Mind you, even I have used a lot of Ghee and Sugar in this recipe. But without that, the taste wouldn’t be what it is. I have served it on some occasions where some of my friends from South India have not had it before and they loved every bite of it. I have eaten one of the South Indian version made with jaggery, and that is very much different than this. In nuts, I have used coarsely ground pistachios and almonds, but you are free to use cashews and raisins if you prefer. Traditionally, no nuts are added to the halwa and its super tasty as it is.
This halwa is generally served during auspicious occasions in North India and is a kids’ favourite. We used to pair the halwa with some Poori and dry potato sabzi, for our family trips and always used to end up eating stomach full. Such a good old Indian sweet that it is 🙂
What you need ?
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup Ghee
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 ½ cups warm water (not boiling)
- Assorted nuts of your choice, chopped small or ground coarsely
- A pinch of saffron strands, mixed with 1 tbsp of milk
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
How to make ?
Pour in all the Ghee in a pan and heat it. When it’s hot, add in the Whole wheat flour and roast it at a low flame. This process will take long time, around 18-20 minutes of continuous stirring should yield in the desired aroma and texture of the flour.
While its getting roasted, prepare the sugar syrup. Mix sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Turn the flame to medium and keep boiling the syrup until a chashni of 1 taar is formed. It should be a bit sticky when stretched between two fingers. Add cardamom powder and saffron + milk to this syrup at this point, mix and turn the flame off.
Now check if the flour has been roasted properly, the fragrance should give you the hint. Carefully pour the sugar syrup into the pan, stirring the mixture rigorously else it will form lumps. Please note that while pouring in water in one go, the steam might hurt your hand.. So either wear an oven glove or ask somebody else to help with it.
Keep the flame on medium, add chopped nuts and cook further for another 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Yes, this gives an excellent exercise to your arms!
Once it’s all lumpy and mixed properly, turn off. Serve hot!
To get a vegan version – use coconut oil for roasting the flour and mix the saffron with 1 tbsp of Almond milk or coconut milk. You may even skip the saffron totally or simply soak in a tbsp. of water.
I often add some wheat bran (Jau ka atta) to the whole wheat just to induce more fiber into the diet. It will need more water in case you try it too, about ¼ cup more.
You may feel the need of adding more water, I usually add another half cup sometimes specially if any bran is added. Depends on the quality and quantity of ghee and flour and the consistency you want. If you are adding water, do warm it up first and NEVER use cold water.
If you are fond of desserts, then you must try this Middle Eastern dessert called –