sweet for Jan 16th-Feb15th 2012. I would love to have your posts linked there. :-)
    Kavi (Edible Entertainment)