Guess what ? It's my 200 th post and am so happy to reach this milestone. Thanks to all my friends and blogger friends for their continuous support. To be frank, I's really prepared for this day and planned on making this post , a special one. I tried making halwa , the famous, thirunelveli halwa. Yep, it involves whole lot of work and u need some help for the stirring process if u decide to make a bulk quantity.
Wheat berries / whole wheat -- 1 cup
Sugar -- 2 cups
Ghee -- 1 1/2 cup - 2 cups
Cardamom powder -- a big pinch
Cashews -- a handful
- Soak the wheat for minimum 36 (to 48 )hours ( refer the pic 1 ) and grind in a blender / mixie adding water.
- Squeeze the berries and filter the milk from the grounded mixture and reserve in a seperate bowl. (just the same as taking coconut milk )
Again put back the partially squeezed wheat into the blender and add some water. Blend / grind and filter the milk. Repeat the process until u r done with ur ground berries.Discard the ground berries once done.. ( i.e. stop when u feel can't get anymore milk..)
- Collect the milk and stir once and close the bowl with the lid. Now rest the milk for 1 to 2 hours ( optional , else until the milk settle down. ) (refer the pic 2. )
- Now u may see the milk settled down and the extra water ( very thin milk ) floating on top. Slightly tilt the bowl and discard the thin milk ..( almost looks like water ..) (refer the pic 3 )
- Heat a thick bottomed pan, preferably the pressure pan, with sugar and 1/4 cup of water and dissolve . Bring the syrup to a boil and look for one string consistency. Once u get it, add the milk to the syrup and start stirring over medium heat. Now, the milk will start solidify and thickens as u stir.
- Drop in the food colour and mix well. Stir the halwa without lumps over medium / medium low heat. Meanwhile, boil a cup of water and add to the halwa mixture. This step is to ensure even cooking of halwa without any lumps by delaying the solidify process. Heat a tsp of ghee in a separate pan and roast the cashews.
- Drop in the roasted cashews to the halwa mixture , a pinch of cardamom powder and start adding ghee lil by little in equal intervals until u use the given quantity.
- Continue stirring the halwa until the halwa starts oozing the ghee out and leaves the sides without sticking as in the pic 9. It might take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour window for stirring depends on how many cups of wheat berries used.
- My friends suggested me adding half the amount of oil instead of ghee ( i.e. -- 1 cup of oil + 1 cup of ghee )
- U may store the halwa mixture in a bowl and refrigerate during the procedure when u feel very tired. But make sure, u microwave the halwa the next day b4 u start stirring again.
- Measure the wheat berry milk to get the correct proportion of sugar needed. ( i.e. add 2 cups of sugar for one cup of milk ..)