Sweet Halwa - Informative & researched article on Sweet Halwa
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Home > Society > Indian Food > Indian Desserts > Sweet Halwa
Sweet Halwa
Halwa is a dessert made from various kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils.
 
 Halwa SweetsHalwa is a dessert made from various kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and lentils. The ingredients in Halwa are grated finely and fried in ghee and sugar. Nuts and milk may also be added. Halwas have the consistency of a very thick pudding. "Halva" is the name given to a huge range of sweets made in the Middle East, Central Asia and India. The word itself comes from the Arabic word for sweet, "Hulw".

In the seventh century; hulw was a date paste that was kneaded with milk, which eventually evolved into other forms including stiffer confections made with wheat or semolina flour and sweetened with fruit paste, syrup or honey and flavoured with nuts, spices or even rose water before deep-frying.

As Arabic influence spread, halva took on local flare. Nepalese versions can be sweet, made from carrot and barley, or savoury, made from barley, ghee, water and salt. Middle Eastern halva can be made with nuts, dried fruits, yoghurt, honey and spices. In Turkey and Greece, halva is made without grain and is made with cooked egg, syrup, nuts and sometimes fruit.

Indian Halva
indian HalwaIn India, halva`s popularity became the root of halvais, the confectioners caste. Many Indian versions are made with semolina and ghee. Depending upon where you go, you can find types that use spices, nuts, or seeds. Non-semolina-based confections can be made from zedoary flour or veg (carrot, potatoes, beets or squash), fruit (bananas, mangoes, papayas) or legumes (lentils, peanuts, moong beans). Other ingredients can include cream, egg custard or coconut milk and can be flavoured with any number of nuts, spices and/or dried fruits.

Halva enjoys a special status in popular jargon in the state of Tamil Nadu. "Enakkae alvaa vaa?" (roughly translated as "are you trying to give me alvaa?") is a humorous colloquial Tamil phrase used when the speaker feels that another person is trying to outsmart him or her.

The halva in the southern state was brought by North Indian businessmen or "Lalas", and hence the famous name "Lala Kadai Halva" (Lala`s Shop Halva). In Tirunelveli, a famous shop serves halva after six in evening hence it is called "irutu kadai" meaning "dark shop" in Tamil. It is known for its delicious halva which is red in color and has ghee floating on it.

Types of halwa

Carrot HalwaCarrot Halwa
Ingredients:
1 kg juicy orange carrots
1 1/2 litre milk
400-500 gm sugar
elaichi powder (cardomon)
saffron few flakes
1 tbsp ghee

Method: Peel and grate carrots. Put milk and carrots in a heavy saucepan. Boil till thick, stirring occassionally. Once it starts thickening, stir continuously. Add sugar and cook further till thickens. Add ghee, elaichi, saffron and colour. Stir on low heat till the mixture collects in a soft ball or the ghee oozes out. Serve hot, decorated with a chopped almond or pista.

Atte ka Seera
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. wheat flour
2 1/2 tbsp. ghee
3/4 to 1 cup sugar or molasses (jaggery)
elaichi powder
chopped pista and almonds

Method : Add flour and roast on slow fire, stirring continuously. Side by side add sugar to two cups of water and keep to boil. When the atta becomes a golden brown, add the boiling sugar water. Stir continuously till the excess water dries up and ghee separates. Decorate wth chopped nuts.

Badam ka SeeraBadam Ka Seera
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup almonds soaked overnight
3 cups hot milk
250 gm ghee
1/2 to 1/3 cup sugar

Method: Peel the almonds, wash and grind to fine paste. Heat ghee in a heavy pan. Add paste and cook on first high then slow flame, stirring continuously. After a while it should turn a light brown and aromatic. Carefully pour hot milk and stir. Use a long-handled spatula as the mixture tends to splatter. When thickens, add the sugar and cook, stirring continuously and gently till ghee begins to separate. Decorate with chopped nuts and serve hot.

Doodhi Halwa
Ingredients:
1 kg doodhi
1 1/2 litre milk
400-500 gm sugar
elaichi powder (cardomon)
saffron few flakes
1 tbsp ghee

Method: Peel and grate Dudhi. Put milk and dudhi in a heavy saucepan. Boil till thick, stirring occasionally. Once it starts thickening, stir continuously. Add sugar and cook further till thickens. Add ghee, elaichi, saffron and colour. Stir on low heat till the mixture collects in a soft ball or the ghee oozes out. Serve hot, decorated with a chopped almond or pista.

Suji ka HalwaSuji ka Halwa
Ingredients:
Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Pure ghee - 1 cup
Water - 4 cups
Mixed dry fruit- 25 gms

Method:Mixed sugar, water and boil to make syrup-keep aside. Heat ghee in karahi and fry sieved semolina in it till, it is golden brown. Add the sugar syrup stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Cook till water is absorbed. Add dry fruit. Use some to garnish. Serve it hot.

Beetroot Halwa
Ingredients:
Beetroot 1kg
Sugar 2 cups
Cardamom 6
Cashews 8
Ghee ¼ cup
Water ½ cup

Method: Roast the Cashews in ghee until it becomes golden brown. Peel the beetroots and grate them finely and keep it aside. Heat the pan with water after it is boiled add the beetroot and stir in low heat until the beetroot is well cooked. Then add the sugar stirring constantly in low heat and add roasted cashews, grounded cardamom, ghee and mix well. Cook until the mixture becomes a non-sticky paste .

