How is everyone? How are your holiday preps coming along? Today I have another classic Goan sweet to share with you’ll. ‘Doce’ and ‘grão’ means ‘sweet’ and ‘grain/bean’ in Portuguese. This is almost like a fudge, made of chana dal ( split Bengal gram) , freshly grated coconut, sugar and flavored with cardamom. It is quite a tedious and time consuming dessert, but the results are so worth it! I promise!
These are available in most bakeries and stores in Goa, the texture differs from one store to the other, some places you might find it to be hard, whilst some places will have a soft variety. I like the latter, it just melts in your mouth. I can never stop at one!
Doce is most certainly prepared during weddings and other festivities in Goa in a very traditional way.A certain amount is prepared at the bride’s house and sent to the groom’s place by the Bride’s parents, along with some bananas and another traditional sweet called bõl ( a sweet made of wheat, coconut , jaggery, cardamom and toddy), it’s a part of the whole wedding tradition.The groom’s parents give another traditional sweet call orna in return. The doce that is received at the groom’s household is then distributed to all the family members and neighbors. I do not know much about how the origination of Doce, but I love to see the way it’s made traditionally. It has it’s own ‘sweet’ charm 🙂
Let’s begin preparing this classic Goan treat! You will need..
250 grams Chana dal ( split Bengal gram )
200 grams desiccated coconut* ( see notes)
450 grams Granulated sugar* ( see notes)
1/2 teaspoon Green cardamom powder
1 & 1/2 tablespoon Ghee
1 teaspoon salt
1.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 water and salt until tender ( Or you can also boil the dal with enough water until its cooked through) Once the pressure settles down, open the lid, discard any excess water if present. Let it come to room temperature. Grind the dal to a smooth paste, without adding any water.
2. Next, grind the desiccated coconut fine.
3.In a heavy bottomed, dry pot, add the chana dal paste, ground coconut and sugar.
4.Keep stirring continuously ( or else the bottom might get burnt) for about about 15 minutes on medium heat . Now add the ghee and cardamom powder, Reduce the heat to low, 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.
5. Line a wooden board with parchment paper, grease it with little ghee. Now transfer the prepared dough mixture to the parchment paper. Place another 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. ( You can skip the whole parchment paper, and put it directly on the board or any other flat surface, I like using parchment paper for easier clean up :p You can also spread this dough in a greased thali ( stainless steel shallow dish )
1. Traditionally freshly grated coconuts are used, but when making this at home, all the stirring can get quite overwhelming, desiccated coconut makes it easier as most of the moisture is removed, which means lesser stirring time. The taste was as good as using fresh coconut. You can use either !
2. The quantity of sugar is double to that of the chana dal, 450 grams of sugar gives enough sweetness which is okay with us. If you want it more sweeter, please feel free to add 500 grams.
3.I use a cooktop with electric coils, so the timings may vary a little, if you use a gas cooktop. Either ways remember to keep the heat on medium.
3.Here is an interesting video ( By Shanu arts) I found on YouTube which shows you the traditional way of making Doce.
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Have a lovely weekend ahead guys!