Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Badam Halwa - Almond Sweet

Badam Halwa (Almond Sweet) for Amma's Birthday
(lots of photos in here, so apologies for the slow download!)
Optimism, Child-like Enthusiasm, a Positive Mind, Cheerfulness, Creativity, Resilience, and an Amazing Patience - all Personified. That’s Chitra Amma for you! I have never seen her down for a long time and she will never loose her temper no matter what! (I have literally seen her flare up just once or twice – so you can imagine what kind of aggravation can make that happen – and God save the aggravator!) I feel I live a very good life, because I like to think that there is maybe just a very tiny microgram of her qualities in me (okay..okay … I do loose my temper very often..and patience?? Whats that?)!
Today is Chitra Amma’s Birthday, and so this blog post and preparation is by me for her – to wish her a wonderful day and year ahead, and to thank her for being what she is! Hot Badam Halwa that melts in your mouth – what can be a more special dish for a special person? Well, amma is currently in Portland visiting my brother and sister-in-law, so she will just have to imagine this badam halwa, while I feast on it here! (I just need any excuse to indulge!)
I found this recipe in Vah Chef’s videos. Check the video here. Here are the quantities I used, and some of my learnings. I surprised myself, as it turned out absolutely delicious, aromatic and melts in your mouth – just like good halwas should!

Badam (Almonds) - 2 cups

Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 2 cups (you can add more if you have a sweet tooth!)
Ghee – 2 cups
Saffron Strands – a pinch
Fresh cardamom powder – ½ tsp

1. Boil Almonds for a few minutes until the skins are wrinkled. Immerse them in cold water. Remove the skins and discard.

2. Grind Almonds and milk together into a paste. You can stop just short of making a very fine paste – smooth as say idli batter.

3. Take a heavy bottomed vessel and heat ½ cup ghee on a low flame.

4. When the ghee has melted, add the badam and milk mixture. Stir well and begin cooking. Keep the flame in low through-out the preparation. As the mixture cooks, it will thicken.

5. Now add the sugar and one cup of ghee and stir and continue cooking. Be very careful not to burn the bottom, as even a slight browning can spoil the taste of badam halwa.

6. You will soon see small eruptions on the surface. This is what I call ‘volcanos and dimples stage’ and its real fun to see it happen!! Be very careful as this is really hot, and can burn your skin. Keep stirring to prevent burning!

7. The ‘volcanoes and dimples’ will subside, and the ghee will start separating from the halwa as the mixture cooks.

8. Now add the saffron, cardamom powder and the remaining ghee and continue stirring.

The saffron will provide a lovely colour to the badam halwa. I don’t like adding colour to my cooking – else a drop of yellow food colour can make this ‘hotel style’!

9. Pour the halwa into a flat decorative tray (I just used a foil tray) – and make sure you take the first serving for yourself, and enjoy the ‘halwa’ of your labour!

My learnings:
a) Although this was the first time I tried this, it turned out absolutely delicious !

b) Badam quantity can be deceptive! Initially, I took only ½ the pack, and felt it would be too less. However, with the full pack (1 kilo), I landed up with a huge volume of halwa as you can see in the snaps! If you land up making too much – pack some off to your near and dear ones, and they will be super thrilled! I have therefore, halved the quantities in the recipe here!
c) Don’t be conservative with ghee. This is a rich dish, and if you do not add sufficient ghee, it will not taste good. Further, less ghee increases risk of the halwa sticking at the bottom of the vessel and burning. Ghee also allows the halwa to stay for a long time. My halwa has stayed at room temperature for a week now (Sydney is cold of course), and it is still fresh and good to go, after 10 secs in the micro!
d) Now since you are adding all that ghee, use a good quality ghee which smells fragnant! I buy high quality white butter, and make the ghee at home – as I am just not satisfied with store bought ghee!
e) Make sure you have high energy and are in the mood to cook, when you begin this venture!You will need to stir, and stir and stir continuously, and it takes nearly an hour to cook! If you relax, the halwa can burn in a second!
e) Motivate your spouse to help you with the stirring! Hubby and I took turns, so that we did not leave the halwa unsupervised for even a second!
f) Watch the Vah Chef’s video to learn the recipe and get entertained as well!!

31 Post your Comments:

Divya Kudua said...

Ah..what a great way to start the week;).I've heard a lot about Badam halwa,but sadly never tasted it.But the amount of ghee in the recipe kind of startled me..:(..2 cups..ahem ahem.But I guess as you said,this is something which you could share with your dear ones and that way you could share the calories too..:):)The pictorial is great and maybe we could try this out during the Diwali season when the word calories are the last thing on your mind..;)

Lakshmi said...

Happy Birthday to you Chitra Amma :)
OMG..I am drooling here..pack it and send it over to Singapore. Sydney is not that far though :D

Dibs said...

Divya - Haha yes. I have a good way of consoling myself everytime I make a very rich sweet. You would land up just having one small portion of the halwa in a day -- say two tablespoons max? Thats just 1/20th of the total ghee in that dish ;-)). Plus I would skip having ghee over Sambhar / Rasam, which is quite common in South Indian meals! With this logic - I can almost eat every rich dish under the sun - without feeling guilty!