Pumpkin Halwa
Ingredients:
Grated Pumpkin 2&1/2 cups
Milk 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Honey 1 cup
Cardamom 5
Cashew nuts 10
Ghee 1/4 cup

Method: Roast the cashews in ghee until it becomes golden brown. In a pan, heat 1 tsp ghee, add the grated pumpkin to it and stir well in low flame until the raw flavor is gone. To this add milk and cook until the pumpkin is tender. To this add sugar, honey, stir constantly in low flame. Add the roasted cashews and grounded cardamom. Mix well and leave it for 5 minutes. Add 3 tsp ghee to it and stir well, put in low flame until the ghee floats.

Jack Fruit Halwa
Ingredients:
Pitted Jackfruit 8 pieces
Sugar 150 gm
Coconut milk 150 ml
Cashew nuts 10
Almonds nuts 10
Ghee (Melted butter) 5 tsp

Method:Cut the jack fruit into small pieces and boil the jack fruit in water. Roast cahew and almonds in butter until it becomes golden brown. Keep this aside. Heat a pan with little butter and add boiled jack fruit. Add coconut milk and sugar and mix this well. Add Roasted cashew nuts and along with almonds, stir well leave it to cool for few minutes.

Maida Halwa
maida Halwa Ingredients:
All purpose flour (maida) 3 cup
Sugar 2 cup
Red food color a pinch
Ghee 1/2 cup
Cardamom 4
Roasted cashew 3/4 cup
water 4 cups

Method: Take a bowl add maida flour and water, mix with hand gently and evenly. Add minimum water and knead the flour to make it soft. Keep it aside for 1 hr. After 1 hour, add 3 cups water and mix well now the dough will give milk, separate the milk and keep aside. Leave the extracted milk for sometime, thick milk will settled down. Remove the liquid milk. Heat the pan then add thick milk, sugar, food colour and mix well. Keep stirring until liquid gets thick then add ghee slowly. Keep stirring until the ghee separates from halwa, add powdered cardamom, roasted cashews.

Banana HalwaHalwa
Ingredients:
Ripe Bananas - 1 and 1/2 Bananas
Sugar - 2 and 1/2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 3/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashews roasted or plain - handful for decoration
All purpose flour - 3 tsp

Method: Pressure-cook the bananas until soft. Remove the outer skin and deseed (remove the black layer inside). Mash the bananas to a paste in a food processor or blender. Make syrup of sugar by dissolving in 1/2 cup of water. It should be of string consistency. When this consistency is reached add the lemon juice and again allow it to reach the same thick consistency. To this, add the mashed bananas. To thicken the halwa, at this stage add flour dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Keep on stirring the mix to attain a thick mass. Add ghee little by little. When this becomes a thick mass, add the cardamom powder. Mix well and pour into a pan greased with ghee. Decorate with cashews. When cool cut and enjoy. This can be stored in refrigerator for a week minimum.

Ice Halwa
Ingredients :
1 cup very fine white semolina (rava)
1 cup ghee
4 cups milk (cool)
4 cups sugar
1/2 tbsp. each almond and pistas slivers (very thin)
2 pinches saffron flakes
1 tsp. rose water
2 thick large sheets of clean thick polythene for rolling.

Method: Deseed cardamoms and crush seeds coarsely. Keep aside. Grease sheets on one side and keep aside. Mix rava, ghee, milk and sugar in a large heavy pan. Place on high flame, and stir continuously, bring to boil. Reduce flame and go on stirring till a very soft lump is formed. Add rose water and top with 2 tbsp. ghee. Take off flame and knead (temper) well with a spatula. Place lump between the greased sides of the sheets. Roll evenly as fast as possible. Remove top sheet. Sprinkle all the toppings evenly. (ie. slivers, saffron broken and cardamom seeds). Replace sheet and re-roll quickly till very thin. Cut in 4" squares, store in airtight container when cool.

Bombay Halwa
Ingredients: 1 cup fine semolina
sugar as required in recipe
ghee 1 to 1 1/2 cups, as required in recipe
1/5 tsp. citric acid powdered
1/2 cup blanched peeled almonds, halved
1/4 cup green pistachios halved
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
saffron as desired
food colour red/green/yellow, as desired

Method: Soak semolina in enough water for 3 hours. Drain, rub gently between fingers, wash 3 times with fresh water. Keep aside to settle again, discard top water, grind to a very smooth paste. Add enough water, to make a thin batter. Heat one cup ghee in a large heavy pan, allow to cool. Add batter, stir well, till smooth. Place on heat, cook while stirring continuously, add ghee little by little. Cook to form a transparent, soft lump. Add sugar, stirring again, till it is liquefied, and again a soft lump forms. When ghee starts separating, take off fire, sprinkle citric acid. Stir well, mix in toppings and set in a , rectangular, greased, tray. Make incisions when cooled but still soft. Store in airtight container.
(Last Updated on : 05/01/2009)
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