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Wheat Halwa

Wheat Halwa’ is a ‘must’ during Diwali at my home. There are many methods of preparing this popular Indian sweet, but the authentic and traditional way is by grinding the wheat grains and extracting the wheat milk to make this halwa. Though it is time consuming, its worth the effort as the outcome is the melt in the mouth, soft, non-gluey, delectable sweet!

Wheat Halwa

Wheat Halwa' is an authentic recipe using traditional method of grinding the wheat grains and extracting the wheat milk to get the texture and flavour intact.
Prep Time10 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Sweets
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Festival Recipe, Traditional Indian Sweets
Servings: 25
Author: Delicious Galore

Equipment

  • Thick bottomed kadai or pan
  • Mixer Grinder
  • Muslin cloth/strainer

Ingredients

  • 250 gms Wheat Grains
  • 2 ½ cups Sugar 500 gms
  • 1 ¼ cups Ghee 300 ml
  • ½ tsp Elaichi Powder
  • a handful Cashews broken into pieces
  • 3 drops Food Colour tomato red or dark yellow or orange food colour
  • ½ tbsp Liquid Glucose optional

Instructions

  • Extracting milk from wheat grains: Soak wheat grains in water for 10-12 hrs. Grind it into a fine paste with enough water. Using a soup strainer or a clean muslin cloth, strain and extract the milk. The first milk will be thick and white in colour. Grind the leftover wheat husk/residue again and strain the milk. If you notice some more gluten content present in the husk, grind it for the third time and extract the milk. Discard the husk/residue or use it as a manure to plants.
  • Fermenting the wheat milk: Combine the first, second, third milk and keep it covered for 10 -12 hrs. In winters, we can keep it for 24 hrs for proper fermentation. We can observe that the thick white milk got settled at the bottom and the clear pale coloured water collected on top. Discard the water. Add 6 cups of fresh water to the thick white milk. Mix it well. This step of diluting the wheat milk is very important because the gluten content in the wheat milk has to get cooked properly when making halwa, otherwise the halwa will be sticky while chewing.
  • Add 3-4 drops of food colour to the milk and mix well. Roast a handful of cashews in little bit of ghee and set aside.
  • In a thick bottomed kadai, add sugar and a cup of water and boil in high flame. When the sugar gets dissolved, add a spoon of milk to the syrup. The dirt/scum gets collected at the sides. Remove the dirt using the spoon. Boil the syrup until it reaches a single thread consistency.
  • Keep the flame low and add the diluted wheat milk and mix it well. Once it gets combined with the syrup, increase the heat to medium–high and keep stirring continuously.
  • The halwa thickens and looks transparent. If we the spatula while stirring, it will look like a transparent glass sheet. At this stage, start adding melted ghee 2 tbsp at a time. Keep stirring. Each time when you add ghee, the halwa absorbs it fast. Keep on adding the melted ghee gradually.
  • Dip a stainless steel spoon into a bowl of lukewarm water and take ½ tbsp of liquid glucose and add it to the halwa. Mix it well. (Adding liquid glucose is completely optional. Liquid glucose prevents the crystallization of sugar content in the halwa. The halwa will be smooth in texture without any white grains/crystals in it. If you don’t wish to add liquid glucose, skip the step as it will not affect the taste and consistency of the halwa).
  • Add elaichi powder and roasted cashew nuts. Keep stirring.
  • At this point we could see that the halwa gets collected, gathers into a ball and starts oozing out ghee. Switch off the flame and transfer it into a greased plate or tray. Level it using the back side of a flat bottomed cup. Let it cool and cut it into pieces.
  • Store it in a clean container. This halwa stays good for 10-12 days at room temperature.

Notes

  • When the halwa starts oozing out ghee, we can collect the excess ghee that gathers at the sides using a spoon.
  • Liquid glucose prevents the sugar content in the halwa from crystallizing, thus the halwa looks smooth without any white grainscrystals in it. This halwa stays good for 10-12 days at room temperature.
 

For similar Indian Sweets, plz check Badam HalwaMysore PakMakkan PedaMalai KulfiOats Semiya Payasam.

Happy Cooking!

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Malai Kulfi

Kulfi’, one of the renowned Indian desserts since Mughal’s era. With its creamy, silky soft texture and mild flavour, Kulfi is a sought-after treat in summer. Though it looks like an ice cream, kulfi differs in texture, taste and method of preparation.

It is rich, creamier and denser than ice cream. No whipping/beating is required in the process of making kulfi. Traditional kulfi contains very few ingredients like milk, sugar and any flavouring spices. The choice of flavours is limitless. A wide range of combinations with fruits and nuts like mango, kesar, badam and pista can be used to make this delectable frozen sweet.

The traditional method require simmering/condensing the full cream milk with sugar and flavours to get thick, caramelized rabri that is frozen in kulfi moulds or small earthen pots. Though it takes lots of time and effort, the taste and flavour obtained is unbeatable.

