One sweet that I receive regularly whenever my cousins come down from Mumbai is the Mahim halwa or the Ice halwa. The sweet is delicious thin slab of halwa garnished with nuts; unlike the halwa we normally make that has soft texture. Mahim halwa is originally from Mahim, Mumbai. Legend says that the first Mahim halwa was created by Giridhar Mavji in the 1780’s, and he used to roam the streets of Mahim to sell the halwa. The halwa become very popular and a shop (nearly 225 years old) run now by his seventh generation still flourishes in Mahim selling this specialty halwa.
Recipe for Mahim halwa
The halwa has to be rolled into thin sheets in the final stage, so you need two large clean thin plastic sheets or silver foils or greased wax paper.
To make the halwa you require
- Sooji/Rava/semolina: 2 cups
- Ghee: ¼ cup
- Sugar: 3 cups
- Milk: 4 cups
- Rose water: 1 tbsp
- Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
- Almonds: 15
- Pistachios: 15
- Saffron: 1 tsp
- Butter paper or wax paper: A few feet length to place between the halwa slices.
Preparing for halwa
- Blanch and sliver (cut into fine strips) the almonds.
- Blanch and sliver the pistachios.
- Crush the saffron strands.
- Now take a bowl. Add the slivered almonds, pistachios, cardamom powder and saffron strands and mix well and keep aside for garnishing.
- If you are using silver foils or thin plastic sheets, grease on one side of both the sheets and keep aside.
Making the halwa
- Heat half the quantity of ghee in a non stick pan (or a heavy bottom pan).
- Add the sooji and fry the sooji on a medium flame for 3-4 seconds.
- Now add milk and increase the flame for the milk to boil.
- When the milk starts boiling, add the sugar and stir well.
- Reduce the flame and continue to cook by stirring continuously so that the sooji gets cooked in the milk.
- Slowly the milk will get absorbed and the mixture will start to thicken.
- Add the 2 tbsp of ghee and rose water. Mix well.
- Stir the mixture continuously.
- The mixture will start leaving the sides of the pan and become a soft lump.
- Add the remaining ghee and using a spatula, knead the mixture well to soften it.
- Switch off the flame.
- Now pour this mixture on a plastic sheet/silver foil/wax paper, on the greased side and spread the mixture.
- Now place the second sheet on top of this halwa mixture. Greased side downwards and roll the mixture as fast as possible and as thin as possible.
- Remove the upper sheet and sprinkle the mixed toppings (cardamom, saffron, pistachios and almonds).
- Now replace the sheet on top and reroll again.
- Now let the halwa cool. Now cut the halwa into big squares and you have to keep it aside to cool for 24-48 hours.
- When one side of the halwa is dried, flip on the other side and keep for drying.
- Once the slices are completely dried, delicious Mahim halwa is ready to eat.
- Place butter paper or wax paper between the slices to avoid sticking together and store in air-tight container and you can store the container in the refrigerator.