LG - COme off on a trip to Sydney sometime - and I will surely make you this halwa :-))

chef and her kitchen said...

That is such a yummy halwa..absolutely mouthwatering..

Jayashree said...

Happy birthday, Chitra amma....
Dibs, I like your skipping ghee with sambar/rasam logic...LOL :-))
The halwa sounds sinfully delicious.

Raks said...

Halwa looks really nice,my mom once tried badam burfi and ended up in halwa;) But there's a lot of difference in unplanned ending up product and aimed ones:) Looks sinful and who cares for calories once in a while its okie, we arent eating regularly :) Happy birthday to amma!!

Shanthi Krishnakumar said...

Happy Birthday Chitramma and the dish looks really awesome

jayasree said...

Nice to see a post from u Dibs. Happy b'day to you, Chitra Amma.

Halwa looks sinfully delicious. You made from 1 Kg of badam.. That must have been a real test for your hand. Great way to celebrate amma's b'day.

YOSEE said...

Happy Birthday Chitra amma. Thats a real SWEET gesture , Dibs ! May Amma have many sweet returns of the wonderful day!

Trupti said...

Happy Bday Chitra Amma.

I am drooling here on this halwa..looks yummy

Fashion Deals For Less
Recipe Center

lubnakarim06 said...

Very Happy Birthday to Chitra Amma.....oh wow....halwa looks extremely drool worthy......

Hari Chandana P said...

Wow... mouth water halwa.. looks soo delicious.. first time here.. nice blog!!.. :)

S.R.Ramachandran said...

Badam Halwa--I like it soo much. Reminds me of my collage days and also my visits to Gundappa hotel with my father-in-law for halwa and Karada Avalakki. Wonderful get up dibbu. Appa

Priya Narasimhan said...

Looks delicious..I have never prepared badam halva at home, but really want to..yours is just too good. :-)

Chitra Amma's Kitchen said...

Thank you Dibs for the perfect badam halwa.I can imagine the taste and flavour by just looking at the delicious pictures.
Thank you all my young friends for your good wishes.

Pavithra Kodical said...

Guess what last week i had made Badam burfi, Will try badam halwa next time.Yummy..

kittymatti said...

ooooooooooh, reminds mee of my grandma, Im drooling here

Chitra said...

I've tried badam halwa twice and it was delicious..Urs is looking too good..Thanks for sharing the tips:)

Medhaa said...

this looks delicious. I dont remember trying badam halwa at all this makes me want too.

Asha said...

So so sorry about your mom's leg injury Dibs! What a terrible thing to happen. Hope she is recovering and resting well. Wish you speedy recovery for her and hugs to all of you. Take care of yourselves girls.

Tes, it was a huge shock to see B'lore after so many years, such change!! But after sometimes, you get used to it although noise of vehicles is neverending. Hope they plan the city well, otherwise there will be no difference betn any overcrowded big city around the World and our own beautiful Bangalore sadly.

Halwa looks wonderful, sometimes you have to add lot of ghee for special occasion to share with everybody like we do for Mysore Pak! Happy birthday to your amma! :)

We are almost ready to drop off Trisha to college, 3 more weeks to go, so enjoying her company. Don't feel like blogging anymore but I know I will miss some of you if I don't! See you in Fall, take care.

Priya dharshini said...

ur badam halwa is very tempting

Anonymous said...

Wow!wat an an awesome sweet!
tnx for sharing..
Ist time here u have a gr8 blog here!

Indian Khana said...

Convey my belated wishes to Amma...what a lovely way to celebrate...halwa looks mouth watering and your tips are sure gud ..specially the taking turns one :)

Sashi said...

First time here. Yummy Badam Halwa.. would visit frequently. :)

Sashi said...

Dibs & Chitra Amma, I have an award for u in my blog. Please grab it.

anudivya said...

Nothing like good old Badam halwa... it looks very nice and love the stepwise procedure. You should totally make a video!

Unknown said...

Birthday wishes to your mother ! The badam halwa looks exquisite !

Unknown said...

Awesome Recipe. I made it this evening and my husband just loved it. I made appalam Mendhya Kolambu earlier this afternoon...My husband commented that 'This blog is making our marriage stronger' :-)

Anonymous said...

I've tried this recipe yesterday and it turned out great. It was a little sweet for me...probably i'll reduce some next time. I will definetly do it again :). My mother-in-law liked it sooo much :)

NIdhi Jajoo said...

Thanx so much for a beautifully explained yummy recipe...;-)...n did sum1 mention calories? Wats dat btw? (Ignorance is bliss...they say...lol)

Nidhi :-)

Dibs said...

kamala rajshekar has left a new comment on your post "Badam Halwa - Almond Sweet":

Hi kamala here-u don't know me .This is just to tell you i am raring to try your recipe-Two reasons:1.mouth-watering pictures
2. you write so well-never thought a recipe could make hilarious reading!Thanks!

Dear Kamala - thanks a lot for your comment! :- We deleted this comment by mistake, but had a copy in our e-mail! Let us know how your halwa turned out!