Apr 16, 2013

Wheat Halwa with Cardamom Flavor

Dessert from wheat flour, sugar, butter and cardamom

Featured spice: Cardamom- Image courtesy Wikimedia 

1 cup wheat flour
1 cup sugar*
2 cups water
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
3 tbsp raisins
3 tbsp sliced almonds or cashews
1 tsp powdered cardamom and 1 extra tbsp butter for garnish roasting

A deep skillet or pan (also 9" or larger diameter is better)
A small 1-2 quart pot to make sugar-water
(You will also need a small bowl/plate for holding the garnishing nuts)
Couple of spoons and ladles and cloth or mitts etc to handle hot items.


1. Bring water to boil in the small pot (while this is heating up, go to step 2.) Add sugar and stir couple of times to dissolve it. Lower the heat to minimum and hold.

2. Add 1 tbsp butter to a medium size (9 inch dia?) pan and roast nuts and raisins over medium heat. Remove the nuts & raisins and keep them in small bowl. Check the water/sugar stuff in step 1. Place pan back on the stove.

3. Next, add the remaining butter/coconut oil to the pan and once it is melted, slowly add the flour to the pan and start stirring regularly so that the flour gets roasted. Make sure to stir regularly and do not leave stove unattended to avoid burning the flour. There will be a distinct smell that will come from roasted flour (not burnt flour, haha) that will tell you when it is ready. The color of the flour will also change, but some of this is a skill you learn over time based on your stove type and heat input. But normally 5-7 mins of roasting over medium heat works on my GE electric coil range. It will be faster on natural gas flame stoves.
4. Meanwhile, the sugar would have fully dissolved so switch off and add powdered cardamom to the sugar water. 
5. Next, add this sugar water to the roasted flour mixture while stirring very regularly.  Continue stirring and add a little extra butter or oil if needed to keep flour from sticking.
6. Keep stirring till the texture of the mixture reaches even consistency and also, the flour mix (halwa now) will separate from the walls of the pan or the bottom more easily. Reduce heat/switch it off and transfer to serving plate and then garnish/sprinkle with nuts. You can also try sprinkling freshly shredded coconut or adding banana slices on the serving plate (I have not tried bananas, but it is easy to give ideas :P Have tried mango slices though).

Optional: You can also enjoy this with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, to complement the heat.

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