Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wheat Halwa / Tirunelveli Halwa for Indian Cooking Challenge (ICC) / Godhuma Halwa step by step | Diwali Sweets Recipes

The chosen dish for this month's Indian Cooking Challenge is Wheat Halwa/Tirunelveli Halwa. This is my first month of participation and I am truly excited about the challenge. ICC is all about traditional cooking and trying out Indian cultural recipes. In this fast moving world, we all have traditional cooking mostly only in our memories. Every month a traditional recipe from different regions of India is chosen and we, the ICC participants try to recreate the recipe. I joined ICC with an interest of learning the traditional recipes. This month's recipe is Wheat Halwa / Godhumai Halwa / Tirunelveli Halwa. I have watched grandma make this tasty halwa at home but never really cared to learn the proportions, except of course help her stirring. When Srivalli announced the challenge, she gave a option of 3 recipes to choose from for wheat halwa. I chose Lathaji's recipe. I was really happy to start the ICC journey with a favorite sweet and tried to get step-by-step pictures. And, oh was I overly enjoyed and in high spirits when I made this halwa and we purely enjoyed it.
I had a tough time hunting for whole wheat berries in Indian stores and local groceries but managed to find it in Whole Foods Market.

Ingredients:
Using standard US measurement cups
Soaking time: 8 hrs; 
Pre-preparation (grinding): 45 mins;
Milk setting time: 2 hrs;
Stirring time: 1 hr;
Setting and cooling time: 30 mins;
Wheat berries - 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp
Sugar - 2 cups
Ghee - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Orange Food Color - a pinch
Cashewnuts - broken - 1 tbsp - if using
You also need:
A heavy bottomed vessel
A ladle with a rounded handle, easy to hold and stir
A lot of patience and perseverance.. :)
Method:
Extracting the Wheat milk:
Soak the wheat berries in water for 8 to 10 hours. I soaked it overnight. Grind the berries in a wet grinder or a mixie with 1 cup of water. After 10 mins, take the ground wheat and filter the milk using a sieve. This is first milk. Keep aside undisturbed. Return the fibrous wheat to the grinder and add 1/2 cup of water. After 10 mins, repeat the filtering process and keep this second milk in a separate bowl. Repeat the process again for third milk and then discard the wheat fiber. 
Set this 3 bowls with milk undisturbed, covered in a draft free place. After 2 hours, the thick milk would have settled in the bottom. Carefully scoop out all the water on the top of the three bowls (second image below) and discard the water. Mix milk in all the three bowls.
Getting prepared for the Halwa stirring:
Before you start with the stirring process make sure that you have the ingredients handy and set on easy reach. I made sure I have laid out the food color, cardamom and greased the plate with ghee (for setting and making pieces). A backup person to help stirring is appreciated. DH was of great help in stirring and taking step-wise pictures.
Shall we start:
In a heavy bottomed vessel (I used a pressure cooker), mix sugar with water and heat on med-high flame until it boils. Now add food color and reduce the heat to medium. Keep stirring and check every minute for the consistency of the syrup. Touch the syrup with your index finger (Caution it would be hot) and press with thumb. It should be sticky and when released, there should be a thick string between the fingers. Achieving the string consistency of the sugar syrup would take about 10 - 15 mins from start to finish.


When this consistency is reached, reduce heat to medium-low, add the wheat milk and keep stirring continuously. Do not dare to stop stirring as the milk will tend to settle at the bottom. Stir continuously until it thickens slightly. Add the cardamom powder and 1 tbsp of ghee. Keep stirring continuously with the long spoon adding ghee in tbsp measurements in equal intervals of time. I used up about little less than a cup of ghee. After stirring for about 20 - 30 minutes, you would see that the halwa becomes glossy, comes together and it no longer sticks to the bottom. This indicates that it is done (as in the fourth pic below).
Set and Cut:
Transfer the halwa to the greased plate and allow it to cool and set for about 30 minutes to an hour. Cut into desired shapes and serve garnished with your favorite nuts. This recipe yielded me 14 pieces of 2" squares.
Enjoy your favorite sweet - homemade - just like grandma's preparation!!


67 comments:

  1. Wowww... looks super perfect and delicious.. awesome step by step pictures.. Gr8 job dear.. thanks for sharing :)
    Indian Cuisine

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  2. Came out well Krithi...nice recipe..Happy to see you with ICC.

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  3. Wow Kirthi looks delicious. it is very tasty I know and very difficult to make I know it first hand for my halwa resembled hard rock which had to be hammered if you want to eat it;)!

    Your looks so teeth sinkable.
    Independence day wishes to you.

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  4. Halwa looks so delicious and you have explained it very well. Nice clicks.

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  5. wesome awesome...so so good i love it so much hatsoff perfect like iruttu kadai halwa..

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  6. Wow definitely worth to try, i'll be posting mine tonite..Delicious and irresistible halwa..looks super prefect dear.

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  7. Definitely worth all the effort you have put in, although it's easily available in shops, home made are always special. Looks super delicious, well explained.

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  8. hi kirthi, frist time to ur blog....u have lots of yummy n taste recipe...im glad to follow u dear...

    rekha
    http://indianreceipes-rekha.blogspot.com/

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  9. Looks so perfectly done... Yummy one

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  10. Wow,Looks so good. Delicious clicks...

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  11. Delicious halwa,thanks for pictorials...luks perfect.

