The never-ending love for halwa
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//From the zenith of the Ottoman Empire to the perfumed streets of Dilli and beyond, the halwa remains one of those strangely contrarian dishes in our midst: indigenous, yet foreign — a bit like we the people!//
India is land of festival, we have occassions almost in every month. So we have huge range of sweets and to add it every region have their own special sweets.
And when we talk about sweet dish, halwa is the first name which strike our mind. Halwa, that most revered of offerings in mandirs, gurudwaras and, well, “Indian” homes, is not so desi, after all — despite floating in all the desi ghee.
The halwa, of course, is only one of those many pan-Indian “Indian” dishes that has travelled across the breadth of at least one continent to reach us.
Halwa’s tentacles extend both East and West from the epicentre of its origin, spurring the creation of dessert traditions that should smack you in the face with their similarities—only if you weren’t so busy eating them up!
From the zenith of the Ottoman Empire to the perfumed streets of Dilli and beyond; so that whether it is the Maharashtrian sheera or the Mysore kesari bhaat, the halwa remains one of those strangely contrarian dishes in our midst: indigenous, yet foreign — a bit like we the people!
Lets see types of halwa which is famous or better to say most loved
Aate halwa: The name which remind us summer vacations. Grandmother used to make it and we could anytime go into the kitchen and have it. Aate ka halwa makes for a great winter dish and it keeps the body warm. Aate Ka Halwa is part of most holy offerings and as children we would sit still through the entire ceremony only because at the end we will get the halwa!
Suji halwa: This is second most made halwa at home and it doesnt occassion. Children are crazy for this sweet dish.
Besan halwa: Let’s talk about a common ingredient whose versatility ranges from the cooking arena to the world of beauty and skincare. It sits humbly, stacked in the kitchen cabinets across the country and participates in creating some of the most loved and widely popular dishes. Besan a common ingredient used in making Indian street food and sweets – halwa, laddoo, barfi,etc.
Gajar halwa: One of my most pleasant memories attached with winters in India is a bowl of piping hot Gajar Ka Halwa. As we sat cuddled in our quilts, the hot sugary delight was our perfect companion. It is difficult to match the out-of-the-world Gajar Ka Halwa made by my mom.
Moong dal halwa: It’s difficult to resist the temptation of delectable Moong Dal Halwa. A perfect, mouth-watering, aromatic shiny and pretty Moong Dal Halwa loaded with lots of protein and calcium, made with yellow split moong dal, ghee, sugar and flavoured with cardamom powder.
Badam halwa: This is the quintessential rich man’s/ruler’s dessert. The expensive ingredient is cooked, almost simply (which makes sense if you are using a premium ingredient) and not really tampered with too much, even in terms of adding essence, perfumery et al. Fittingly, thin silver varq (or gold) was all it needed to be a “niyamat” (elusive delicacy).
Lauki halwa: Bottle gourd, popularly identified as lauki across most Indian households, is believed to be one of the first plants to be cultivated in the world. Cooked in milk and then set on thalis to halwa made from even bitter veggies are clear innovations meant for upper class banquets till their popularity made these quasi home dishes.
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