The other day while I was sitting down watching a programme on TV I felt hungry, I wanted to eat something warm, you know when you have that craving during the winter to have something which will have a warm affect on your body, so I thought why not make a cup of hot cocoa, as soon as I went into my kitchen my desi mood kicked in, I thought I will make halwa and share it with you lovely people so you can make some too.
Halwa is a sweet dish usually prepared during the winters as it has a warming effect on the body, it is usually made with ghee or butter but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it if your a vegan, you can use oil, I’ve used oil many times to prepare this halwa, taste is pretty much the same as using butter or ghee, most people make this halwa with sugar but I personally prefer to make it using gur powder (jaggery powder) as I cannot find pure gur (jaggery) in its solid form here in the uk, you can read about the benefits of gur here, there are different types of halwas, halwa can be made with vegetables such as carrot, beetroot, pumpkin or bottle gourd, but the most traditional halwa is made using wheatfour or semolina, I will share a gluten free halwa recipe very soon.
1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)
2 1/3 cups of water
1/3 cup jaggery powder or 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup of ghee or oil
First we will make the sheera (sugar syrup) so add your sugar or jaggery powder to the pan and add in 2 1/3 cups of water, place this on medium heat and allow the sugar to dissolve it usually takes 1-2 minutes you don’t want the sheera to be thick at all, it needs to be watery the reason we do this is to dissolve the sugar, immediately take the sheera of the heat when the sugar is dissolved, (my syrup looks dark because I have used jaggery powder.)
In another pan add in 1/2 a cup of ghee, add in 2 green cardamoms and optionally 1 clove, add in a pinch of salt keep this on low heat, after 1 minute add in 1 cup of wheat flour, then start to mix it, make sure there is enough liquid to mix in with the flour (as shown in the first image) then keep roasting it on medium heat and be very careful not to burn yourself, keep stirring all around the pan and make sure the mixture does not stick to the sides or else it will burn, after the mixture changes to a light golden colour and you can smell the aroma of roasted wheat then it is ready for the next step.
Turn the heat up to medium and then slowly add in the sheera (sugar syrup) I couldn’t take a picture at this step as I burnt my finger but be very careful not to burn yourself, keep mixing as you don’t want any lumps to form while you’re mixing, the mixture will splutter and then it will become hard and this is when you need to be strong and mix the halwa, Slowly you will notice the halwa forms like a dough, at this stage the halwa should leave the pan easily, you need to keep Stirring until you see the oil releasing it should take no more than 7-8 minutes.
when the oil is released you can add chopped almonds and shredded coconut and mix it, it is now ready to serve, garnish with chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, chopped walnuts or any dry fruit or nut of your choice, make yourself a cup of herbal tea and devour! although it’s best served with desi tea but no I’m not that desi.
This halwa serves 5-6 people, This may not be the way alot of people make halwa, but it is a recipe I have made for a few years, you can add the sweetener according to your taste, the halwa is quite rich so make sure you eat a small amount, you can keep this in the fridge for up to 4 days, it takes around 30 minutes to make, the halwa is best served warm, I hope you do try this recipe and like this post, it will give me the encouragement to share more recipes. Eat well and take care of yourselves.