Monday, December 10, 2007
Recipe: Wheat halwa
When I posted the recipe for Kashi Halwa one of the readers had asked for the recipe for Wheat Halwa and I had promised to post it when I got a chance. Unfortunately, it took me longer than I expected! Wheat Halwa is prepared using a special type of long bodied wheat called Chamba wheat in Tamil. It is not available in all shops. I checked many shops in Hyderabad and was not successful. Though hubby dear located a shop in Bangalore and brought the wheat for me, it took me another 3 months to actually prepare the halwa. I finally used the excuse of my handsome and charming son’s visit to Hyderabad to make some wheat halwa for him. Therefore, recipe time!
Preparation of wheat halwa is a laborious and time consuming process, but the final result is worth the effort. You also need an additional pair of strong hands to stir the halwa non-stop, so don’t start preparing the halwa all alone.
Chamba wheat : 1 cup
Sugar : 3 cups
Ghee: 2 cups
Cashew nuts : 1 tbsp.
Raisins : 1 tbsp.
Cardomom powder : 1 tsp.
Red food color : a pinch
Saffron: few strands
Boiling water: 4 cups (keep this boiling hot in a stove near by)
Wash and soak the wheat for 4 hours. Grind the soaked wheat with just enough water initially and when the wheat is well ground, add more water and grind to a smooth batter. Strain the batter through a muslin cloth or a fine strainer to another container. When all the milk is drained, grind the residue with some more water to extract any left over milk from the wheat. Strain again. Allow the wheat milk to stand for 2 hours and decant the water on the top. The wheat milk will have settled down at the bottom. This is the base for wheat halwa.
Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee to a golden brown and keep aside.
Boil the sugar with 2 cups of water in a thick bottomed kadai (a non-stick would be the best choice). When the sugar dissolves and starts to boil, add a tbsp. of milk or lemon juice to remove the impurities of the sugar, which will float as scum. Boil the sugar syrup to one string consistency and add the wheat milk and keep stirring (non-stop).
Dissolve the saffron and food color in a little milk and add to the boiling halwa. When the contents start leaving the sides of the kadai add 1 cup of boiling water, stirring all the while. As and when this water gets absorbed add one ladle full of ghee and stir some more. Add 1 more cup of boiling water and ghee and repeat this process until all the water has been added and absorbed. Add the remaining ghee and keep stirring until the halwa leaves the sides of the kadai. Add cardomom powder ,stir and pour onto a greased tray. Allow to cool for some time. Cut into desired shape.