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  12. perfectly done halwa..like the ones we used to buy ..even better...lovely...and very well explained..

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  13. Great to have you join us..halwa looks great..

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  14. welcome...to this gang!!....the halwa looks perfect ..lovely clicks!!

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  15. Mouthwatering here..looks fabulous

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  16. Woww tat's great work on the Halwa:) I am from Tirunelveli and this looks as good as the halwa we get in shops der. Looks so tempting! Appreciate ur patience :)

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  17. lovely halwa....looks perfect and pictures r really nice

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  18. Tempting Halwa.You've got such perfect texture and color.

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  19. Lovely and delicious halwa...loved the texture and very nicely explained...

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  20. halwa looks fabulous worth all the hard work

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  21. wow, perfectly made and beautifully presented..

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  22. wow....Halwa looks just like the store bought one..came out really good...very well explained...lovely pictures Krithi!!!

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  23. O my, Krithi, It's just a tough job making this, I myself made this for my 200 th post, but at last, u brought the true colour of the halwa and looks superlicious

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  24. OMG, Krithi, wonderful job you did with perfect step by step pictures. Like the way you presented.

    BTW, Halwa is delicious. Yummmmmm

    Cheers,
    Uma

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  25. Wheat halwa looks delicious, yummy and tempting. Wonderful presentation.

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  26. Looks so so yummy! Feel like having some ,too tempting!

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  27. Perfected to the core...yummy halwas

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  28. Perfect looking halwa...luv the colour luks the original iruttu kadai halwa...i used little red food colour and it turned red and how did u get the dark brownish shade...

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  29. looks yumm, bookmarked it
    thank you for commenting on my post
    following you
    charishma
    http://cheriesstolenrecipes.blogspot.com/

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  30. Lovely pieces. Yours have got the color close to the Thirunelveli halwa...

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  31. வாவ்...ரொம்ப ரொம்ப நல்லா இருக்கின்றது...அப்படியே எடுத்து சாப்பிட தோன்றுகின்றது...

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  32. thanks for visiting my blog...and love your demonstration of making the halwa...i think i will try it out soon...

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  33. Hey Krithi...the halwas look fudgy & perfect!!!! Well explained :))
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  34. What a wonderful and delicious final product. I love all your step by step pics too, halwa looks mouth watering :)

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  35. WOW that must have tasted so good! I like your step by step photos. I never make halwa at home , because I think it's too tough but you made it look awsm!
    www.sunshineandsmile.com

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  36. Perfect with step by step pictorial..Love the layer over the halwa..It has its own taste..Great job dear.

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  37. Love that beautiful fudgy texture n deep caramel color! Fab job!
    USMasala

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  38. Perfect and delicious halwa :) Tempting clicks as well :)
    ARS Event-E for Egg Recipes

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  39. Perfectly shaped and yummy halwa. I tried this once and deeply fell in love with these. Thanks for the step by step pics.

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  40. Wow.. thats a lot of work.. lovely clicks for each step and the halwa looks amazing! Great going Krithi!

    Richa@ Hobby And More Blog
    Hobby And More on Facebook

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  41. Wowww.. lovely Halwa krithi!!My hubby's all time Fav.,Nicely explained.,superb pics..

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  42. Beautiful step by step recipe with pictures..

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  43. Halwa came out perfect and nice to see the pictorial. Beautifuly clicked.
    Invitation for a Potluck

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  44. that looks super delicious...
    well presented !!!great job...

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  45. I'll make it for my Sunday lunch with my daughters and my parents. Great idea!

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  46. oh..mai...wonderfull...these pics describes it all....well understood...thnx...Meena's Kitchen

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  47. wooww..yummy...kuch aur bacha hey kya?? you have a very lovely space here...following you dear...do visit my space when u find time... http://pran-oriya-recipies.blogspot.com/

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. i hav recently read a modern version of this halwa
    which called for wheat flour and coconut milk instead of soaking and grinding the whole wheat berries


    btw the halwa looks mouthwaterrrrrrring.... super texture

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  50. This is simply awesome and I am so so honoured...I have never tried to bring this to this texture. Welcome to the ICC and heres to many happy trials:)

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  51. hi krithi! thanks so much for the recipe!! we tried the same and came out beautifully! thank u:)

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  52. Very well explained!!! Delicious Halwa looks perfect...

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  53. I have 2 doubts
    1: how much water and sugar to be added wen in cooker
    2: in the first case we removed water from that wheat and mixed milk in the three bowls separately.... Now shud we add all together in cooker at once?

    I am very fond of halwa bt don't find good ones near my place so wanna try on my own... Pls help

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  54. Hi Karthik,
    1. For making the sugar syrup the amount is 2 cups sugar to 1/2 cup water.
    2. We make three wheat milks and set it undisturbed. The water will float on the top. Gently scoop out the water from all 3 bowls and discard the water. Mix the 3 milks together and add to the syrup.
    I hope I have answered your questions.
    Let me know...

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  55. Hi Karthik,
    1. For making the sugar syrup the amount is 2 cups sugar to 1/2 cup water.
    2. We make three wheat milks and set it undisturbed. The water will float on the top. Gently scoop out the water from all 3 bowls and discard the water. Mix the 3 milks together and add to the syrup.
    I hope I have answered your questions.
    Let me know...

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  56. how big the sieve pores should be and can u please share the wheat flour version.

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