Ayodhya, the birth place of Lord Rama, is kicked off with a grand celebration of Deepavali this year. Yesterday the residents of Ayodhya lit 551,000 lamps and illuminated the banks of River Sarayu. Even this pandemic could not dampen our festive spirit, special arrangements have been made across the nation to celebrate this Deepavali happier, healthier & safer than ever before. This year I have tried to replicate my grandmother’s Deepavali platter consisting of traditional Tamilnadu sweets & savories, and it reminds me of the festive feasts relished during my childhood days. Now I post a recipe for Manoharam, a sweet delicacy popular in southern districts of Tamilnadu, and you can also find my other Deepavali recipes here.

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Deepavali Platter with
traditional Sweets & Savories

Manoharam is nothing but sweet murukku, some may simply coat murukku with jaggery or sugar syrup, but we prefer to leave them soaked in jaggery syrup for a couple of hours to enjoy the strong flavor of ginger as well as the sweet flavor of cardamom added into the syrup. We like to relish sweet crunchy manoharam along with crispy spicy thattai & salted thenkuzhal as tea-time snacks.

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Thattai, thenkuzhal & manoharam

Manoharam & Churros:

Manoharam & Churros share some similarities: Churros is a deep-fried pastry coated with cinnamon flavored icing sugar, whereas manoharam is a murukku coated with cardamom & ginger flavoured jaggery syrup. Churros’ dough is prepared using all purpose flour (maida), but manoharam’s dough is made using gram flour (chickpea flour) or rice flour, and both the dough is piped into cylindrical sticks (hollow at the center) fried in hot oil. We use murukku press with a special chip shown below for making cylindrical murukku, but Churros is piped into oil using a piping bag with nozzle, you may check out one of my blogger friends’ recipe for churros here.

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Chip used to pipe manoharam

Manoharam Recipe

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Manoharam flavored with ginger & cardamom


For Murukku:
Gram flour (chickpea flour/ kadalai maavu)2 cups
Rice flour (I used store-bought idiyappa maavu)2 tbsp
A pinch of salt
Coconut oil to grease the palm while kneading the doughas needed
Peanut oil for frying500 ml
For syrup:
Jaggery powder1 and 1/2 cups
Dried ginger 2″
Green cardamoms3
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Manoharam ingredients

How to make manoharam murukku:

  • Sieve the flours through a fine mesh.
  • Add salt and water (about 200 ml) into the flour.
  • Knead it into a soft dough. (Since gram flour is too sticky to handle we can grease our palm with coconut oil.)
  • Roll the dough into a cylinder and place it inside the murukku press.
  • Heat a frying pan with peanut oil in medium flame.
  • Squeeze out the dough directly into hot oil by continuously pressing the lever of murukku press.
  • Remove murukku from oil once the sizzling sound is stopped and place them on a plate lined with tissue towel.
  • Similarly prepare a next batch of murukku until the dough is used up.
  • Finally break them all into small pieces and keep aside.
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Manoharam murukku

How to soak manoharam in jaggery syrup:

  • Heat a heavy-bottom pan with jaggery powder in low flame.
  • Add some water (approx. 20-30 ml) into the pan.
  • Stir with wooden spatula until jaggery is dissolved.
  • Increase the flame to medium.
  • When the syrup starts bubbling up add ginger powder & cardamom powder, and mix well.
  • Add the broken pieces of murukku into hot syrup.
  • Keep turning over all the pieces until they are nicely coated.
  • Remove the pan from heat and leave aside.
  • Separate all the pieces stuck to the dried syrup using a flat ladle.
  • Store in a clean airtight container for a week.
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Manoharam Recipe

Tips & Tweaks:

  • We like manoharam the most mainly because of thick flavourful jaggery layer around these crunchy sticks. But you can just coat murukku with hot syrup and remove them immediately from the syrup as shown below.
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A light coat of syrup
  • We can prepare manoharam by dipping large gram flour murukku or thin rice flour murukku into the jaggery syrup.
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Manoharam with rice flour murukku

65 comments on “ManoharamAdd yours →

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  1. Megala, I have never eaten manoharam. I didn’t know this dish at all and have now read about it for the first time.
    Iit looks very appetizing and I’m sure it tastes great! Thanks for your description!
    Rosie from Germany…🌹🌹

    1. It is my pleasure to introduce such traditional recipes to my readers. I hope this post might motivate someone particularly the younger generation in our family to try this recipe sometime. πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for reading my posts and sharing your thoughts.
      Have a wonderful week ahead!

  2. Beautifully arranged, deliciously presented… I will dream of this!
    Merry Christmas, dear Megala! πŸŽ„ And my very best wishes to you and your family for the season and the coming year! πŸ’

  3. yum!!! remind me not to look at your site right before dinner β€” now I am famished just looking at the photos lol

  4. Wow! How nice! I love the Manoharam made of rice flour, yum!
    Deep fried snacks always make me think of my childhood. ^^
    Happy Deepawali !!

  5. Absolutely loved this recipe for Manoharam, Megala! There is something similar in Konkan area called khaaje. But the center sticks are solid. I like these hollow tube ones much better. I am nuts about ginger in jaggery syrup so hope to try these soon.

  6. Wow fantastic presentation and such a lovely story of Lord Ram. Happy Deepawali to you and your family, Megala 😊😊😊😊❀️❀️❀️❀️

  7. (EN) Happy Diwali Megala! Thanks so much for sharing😊. Love the cardamon smell and taste. Once ,please ,share the recipe of that preparation made of carrot, milk, sugar and cardamon. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of that sweet, but I love so much how you tell traditions and recipes.
    (IT) Buon Diwali Megala! Grazie mille per la condivisione😊. Adoro il profumo e il gusto del cardamomo.Una volta, per favore, condividi la ricetta di quella preparazione fatta con carote, latte, zucchero e cardamomo. Sfortunatamente, non mi ricordo il nome di quel dolce, ma adoro il modo in cui racconti tradizioni e ricette.

  8. Wow, very interesting recipe and that platter looks so tempting β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ€©πŸ€©πŸ€©πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹
    Happy Diwali πŸŽ†πŸŽ‰πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†

  9. Manoharam is a new dish to me and sounds like yet another delicious snack, savory and sweet at the same time .The Diwali platter with all delicious goodies is so tempting. Wish you and family a wonderful Diwali Megala!

    1. Thanks Nisha! It is indeed a unique snack with different flavors, and I’m glad you liked this Diwali platter.
      Wishing you all a very happy Diwali! πŸ™‚

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