I got up this Sunday morning with a halwa craving, fondly remembering the sooji ka halwa my mom used to make on weekends. There was no sooji (semolina) in the pantry to recreate her recipe, so I turned internet-wards for recourse.
The recipe for gur aur atte ka halwa (jaggery and whole wheat flour halwa) on Divine Taste struck an instant chord: the pictures were mouth-watering, and the key ingredients – whole wheat and jaggery – were healthy substitutes (well, more importantly, available with me!) for semolina and sugar.
Thanks Anushruti for the easy recipe. This is the first time I’ve made halwa (yeah, didn’t I tell you I am not a dessert person?) and in the process I was wondering how it’ll come to look the way it does in her pictures, thick and translucent. I trusted the recipe and bless her – it did indeed come together beautifully. Mine was a shade of brown darker than the original’s, probably because of the color of jaggery used. The halwa was super-tasty.
On to the recipe – it is like the original’s with additional newbie-experience commentary :-P
- Atta (whole wheat flour) – 3/4 cup
- Jaggery – 3/4 cup (I used Namdhari’s organic powdered jaggery)
- Water – 1.5 cups
- Ghee – 2 tablespoons
- Cardamom – 2 pods
- Almonds – a few slivers for garnishing
In the picture above: atta (whole wheat flour), cardamom, powdered jaggery, ghee, almonds.
Heat ghee in a kadhai or skillet. When the ghee has melted, add atta and stir.
Keep roasting the atta, stirring regularly, till the color turns dark and the raw smell disappears (about 10 minutes).
After 10 minutes of roasting:
[This looked like a minuscule amount. 'How will it serve 4 to 6 as promised in the recipe?' was the question foremost on my mind at this stage.]
In another saucepan, mix the jaggery in 1.5 cups of water and heat it till the jaggery dissolves. Don’t boil. This will give you a thin, chocolate-colored liquid. [Don't despair at the runniness of the jaggery syrup. Very soon this liquid will work its magic on the ghee-roasted atta, putting an end to your doubts about both texture and quantity.]
Pour the jaggery syrup into the atta skillet – pour slowly from the sides to avoid splattering. Voilà! In an instant the atta will expand to several times its volume, bubble thickly and there will be no more signs of runniness.
See? If that isn’t Hogwarts-worthy, I don’t know what is.
Add crushed cardamom powder into the mix. Make sure there are no lumps, press with a spatula to break if any. Cook for another minute on low flame, stirring continuously.
In a minute, our dish will have come together in this glowing tempting mass of halwa.
Place gur atte ka halwa into individual bowls. Slice almonds into slivers and sprinkle some over each bowl. Serve hot as dessert after an Indian meal, or as a standalone anytime snack.