Halwa to woo your tastebuds.
When it comes to homemade desserts nothing can beat the range and taste of halwa. The word 'halwa' comes from the Arabic word, 'hulw' is a common sweetmeat and can be prepared in many ways. PINEAPPLE SEMOLINA HALWA (PINEAPPLE SHEERA) A simple, semolina halwa with the goodness of pineapple is sure to woo your tastebuds with its sweet and tangy combination. Ingredients
* 1/2 cup ghee * 1/2 cup semolina * 1/2 cup pineapple, chopped * Water, as required * 1/2 cup sugar * Saffron strands, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water * 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder * 7 raisins * 7 pistachios, sliced * 7 cashew nuts, sliced Preparation First heat ghee in a wok and add semolina. Stir it continuously till it turns golden brown. Add chopped pineapple and mix it well, cover the wok with a lid and allow it to cook for 2--3 minutes. Now add water and give it a stir so that semolina doesn't form lumps. As you keep stirring the mixture starts to cook, leave it on medium flame for another 2--3 minutes. Once cooked add sugar, continue to stir the halwa so that the moisture is not there. Before putting the flame down add saffron water, some cardamom powder and raisins, mix it well and remove from the heat. Transfer the sheera to a serving bowl. Garnish with the nuts and serve hot. Carrot Halwa CARROT HALWA It's a bright orange carrot pudding that's an absolute delight and the most loved dessert from the Indian subcontinent. Ingredients * 3 cups grated carrots * 1 tablespoon cashews, chopped * 1 tablespoon sliced almonds * 21/2 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter or use unsalted butter * 11/2 cups evaporated milk * A- cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar * A' teaspoon cardamom powder, some more to sprinkle * More cashews, chopped, to garnish Preparation Wash and peel the carrots. Pulse them in a food processor or grate them. Set aside. In the meanwhile dry roast 1 tablespoon of chopped cashews and 1 tablespoon almonds till fragrant on medium flame, around 2 minutes. Set aside. Heat 21/2 tablespoons of ghee in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the shredded carrots. Cook for around 8-10 minutes on medium flame, stirring on regular intervals till the carrots change in colour slightly and there is no moisture. Add evaporated milk and mix. Cook the mixture on medium flame for around 15 minutes or till all of the milk is absorbed. Now add sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom powder and mix. Add nuts and mix and keep stirring the halwa for 4-5 minutes or till sugar is absorbed and halwa leaves the sides of the pan. Sprinkle little cardamom powder on top and garnish with some chopped cashews. Serve hot. Cashew Flour Halwa CASHEW FLOUR HALWA This decadent halwa is a mix of cashews and flour made during festive occasions. Ingredients * 1 cup cashew nuts (kaju) * 3A' cups water * 1 cup sugar * 3-4 saffron strands * A' cup ghee * A' cup whole wheat flour * A- teaspoon cardamom powder * A- teaspoon almonds chopped Preparation Add cashew nuts in a mixer jar, grind it into a fine powder, and keep it aside. Pour the water to a heated pan and allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes on high flame. Add sugar and mix well and bring to a roaring boil for 2-3 minutes again on a high flame. Gently add saffron strands and allow it to boil for another minute. Remove the pan from the stove. Add ghee in a heated heavy-bottomed pan, leaving it to melt and heat well. Now add the flour and the powdered cashew nuts. Stir continuously to avoid it from burning. Cook it for 5-6 minutes on a medium flame, until the mixture turns brown. Once done, add the sugar syrup and mix well. Stir continuously for 4-5 minutes until the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Garnish with cardamom powder and chopped almonds. Serve hot. Karachi Halwa KARACHI HALWA It is made using corn flour, sugar, and water and is perfect for the festive season. Flavoured with cardamom and ghee, this dessert is a delicacy. Ingredients * 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed nuts of cashews, pistachios and almonds * 4 tablespoons ghee * 2 cups water * 1/2 cup corn flour * Food colour (optional) * 11/2 cups sugar * Big pinch of cardamom powder Preparation Gently saute the mixed nuts in 1 tablespoon ghee and keep aside. For making the halwa, add 2 cups (500ml) of water to the corn flour and mix well. Add the food colour and mix without any lumps. Heat the remaining water in a pan over medium flame. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Bring to a boil and add the corn flour mixture and a big pinch of cardamom powder. Stir well continuously. When it starts to stick to the pan, add ghee and stir again. When it has reached a halwa consistency and leaves the sides of the vessel, transfer to a greased tray. Sprinkle the fried cashew nuts and allow it to set. Just before it sets completely, cut it into desired pieces. Oneza Tabish is a food blogger, consultant, and columnist based in Oman. She is also the owner of Oman's popular Facebook group 'What's Cooking Oman.'
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