3 February, 2018
Bombay Karachi Halwa; Cornflour fudge; Sindhi Halwa
It has been snowing steady for the past whole week. The roads, the driveway, the branches of the trees are full of the white stuff. If that is not enough the weatherman is calling for 30 more centi meters tonight. Slippery roads, poor visibility, shovelling snow off of the driveway, all we are saying now is “Where are you Spring?”
Talking about Spring, we in the prairies, take our groundhog pretty seriously. For the un initiated, if the groundhog comes out of his burrow and doesn’t see his shadow, there will be an early spring. On February 2nd we celebrate Groundhog day, a tradition brought in by the German speaking people. I have no hard feelings for the ones that rely on the weather mapping satellites, follow the NASA updates, or recent Harvard studies on weather predictions, my money however is with the trusted rodent. And lo and behold the prediction this year is for an early spring.
I firmly believe in the need for sweets to celebrate any occasion. I have a gluten free delicious fudge for you. Bombay in India and Karachi in Pakistan both claim the fame to his chewy, colourful, ghee laden Halwa.
Try it out friends. A couple minor points, these halwas have a special affinity for waist lines, and they are super addictive.
Cornflour 1/4 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Ghee 1/2 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Lime juice 1 tsp
Cashews, melon seeds, pistachios 1 tbsp each, coarsely chopped
Food colour 4-5 drops
Rose essence 2-3 drops
Cardamom powder 1/8 th tsp
Take the melon seeds in a pan on high heat till they puff up, a few minutes. Collect them in a bowl. Repeat the same with the cashews.
Take the sugar, water, lime juice in a sauce pan over a high heat. Bring it to boil, as soon as it comes to a boil put the gas off and keep it aside.
Mix the cornflour and water into a lump free mixture in a non stick pan. Add 1/2 tsp ghee to this mixture and put it on a low flame. Keep stirring till it thickens, about 6-7 minutes, turn the gas off. Add the sugar . mixture a little bit at a time making sure there are no lumps.
Now put the gas on low, and add ghee a table spoon at a time. Wait for this to be fully incorporated before adding the next spoonful. It took about 20 minutes. Add the food colour, cardamom powder, rose essence . and half the nuts. Crank up the heat to medium and mix everything evenly, about 6 minutes.
Put the flame off. Transfer the mix to a plate. Garnish with the remaining nuts, tap them in with a spatula. Let cool for a couple hours and then cut into pieces.
It can be stored by individually wrapping them in wax paper for a week.
Ghee or clarified butter is available in Indian grocery stores or can be made at home, with this recipe.
Melon seeds are also available at Indian grocery store. The amount of nuts can be increased if unavailable.
Full disclosure: I would have preferred it to be slightly more chewy.