But eyebrows raise in amazement when you serve Almond Halwa. Because people know the effort it takes to prepare a good almond halwa. It has the ability to leave people impressed.
250 gm (~ 1 cup) raw almonds
¼ cup clarified butter (ghee)
1 cup water or milk
1 cup sugar [adjust to taste]
Ready? Let’s Begin!
1. Soak almonds in 2 cups water (room temp) overnight, OR boil 2 cups water in a pan, switch off heat, throw in the almonds, close lid and let them soak for an hour. Drain, let reach room temperature, and then peel them. It is easier to peel almonds that are soaked in hot water (they pop out easily) than to peel almonds that have been soaked overnight.
2. Reserve quarter of the almonds to slice and grind the remaining almonds into a fine paste using minimal milk or water. Minimal is the key. You do not want a thin sauce, just a paste so that there is less stirring to do.
3. Heat half the ghee (reserve the other half) in a nonstick pan, add the almond paste to it and stir occasionally, stir-frying over medium or medium-low flame till light brown. Don't stop at yellow, don't stop at golden-brown, cook until light brown.
4. Once light brown, add water or milk and cook till the mixture starts to become thick and crumbly. Do not add water or milk until the mixture is light brown, otherwise it will take forever to stir and cook it and your hands are going to hate it. If it starts to stick to the pan, this is where I add a little ghee at a time to help with stirring and avoid sticking. This way, I don't add all the ghee at once if not required (badam ka halwa will still taste great, don't worry).
5. Finally add sugar + reserved sliced almonds and cook till it all comes together. Adding sugar at the end will caramelize and give it a nice color along with adding a little moisture as the sugar melts.
6. Your Badam ka halwa is ready and is best served warm. Perfect to have a couple of spoons of Badam Halwa in the morning during winters.
You can even use a combination of milk and water. But using only milk makes it a creamier and a richer dessert. The white color of milk also makes the halwa a little lighter yellow in color. You can keep Almond Halwa refrigerated for two weeks, warm it up a little each time you want to eat.
Whether you choose milk or water for Badam Halwa, don’t add too much of either because the more liquid there is, the longer it will take to thicken the halva! Trust me, after continuously stirring for one whole hour with both hands alternatively, I learned this lesson the hard way.
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