Halwa is one of the favorite sweet in India and I am a real halwa fan. I never miss the opportunity to eat halwa when I go to my home town in Kozhikode/Calicut. The Kozhikodan halwa is popular throughout the country. There are so many varieties of halwa made with varying ingredients in India. One of my favorite halwa is Tirunelveli halwa, and when my husband went to Tirunelveli on an official visit, he bought me two types of halwa’s; Tirunelveli halwa and Muscat halwa. When you hear the word ‘Muscat Halwa’ I am sure that you will think that it is halwa made in Muscat. Well, actually it is not; it is halwa made in and around Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.
I don’t know why they call it Muscat halwa, but I understand that about 5 decades ago, business people who went to Sri Lanka for business bought back the recipe for making this delicious Muscat halwa, which was first made on a small scale and then it became very popular throughout the state and today almost all the houses in places around Tirunelveli undertake the preparation of Muscat halwa. Tirunelveli halwa is soft enticing mouthwatering halwa that just melts in your mouth and Muscat halwa is as good as Tirunelveli halwa. I immediately called my husband’s friend’s wife in Tirunelveli and got the recipe from her. Here it is!!!
Recipe for Muscat halwa
- Samba wheat/broken wheat: 2 cups
- Coconut: 1
- Sugar: 4 cups
- Ghee: 2 tbsp
- Cashew nuts: 10
- Raisins: 15
- Soak the wheat in water and leave it aside overnight. The next morning grind the wheat and water in a blender to paste. Then filter the wheat using a sieve or muslin cloth and collect the wheat milk in a bowl.
- Grate the coconut. Add some warm water to the coconut and grind in a blender for 3-4. Use a strainer and collect the 1st coconut milk in a bowl. Add some more water and grind again and strain to get the second milk. Repeat the process again and get the third milk.
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan and add the raisins and fry for a few seconds. Break the cashew nuts into pieces and add and fry until brown. Remove from pan and keep aside.
- Combine the wheat milk and coconut milk in a non stick or heavy bottom pan and cook the mixture on a medium flame.
- As soon as it starts boiling add the sugar and stir well.
- Continue cooking and stirring until the halwa thickens.
- The halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan and you can see coconut oil oozing out of the halwa, with the aroma of coconut oil.
- Switch off the flame.
- You can enjoy the halwa hot in a bowl, by garnishing with fried cashew nuts and raisins.
- If you want to enjoy the halwa as pieces, grease a tray with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee. Pour the halwa mixture into the tray. Spread it evenly and garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. Once it is cool, cut the halwa into pieces and serve.