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September 27, 2009

Happy Dasara




Wheat Halwa

The one common feature perhaps lies in the cooking - all the halwas need to be stirred constantly. A minute's break could produce dry, lumpy masses. Overcook, and you could have a rocky and sticky mass that sticks to the teeth. Prepared well, though, the halwa becomes a soft confection that melts in the mouth. Is it any wonder, then, that halwas are one of the morepopular sweets.


Ingredients:

Wheat - 2 cups

Almonds (badam) - ¾ cup

Cashewnuts - ½ cup

Sugar - 5½ cups

Ghee - 30 ml

Cardamom - 2 pods

Saffron - a pinch

Method :

Soak the wheat and almonds in water for 24 hours.

Add a little water to the wheat and blend. Keep adding water and blending till it forms a runny liquid. Strain it through a cloth and squeeze well to get a white, milky extract. Set the extract aside till the solids settle down and there is a layer of clear water on the surface. Drain the clear water.

Blend the almonds till they become a coarse paste, and add that to the wheat extract.

Melt the ghee. In another pan, pour the sugar and some water to make sugar syrup. Fry the cashewnuts in a little ghee and keep aside.

When the sugar syrup is ready, add the wheat-almond mix to it slowly, stirring all the time. Add the saffron. Once the mixture begins to solidify, keep adding ghee at regular intervals, stirring continuously.

When the halwa stops sticking to the sides and comes away from the vessel when raked with the ladle, add the powdered cardamom, take off the flame, and spread on a tray to cool. Cut into squares or diamonds.

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