From Malika Kallichurn‘s Manzé Lontan, this traditional sugar candy has been a well-loved treat for Mauritians before the advent of chocolate and industrialized sweets. Bheli, from pure sugar cane syrup, could be made in large amounts and stored for months to cater families with several children. On the occasion of the 181th anniversary of Abolition of Slavery in Mauritius, I hereby share with you this forgotten Mauritian candy in all its rustic simplicity.

BHELI

Ingredients:

500ml pure sugar cane syrup

100g toasted peanuts, chopped

50g toasted sesame seeds

Method:

  • Prepare a large baking sheet/pan or metal plate by greasing the surface with a generous amount of butter.

  • Select a large, heavy-based pan or caraille for the preparation of bheli as it needs to cook for almost 1 hour.

  • Pour the sugar cane syrup into the pan and cook over low heat, stirring syrup regularly with a metal spoon.

  • Cook till the syrup thickens and leaves the edges of the pan. It should have reached two-string consistency.

  • Reserve about 1 tablespoon of chopped peanuts and toasted sesame seeds. Add the rest to the cane syrup.

  • Stir vigorously until well combined. Working quickly, drop spoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared pan.

  • The mixture will start to solidify almost immediately. Sprinkle with remaining peanuts and sesame seeds.

  • Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container away from sunlight. Makes about 15 pieces.

Bheli – Traditional Sugar Candy