The slow caramelization of milk yields extra smoothness and unique flavour to the kulfi. But nowadays due to time constraint, various quick and easy methods are followed in which ready-to-use condensed milk/milk powder are used along with any thickening agents like corn flour/rice four/khoya/bread crumbs to prepare kulfi without compromising the original taste. Moreover, the choice of moulds in which the kulfi gets set is also huge ranging from small matkas to food-grade plastic moulds, stainless glasses to disposable cups and more.

Here, I have prepared a very basic version of kulfi called ‘Malai Kulfi’ that has finely chopped dry fruits and a subtle flavour of kewra. As per the conventional method, I have condensed the full cream milk and sugar over low heat. In order to enhance the texture and taste, I have added small quantities of breadcrumbs, milk powder and homemade malai. Although the process is time consuming, it is worth the effort as the kulfi is silky soft and tastes delectable.

Malai Kulfi

Delectable, silky soft 'Kulfi' is a most sought-after frozen dessert in India during summer. Here's a very basic version of kulfi called ‘Malai Kulfi’ made up of homemade rabri, finely chopped dry fruits with the subtle flavours of elaichi and kewra.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Frozen Indian Dessert, Malai Kulfi, Matka Kulfi
Servings: 8 people
Author: Delicious Galore

Equipment

  • Thick-bottomed Utensil / Kadai
  • Mixer Grinder
  • Small-sized Matka / Kulfi moulds

Ingredients

  • 1 litre Full Cream Milk
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cream / Malai
  • 2 tbsp Bread Crumbs
  • 2 tbsp Milk Powder
  • 3 tbsp Dry fruits – Almond, Cashew and Raisins finely chopped
  • ½ tsp Cardamom / Elaichi powder
  • 2-3 drops Kewra Essence

Instructions

  • Boil milk in a thick-bottomed vessel/kadai. Add sugar and mix well. Keep stirring until the sugar gets dissolved.
  • Simmer it over medium / low heat. Keep on stirring the milk from time to time until it reduces to half the quantity. At this stage, the condensed milk looks like rabri.
  • Grind 2 tbsp each of bread crumbs, milk powder and ¼ cup of malai to a thick paste. Add the grounded paste to the simmered milk and let it boil for a minute or two.
  • Remove the kulfi mixture from flame and bring it to room temperature. Add finely chopped dry fruits, elaichi powder and kewra essence.
  • Chill the mixture in refrigerator for ½ an hour. Fill the kulfi moulds with the chilled mixture and freeze for 5-6 hours.
  • Before serving, take the moulds from the freezer,dip them in water once or twice and unmould the kulfi.

Notes

  • Use wide-surfaced utensil/kadai to shorten the cooking time while condensing the milk.
  • Do not add dry fruits and essence when the mixture is hot.
  • Fill  ¾ th of the mould as kulfi gets expanded while freezing.
  • If you are using the kulfi sticks, insert them when the kulfi is half frozen (after 2 hours).

For more Indian sweets/desserts, plz click Mysore Pak, Badam Halwa, Wheat Halwa, Makkan Peda, Oats Semiya Payasam.

Happy Cooking!

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Mixed Fruit Salad with Chia Seeds

This scrumptious mixed fruit salad is adapted from a renowned South Indian dessert, ‘Panchamirtham’, that is prepared as a bhog/prasadam during festivals and pujas in temples and households in Tamil Nadu.

The authentic version of panchamirtham recipe has milk / curd, ghee, honey, edible camphor, elaichi powder and rock sugar. Here, I wanted to keep the salad simple but bursting with natural flavours of the fresh fruits and chia seeds. So, I have made few changes in the recipe… instead of milk/curd I have used lemon juice…skipped edible camphor, rock sugar and honey and have included jaggery and chia seeds.

The recipe calls for fresh fruits like apple, banana, pears, plums, dates and pomegranate. If any of these fruits are not in season, you can substitute that fruit with another, from the same family and with similar taste.

A small portion of jaggery in the recipe helps to subtly sweeten the dessert. Also, it enhances the nutritious value of the dish as jaggery is rich in iron and aids in digestion.

The highlight in this recipe is, I have included organic raw chia seeds that are rich in Omega-3 & Omega-6 essential fatty acids, protein and dietary fiber to make it more nourishing. Also, it gives slight crunchiness to the salad. This delicious recipe can be relished as a dessert or a salad.

Ingredients

  • Banana – 1, medium sized, ripe
  • Apple – ½ cup, cored and cubed
  • Pears – ¼ cup, cored and cubed
  • Plums – 4 or 5, deseeded and cubed
  • Dates – 5 or 6, deseeded and chopped
  • Pomegranate seeds – ¼ cup
  • Jaggery – 1 tbsp, grated
  • Raw Chia Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cardamom / Elaichi powder – a pinch
  • Lemon juice – few drops

Method

  • Prepare the fruits. Wash, peel, core or deseed and cube them as required.
  • Toss chopped banana, pears and apple with few drops of lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring.
  • In a large bowl, add grated jaggery and mash it slightly. Add the fruits, elaichi powder, half of the chia seeds and mix well till jaggery gets coated well on the fruits.
  • Sprinkle the remaining raw chia seeds over the fruit salad and serve immediately.

For more salad recipes, plz click Black Chick Peas and Corn Salad with ACV Dressing, Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal, Gado Gado.

Happy Cooking!