The festival of Navratri begins from tomorrow and my mother-in-law suggested that I share her recipe for singhara halwa for the occasion. This in fact is her mother’s recipe and she always spoke very high about it. So, recipe notes were taken, and I gave it a shot and I am ready to share the recipe, although I did make a few tweaks to it vis-à-vis the amount of water and ghee. I increased the amount of water and reduced the amount of ghee. Also, I swapped the sugar with jaggery since we try and avoid refined sugar, wherever possible, in our desserts. She insisted that the flour be roasted dry first and then again with ghee, similar to how I roast the flour for my Besan Ladoo (Chickpea Flour Laddu) This method makes a difference to the taste of halwa and one also needs less ghee this way. Adding nuts is optional but recommended. The dos and don’ts to making this halwa are similar to that of making the Atta Halwa (Wholemeal Pudding). One needs to ensure that the flour is well roasted, else it will be pasty and taste really bad. But over roasting will result in a somewhat burnt taste. So I suggest you read the instructions carefully for desirable results and roast on low heat.
¼ C plus 1½ tbsp Ghee (Coconut oil for vegans)
1 C Singhada Atta
1 C scrapped, Date Palm Jaggery (This amount is suitable for our taste. Add more if required)
½ tsp Cardamom Powder
2 C Hot Water
2 – 3 tbsp Assorted Nuts and Raisins
Heat a kadahi or a heavy bottom sauce pan. Decrease the heat to minimum and add the singhara atta. Roast on low heat for four to five minutes, stirring continuously. (the flour should attain light golden brown color)
Add ghee and keep roasting till there is no more raw smell, stirring continuously. It would take approximately three to four minutes for this step.
Add hot water along with cardamom powder and keep stirring vigorously yet carefully as the contents might splutter around.
Add the scrapped jaggery and cook further till the halwa comes together in as a mass and leaves oil around edges.
Add and stir in half the nuts and serve hot or warm garnished with the remaining nuts. Enjoy!
Serves – 8 to 10
Note – Roasting is the key here. Over roasting will lead to somewhat bitter tasting halwa. Also, ensure you roast it on lowest heat and stirring it continuously else the flour will burn.
Note – Use two cups of water for a crumbly texture of halwa and two & a half cups of water if you like the consistency loose and smooth.
Note – Once I heat the water, I add cardamom powder to it. Also, feel free to add some milk or water while reheating the halwa.
Note – The colour of the halwa that you make might vary, in comparison to mine, since it is dependent on the colour of the jaggery being used.