Today’s recipe is halwa. Talking about halwa, my mouth waters when I thick of Tirunelveli halwa. Irresistible and simply delicious that once you start eating, it is really hard to stop. The halwa is made from pure ghee and the sweetness is added by the sweet water from the Thamarabarani River. The copper content in the water gives the heavenly taste to this halwa. The golden brown, jelly-like Tirunelveli halwa is very popular halwa, and is something worth trying when you visit Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.
Recipe for Tirunelveli halwa
- Wheat: 1 cup
- Ghee: 2 cups
- Sugar: 3 ½ cups
- Cardamom powder: ¼ tsp
- Water: 6 cups
- Cashew nuts: 100 Gms
- Ghee: 3 tbsp
- Sugar: 2 tbsp
The main ingredient in Tirunelveli halwa is the wheat milk. So the first process in making Tirunelveli halwa is to extract wheat milk. A friend of mine said that she uses wheat flour, to make the Tirunelveli halwa the easy way. But that is just wheat halwa; you can’t call it Tirunelveli halwa. If you want the original traditional Tirunelveli halwa, you have to put the effort and time, only then you can get the mouthwatering soft halwa which just melts in your mouth. So come on…..let’s make the wheat milk.
- Soak the wheat in water and keep it over night.
- Next day grind the wheat with some water for 5-6 minutes until it becomes a coarse paste.
- Extract the wheat milk using a sieve. You can also use a neat cloth. Now add some water to the wheat and grind again for a few seconds. Extract the second milk. Repeat the process of grinding and extracting again to extract the third milk.
- Collect all the milk in a bowl. Cover it and keep it again overnight for the milk to ferment.
- The next day you will see that the clear liquid is at the top and the thick wheat milk is at the bottom. Discard the liquid slowly without disturbing the milk.
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and fry the cashew nuts till the cashew nuts become slightly brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Make sugar syrup by boiling sugar with 2 cups of water till the sugar dissolves and you get one string consistency.
- For coloring, heat the ghee and sugar in a pan. The sugar will melt and ghee will change color to brown. This gives the brown color to the traditional Tirunelveli halwa. There is no artificial coloring added to this halwa.
So now we shall make the halwa
- Mix the wheat milk with 6 cups of water. Stir well.
- Cook on a medium flame till the mixture starts thickening. You have to stir the mixture continuously. The most important part in the process of making halwa is continuous stirring from beginning till the end.
- Add sugar syrup and continue cooking and stirring.
- Add cardamom powder.
- Add 1 tbsp of ghee every minute as you keep on stirring till all the ghee is used. The ghee will be absorbed.
- Add the coloring and continue stirring.
- After 45 minutes to 1 hour, the mixture will become glossy, leave the sides of the pan and becomes a mass, and the halwa will not stick to the spatula. Ghee will start oozing out, which you can collect and reuse.
- Garnish with fried cashew nuts, mix well and switch off the flame.
- Enticing, mouth watering Tirunelveli halwa is ready.