Gadhumai Halwa– The festive season has begun… laddu, halwa, murukku, burfi… there’s going to be sweets & savouries where ever you turn. Most of us do prep work… 🙄 practice for the big day, this was one such attempt of me trying to master that so called Iruttu kadai halwa aka Tirunelveli halwa…. also craving directed me to google and I found Sharmis passion post very tempting and immediately gave it a try. I couldn’t find samba godhumai ( 😕 well indian stores don’t understand the my level of cravings😁) and all i had was regular wheat berries which was put to use with no second thought… its wheat too, right? 😛 It came sooo good taste wise, but texture was slightly different. Thanks Sharmi for your detailed post and tips, it walked me through so beautifully…I was like my mom being there for very possible panic attack 😀 😆
Some recipes to try…
- Whole Wheat Berries (Samba preferred) – 1/4 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Ghee – 1/2 cup
- Cashews – 10
Ingredients for Caramelizing sugar
- Ghee – 1 tablespoon
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
Take about 1/4 cup wheat berries and soak it overnight in water which should be just enough to immerse them. The next morning, drain all the water and transfer to a mixer jar and add in fresh water about 3/4 cup. (the measure for samba wheat varies compared to regular wheat berries)
Grind the soaked wheat berries with water to smooth consistency. Then transfer it to a strainer and filter to extract the milk. Keep pressing to extract as much as you can. Now grind the coarse leftover berries to get the second milk by repeating the process.
Now collect all the milk and keep in a bowl for 30 minutes undisturbed. After some time you will see the thick milk settling to the bottom and clear water floats on top. Carefully drain the clear water from the top, i used a laddle. Now heat a tablespoon of ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and transfer the extracted thick wheat milk and keep stirring. It will thicken as you stir… keep stirring to avoid lumps.
At this stage add white sugar and keep stirring. The mixture will lighten again… meanwhile in a separate pan fry some cashews in ghee and keep aside. In the same same add in 1 tablespoon ghee and add in 1 tablespoon sugar for caramelizing step. Let the sugar melt in low flame… keep mixing. It will first look like a thin light brown colored solution… but slowly will turn into reddish golden color. Switch off at this stage.
Add this caramelized sugar to the simmering wheat milk… it will turn into crystals as your pour it over but will eventually melt and blend.Keep ghee right next to you… and start stirring the mixture with one hand and slowly add little ghee with your other hand.
You may want to add 1 tablespoon at regular intervals. The wheat mixture will start to absorb the ghee and bubble up and turn into thick mass as you keep stirring.
At one stage it will not drink any more ghee… all the excess ghee will be separating from the mixture. Stop adding ghee at this stage. Add the fried cahswes and keep stirring. The mixture will gel up and will have a shinny glossy glow and roll up. It will roll up like a soft ball when you gather a little mixture with spoon. (as shown above) Switch off at this stage and drain the excess ghee and reserve the halwa for me! 😉
- Serves 5, Makes about 1 & 1/2 cup halwa.
- The original recipe uses samba godhumai for this recipe but i have used whole grain regular wheat berries for this recipe. The method is the same but the texture & taste slightly differs. The color too looks kind of pale brown rather than deep brown.
- The leftover separated ghee can be reused for any other recipe. Yields about 4 tablespoons of ghee.
- Half ghee and half oil can be used but traditional halwa calls for ghee only.
- After grinding the water separating from the milk will be an easy peasy with samba but regular berries take much longer and also needs extra water to grind.