Badam Halwa, this is one of the first sweets, or should I say the first sweet that I had tried out after my marriage, but of course, the first time, it was a total disaster. That doesn't mean that this is a difficult dish, it's just that, I was new to cooking, didn't have a proper kadai/pan. I was trying to make the halwa in a wok, it started sticking to the pan and at the same time, it was splattering all over, finally I lost my patience and dumped everything into the sink. Well, I have come a long way from there, at least, I can say confidently that I know the basics and a little more in cooking. Coming back to the halwa, it's an easy dish, needs the basic ingredients for any Indian sweet along with the almonds and a little patience, but it's worth all of it and tastes absolutely delicious..
Need To Have
- Almonds - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Saffron - 2 pinches
- Green Cardamom - 3
- Ghee - 1/4 cup
- Orange Color - a small pinch, just enough to give a light peach color
Soak the almonds in hot water for about 1/2 hour or more, at the end of which you should be able to peel the skin. Grind it along with the milk and 2 tablespoons water into a paste ( fine sooji/semolina consistency).
Take the sugar along with 1/2 cup water in a non stick or heavy bottomed pan and heat it. When the sugar starts melting, keep stirring for another minute, then add the ground paste, reduce the heat and mix it well without any lumps.
Add the saffron and color, mix it and keep cooking on medium low heat, keep stirring so that it doesn't stick to the pan. When it becomes a little thick, add the cardamom ( remove the inner pods and powder) and start adding the ghee, about 2 to 3 teaspoons at a time till everything comes together and the halwa is not sticking to the pan. Remove and serve it warm.
Though I have used only 1/2 cup almonds, since it's a rich dish, you can serve it at least for 5 to 6 people.
Remove the halwa, when it's still in a semi solid state ( jam consistency ), it thickens when it cools. If you cook it further, then it'll go to the burfi consistency.