When we grew up, there was not a single Diwali that we celebrated without this wheat halwa. We enjoyed watching my mom make this, sniffing the aroma of it and waiting eagerly for a slice to be tasted, sharing it friends, relatives and neighbors..........those days are precious. This is my mom's recipe. After we all moved out and due to her health condition, my mom reduced making this halwa, though everybody asks for her trademark dessert. After over a decade, this year I spent my time with my mom during Diwali and we made this whole wheat halwa and jangri (my aunt and cousin joined us too). Back then, my mom alone would make a very large batch of this halwa. But now I felt sad that her bone health is not allowing her to do like usual way, but she is a great guide. Under her guidance, we did learn to make the halwa in the perfect consistency. Thanks mom! It was fun making together and I could feel as if it was the time back then......true festive spirit and fun.
Whole wheat (Sambha wheat) - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Cardamom - 2
Clove - 1
Red food color
Corn flour - 2/3 tbsp
Ghee- 1 and 1/2 cup
Cashews - 1/4 cup
Wash and soak the whole wheat overnight. The next day wash it and grind with about 750ml of water. Once nicely ground, filter through a cheese cloth and extract the milk. This is the first pressed milk and reserve this. To the gooey mass, add another 750ml water and grind again. Filter to get the second pressed milk and reserve this too. Add another 500ml water to the solid gooey wheat and grind again to extract the third pressed milk. Discard the gooey mass. Grease a tray with ghee and keep ready.
At one point, the halwa will twirl around without sticking to the pot or to the ladle, when stirred. This is the stage that halwa is perfect.
You can test it by spooning a little amount on a tray. If it doesn't stick in your hands and also solidifies to a soft mass, its perfect. Switch off the flame and pour it onto a greased tray.
Allow it to cool for 15 - 20 mins. and slice. Let it cool completely and take out the slices and store. This yields about 30-35 slices.
The tray pictured here is big, since we tripled the quantity mentioned here. Also, the time taken to cook this halwa for given quantity is around 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours (soaking, grinding and milk extracting time not included).
- Continuous stirring is essential. Making halwa is time consuming and labor intensive, so if you need help, plan ahead for a helping hand.
- Keeping on a medium flame is essential, as a high flame may burn the milk and cause it to overflow too making a mess.
- As soon as you have extracted the milk, start to cook them. If you store for longer, it may develop a sour taste.
- Once you keep the third extracted milk with sugar on the stove, try and clean the grinder immediately or else cleaning the sticky mass is very very hard.
- After you pour it onto a greased plate, you can remove the excess ghee that is there on the sides of the tray with a small spoon or ladle (this is optional). This ghee can be used later.
- If you do not want to slice it, and you prefer as a jiggly mass, you may omit the corn flour.
- Pure ghee brings out great flavor.