We are looking ahead at a major Hindu festival and how can a halwa post not be there!? And that too an indulgent one because what is a festivity without some indulgence! Right? We mostly stick to eating healthy and balanced meals but when it is festival time, we do not restrain ourselves from indulging in some sweet and rich desserts. No, we do not let the horse lose and eat irresponsibly but we do not hold back from a festival indulgence since this kind of excess happens not more than twice a year, once on Holi and once on Diwali. There is no dearth of varieties of halwa that are made in India. You will find halwa made with fruits, with veggies, grains, lentils, dry fruits. Seriously, it is mind boggling. The basic anatomy of any halwa is – ghee, the star ingredient that you have chosen, a sweetener of your choice, water or/and milk.
In this recipe, the star ingredient is split and husked mung beans. The halwa made with mung beans has attained an exalted status among all kinds of halwa. Don’t ask me the reason for that (coz I have no idea) but it is served diligently during north Indian weddings especially during winter. I find it extremely rich and I have never been able to go beyond a few teaspoons of it. But I have seen many people enjoying it to the hilt with bowls full! There are many ways to make this halwa. Some people use roasted and coarsely ground dal to make halwa, others soak and make a paste ot the dal and then roast it to make the halwa. I am sharing the traditional method, i.e. making paste and roasting it. This recipe is my mother-in-law’s recipe and one that has been appreciated by many in the family and friends circle. The halwa is really worth a try 😊
1 Cup Moong Dhuli Dal/ split & husked Mung Beans (yellow mung beans)
1 scant Cup Desi Ghee (Vegans can use coconut oil although the taste won’t be rich)
2½ C full fat Milk (Vegans can use water or almond milk)
1 C scrapped Jaggery (I used date palm jaggery)
1 tsp Cardamom Powder
A few strands of Saffron (Use a good quality one)
Wash the dal twice in plenty of water. Drain and discard water.
Add water again to dal and soak the dal for 45 minutes. Discard water and grind the dal with as little water as possible to make a paste that is neither too fine nor too coarse.
Heat oil in a kadahi and reduce heat. Add dal and roast for approximately 30 minutes or till it turns golden-ish brown in color. Roast the dal on medium low heat. You need to keep stirring the contents continuously.
Carefully tip in the milk, in three batches along with the saffron soaked milk and cardamom powder. Cook while stirring continuously, after each addition, till the milk is absorbed by the dal.
Add the jaggery & nuts and keep stirring till the jaggery melts and the halwa comes together in one mass. Remove the kadahi from heat and transfer the contents to a serving bowl or individual bowls.
Serve hot or warm and enjoy this, scrumptious beyond words, halwa!
Serves 6 – 8
Thanks for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe made especially for Diwali 🙂