Monday, February 26, 2018

Posted by Mala at 12:00:00 AM No comments
One more recipe is brought in for you all from my Travel diary......
Last month, I was in Tirunelveli, visiting all the Nava Tiruppathis, and the temples of Tirunelveli. Well...if you let me speak more about the temples, then I may have to start a travel blog!!!
I saw the boards of sweet shops, which read , "Iruttukadai halwa".....My inquisitive mind won't rest until I found out why it was called "Iruttukadai"???
First of all, they open only by 5 pm in the evening, and slightly before their opening time itself, people start lining up in front of the shop.  They close by 8pm...that's all their business hours...all theuir fresh halwa is sold by then....There are some not-original shops too,carrying the same board... which open in the morning itself.
Normally, I never used to be fascinated by Tirunelveli halwa, but when I saw so many people standing in the line, my curiosity went to its peak....I too bought a small serving, hot-hot, freshly made halwa, served in a banana leaf with ghee oozing out....
I again did my job...begged a staff for the recipe, which , of course, he told in kilograms......
I brought the measurement level to the lowest possible....
All along, I was under the impression, grinding and extracting milk from Whole wheat is a very strenuous job .....a laborious job....but no!!
Now, I tried, it wasn't difficult..since the quantity was very small...this quantity is perfect for all first time makers.

Whole Samba wheat - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee, at room temperature - 1/2 cup
Broken cashews - a few
Saffron - a few strands
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar for caramelizing - 2 tsps
Water - 2 tsps

Recipe Cuisine: South Indian; Category: Prasaad/dessert/sweet/lunch/dinner/breakfast
Soaking time: Over night; Prep time: 15-20 mts; Resting time: 11/2 hrs;  Cooking time: 25 mts

Yields 6-8 small servings

Samba wheat measured and taken

Washed well, and soaked over night

Loaded into the blender jar in the morning with some water

Ground to a smooth batter. This is the wheat milk extract

Strain the ground mixture, pressing it nicely with a spoon

The thick milk extract

Whatever is in the strainer, grind it again with some water

Like this, you do thrice, and collect the milk extract

This is the total milk obtained, cover with a lid, and leave it undisturbed for 1 1/2 hours. I ground this in the early morning, left it aside and went for an hour's walk, and when I came back, it had settled well

You can see the thick milk settled down well, and the thin watery portion on top. Not the whole watery portion, but 2-3 small ladles of this water is to be discarded.

Mix the whole thing nicely

Take a non stick pan, pour the wheat milk into it, add saffron strands and cardamom powder.

In just 1 tsp ghee, roast the cashews to golden color.

Now we have to caramelize the sugar. See, what a beautiful idea this is...artificial food colors are so harmful, in fact, it affects many people's throats. This is a very nice idea, which I loved. But we must take care. Add 2 tsps sugar in another small non stick pan, probably in the same pan in which you roasted the  cashews

Sugar has started melting now. Flames on the lowest, keep stirring..color has started changing...we must be careful......if it becomes too dark in color, it turns out to be very bitter

Add 2 tsps of water, the whole thing will become frothy. Switch off now

Add the roasted cashews and the 1 tsp ghee to the pan, wherein you have poured the wheat milk extract. This way, when you stir, it does not get stuck at the bottom. These points, the staff didn't say...this is my suggestion....idea....

Mix well, keep on slow fire

When it starts getting  a  slightly thickened consistency...

Add sugar, which you have measured and kept

the caramelized sugar water......

and half of the ghee measured and kept. From now, starts a good exercise for your hand....but since the quantity is very little, I did not struggle much..if there is one more person to help you while stirring, nothing like it...

The various stages of stirring...clicked after every 5 minutes

The final stage...when it starts leaving the sides...👍👍

What are you waiting for now????? Serve on a banana leaf, and take a spoon of will just glide down your throat!!!

This post first appeared in
* Becomes a bit more solid in texture, as it cools down.
*There is also a notion, the kitchens where it is made, have a very dull, small lamp, and that is also the reason for its name "இருட்டுக்கடை ஹல்வா". But I am not certain about that reason. May be in the olden days, it was like that!!


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