Goan festival times are a wonderland of joy and benevolence…and of course, delicious sweets, too! One of the simplest, but healthiest versions is the Doce De Grao. In Portuguese, Doce means ‘sweet’ and Grao means ‘grain’, which makes sense considering that’s exactly what this dessert is made of. The fudge is made from chana dal or Split Bengal Gram, fresh coconut and hints of aromatic cardamom.

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Melt-in-the-mouth and packed with flavour, it’s a traditional favourite for weddings, birthdays and religious celebrations. The added bonus of this sweet is its health benefits which come from the use of chana dal as a base. Rich in B-complex vitamins it helps you metabolise glucose boosting your energy levels. It is also highly beneficial for heart health since it’s rich in antioxidants and reduces inflammation in the body. 

Doce De Grao is available in most sweet stores in Goa but it can also be easily made at home if you have a little patience for the process.

Ingredients

  • 250 grams chana dal (split Bengal gram)
  • 200 grams of desiccated coconut
  • 450 grams granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1.5 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp salt

Method 

  • Rinse and soak the chana dal in sufficient water for about 3-4 hours. Discard the water. Pressure cook the dal with about 2 cups of water and salt until tender. (Or you can also boil the dal with enough water until it is cooked through). 
  • Once the pressure settles down, open the lid, and discard any excess water if present. Let it come to room temperature. Grind the dal to a smooth paste, without adding any water.
  • Next, grind the desiccated coconut fine.
  • In a heavy-bottomed, dry pot, add the chana dal paste, ground coconut, and sugar.
  • Keep stirring continuously ( or else the bottom might get burnt) for about 15 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Now add the ghee and cardamom powder, Reduce the heat to low, and continue stirring (back and forth rather than clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, because the mixture gets pretty tough to mix ) until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and almost comes together like a soft dough.
  • Line a wooden board with parchment paper, and grease it with little ghee. Now transfer the prepared dough mixture to the parchment paper. 
  • Place another piece of parchment paper over it, and roll it gently to about 1/4 to 1/2  inch thickness. Let it cool. Cut into diagonals or any other shape. 
  • Let it cool to room temperature before cooling it for half an hour in the fridge before serving.