Sweets

Milk halwa (Duddalli)

I am thinking to start new posts to this blog with some famous Konkani sweets. Though I don’t like sweets, I like to make them, because no food is complete without a sweet. So let me start with a sweet which I like (that means I can eat a little bit of it).

This is prepared using ‘arraroot‘ or ‘Kachra peet’(I don’t know the English names). I was not having any hopes of finding either of these here. So I asked Aayi for some other alternative. As always, she had an alternative to it. So yesterday I prepared it and it tasted great.
Some people do not use chana dal, but I prefer this sweet with dal because it gives a different taste to this sweet.

Ingredients:
Rice 1/2 cup
Coconut 1/2 cup
Milk 1 and 1/2 cups
Chana dal 1 tbl spn
Cashew nuts 1 tea spn
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 tea spn
Ghee(optional) 1 tea spn

Method:
Soak rice for about 2-3 hours. Then grind coconut and rice to a very smooth paste, use as much water as required.
Cook chana dal and cashew in cooker(or microwave).
Boil milk and add the ground rice-coconut mixture stirring continuously (be careful to avoid any lumps). Add sugar, chana dal and cashews. Add the ghee(optional). Stir till all the liquid is absorbed and you get a thick paste. Add cardamom powder.
Grease a plate and spread the paste on it. Allow it to cool. Cut it into big square pieces.
Serve. (I prefer this sweet with pickle).

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 20min

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Carrot Halwa

There is a big story of my experience with preparing this dish first time.

We were in Sydney and invited by one of our friends for Ganesh Chathurthi. We thought of taking some sweet with us. But I did not know how to cook any sweet (because I don’t like any sweets). Then I found “Gajar ka halwa” recipe somewhere. But I did not know how much carrot should be used for that.

We asked one of our friends, and he gave us an idea that 2 kgs of gajar(carrot) will be sufficient, because after cooking, the quantity of halwa will reduce (how convincing). So we bought 2 kgs of carrot & started grating with a tiny cheese grater borrowed from another friend. Believe it or not, I took almost 4-5 hrs to grate the carrot. By the time I finished with it, my hands were paining like anything. We had to reach their house for pooja at 11. It was around 9.30 and I realized the grated carrot was too much. But still I thought I will use all of them. At that time, I realized we were not having such a big vessel. One big vessel was there and that was used by my other friend who had prepared some pongal in that. I told her to remove the pongal from vessel, after that it took me around half an hour to clean the vessel!!!. Then I started cooking halwa. I absolutely had no idea how much time it will take. By some guesswork, I started adding all the ingredients. I did not know whether carrot was cooked or not(because at that time I did not know much of a cooking).

So finally by the time I finished my halwa, it was 12. When we reached their house it was 12.30 and the pooja was already finished. They had a nice laugh when I told my adventure. But the halwa turned out to be superb. It took 10 days for us to finish the remaining halwa, which we kept in refrigerator.

So now whenever I cook this I remember that incident and have a whole hearted laugh.

Without further boring you with my stories, now goes the recipe,

Ingredients:
Grated carrot 2 cups
Milk 3 cups
Sugar 2 tbl spns
Cardamom powder 1/4 tea spn
Saffron 4-5 strands
Ghee 1 tbl spn
Cashew nuts 1 tbl spn

Method:
Heat milk. When it is boiling, add grated carrot. Cook till carrot is 3/4th done. Add Sugar and ghee. Stir continuously at this stage. Cook till carrot is completely done and halwa becomes thick. Add saffron and cardamom powder. Garnish with cashew nuts fried in ghee. Serve hot or cold.

Serves : 3
Preparation time : 30 min

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