Diwali is one of the most important holidays in India. It entails many meanings and interpretations but the most significant meaning of this holiday is good vs. evil. The celebration of Diwali brings together family and friends enjoying sweet and savory delicacies, exchanging gifts, lighting lamps and fireworks.
This year, for the festival of lights, I made the traditional Halwa. Although it is a dessert, and most desserts are served at the end of a meal, Halwa can be served with the meal. This recipe was given to me by my mom. I had written it down, along with other family recipes, before I moved to California. I must admit, making Halwa takes diligence. The first time I made it (last year), it got burnt. I was so discouraged at that time but I attempted to make it again this year. It tasted great this year but it still didn’t taste like my mom’s.
Suji is also known as Semolina. You can easily find it at any Indian grocery store.
Ghee is clarified butter.
Saffron is derived from a flower. It is delicate and exclusive.
Cardamom is a spice used in small amounts for sweet and savory dishes in India.
1. Place a heavy bottom pan on medium-low heat and stir in suji and ghee. Mix constantly until it changes color slightly and the ghee starts to separate.
2. Add milk, sugar, ground cardamom, saffron, and stir constantly. (I used a whisk to get the clumps out.)
3. Whisk until the mixture changes consistency to a smooth and congealed product.
4. This halwa can be served warm or cold. You can garnish with more ground cardamom, raisins, almonds and cashews.
Prep time: ~15-20 minutes.
Serves 3-4 people.