How to make Khajoor ka Halwa (Indian Dates Pudding)
The first occasion that pops in my head, when I think of this recipe is Ramadan. I can imagine, why dates & desserts made with dates are a tradition at Iftar - dates are rich in potassium, fiber and sugars, are a good source of carbohydrates, iron & other essential nutrients, but low in fat. I admire people who can fast for Ramadan, or even otherwise. I also believe that fasting is not just about food. Ramadan teaches us how to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, empathy for those who are less fortunate; and encourages actions of generosity. I can see myself fasting, someday ; though I'm not sure when that day will come...
Cos' dates are naturally sweet, we are only using a li'l sugar in this recipe. You can skip sugar altogether & replace it with more dates, if you like. You can cut back on ghee, if needed for health reasons. This recipe calls for bengal gram dal, but I'm sure it'll taste good with green gram dal as well.
Ingredients for about 4 cups of Halwa:
1 cup kadalai paruppu/channa dal/bengal gram dal
1.5 + 1 cup of milk
0.5 to 1 cup of ghee/clarified butter (or more if desired)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups pitted dates, chopped
a pinch of salt
a pinch of saffron
1/4 tsp elaichi/cardamom powder
a cap full of rose water or kewda pani/thazhampoo water
chopped nuts, for garnish
Stove top method:
- Soak the channa dal in water for about 2 hours, drain & set aside.
- Heat & cook (covered) the soaked dal in 1 cup of milk in a sauce pan, taking care that the milk doesn't boil over or burn. Keep checking & stirring frequently. When all the milk has evaporated, pour another half cup of milk & cook the dal, until you can smash the dal between your fingers. (to make sure its cooked thoroughly - takes about 20 -30 minutes)
- Let it cool & grind to a smooth, fine paste with the rest of the milk, as required.
- Heat a heavy bottom or non stick kadai/wok with half a cup of ghee & add the chopped dates, stir & let cook in ghee for couple of minutes.
- Then, add the ground dal paste to the chopped dates & ghee mixture, follow with sugar, elaichi powder, saffron, salt & rose water.
- When the mixture, turns into a thick mass, its ready to be garnished & served warm or cold.
This recipe was jotted down, from chef Venkatesh Bhatt's cookery show into my diary. The measurements are my own (through experimenting in my kitchen). Linking to Valli's CCC# 28: Jan -- Week 4.