Thursday, October 10, 2013

Moong dal halwa

Moong dal halwa is a traditional sweet dish popular in Rajasthan. It is made during the festive season (Rakshabandhan, Diwali, etc) and for weddings. This delectable combination of coarsely ground moong dal, slow-roasted in ghee with hints of saffron and pistachios makes for an ideal winter dish.

This calorie dense dish requires a lot of preparation time including patience to roast dal on low heat, but the result is well worth the effort. When making this dish, here are some things to keep in mind.
  1. Grind the moong dal coarsely with as little water as possible to ensure a proper texture of the finished product. 
  2. Addition of a teaspoon each of semolina and chickpea flour, in the beginning, helps to prevent the moong dal from sticking to the bottom of the pan while roasting.  
  3. Always cook and roast at low to medium heat, stirring constantly and patiently. 
  4. Do not skimp on the ghee. It is required for proper roasting and correct texture of the halwa. 
Ingredients: (5 servings)
1/2 cup dhuli moong dal (dehusked, washed yellow moong dal)
1/2 cup clarified butter (ghee)
1 tsp semolina
1 tsp besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup water
Few strands saffron soaked in 1 tbsp milk
5 green cardamom (skin removed and powdered)
1 tbsp each almonds and pistachios (crushed)
  1. Soak moong dal for 4 hours. Drain and grind it coarsely using very little water. 
  2. Mix water, milk, and sugar together in a pan and bring to boil. Add saffron and cardamom powder. Keep aside. 
  3. Heat ghee in a pan and add semolina and besan. Roast for a minute, then add the moong dal paste. Roast the contents on a low flame, stirring continuously till it becomes golden brown and imparts a cooked roasted aroma. 
  4. This process requires a lot of patience. So take your time and roast it well. This is the most important part of this recipe. 
  5. Add the warm sugar mixture to the roasted dal and stir continuously to avoid any lumps.  Mix till all the moisture has been absorbed and continue roasting on low heat till ghee separates from the sides. 
  6. Remove from flame and add the chopped nuts. Serve hot.

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