Besan ka halwa is my husband's favorite and sometimes when he comes back from office he demands this. Being quite easy to make I just cook this besan ka halwa while the chai boild on the stove. Both of us are a contrast when it comes to taste. While I always have something savory (healthy essentially) with my tea but the halwa is just right for Arvind after the day's work. It gets repeated often.
This besan ka halwa I made in a new iron kadhai which is for making jalebis. Shallow with a perfect flat bottom, I got it this time when I visited Banaras last month, and we have a tradition to make something sweet in a new kadhai (the kadhai is considered a utensil which keeps your hearth fulfilled and a sweet dish is for happiness in life to stay for ever). In reality it somehow becomes an excuse to make halwa.
Today I am posting this halwa for Puja , who is the first follower of Banaras ka Khana, hope you would like this traditional north Indian dish Puja. I clicked the halwa right into the kadhai as the kadhai was the hero this time.
As I said the recipe is easy and though I go by instinctive measurements, I am writing down the quantity by cup measures.
Heat 1/2 a cup of desi ghee into the kadhai and tip in 1 tbsp of rawa or suji into it and then quickly tip in 1/2 cup of besan.
Now if the besan is coarse, no need to add suji, but fine besan needs some suji to make the texture more enjoyable, the suji besan ratio may be variable though.
Keep stirring the flours on low to medium flame till deep pink in color and aromatic with a well roasted smell. I normally don't use cardamom powder, but it can be used, 1/2 tsp if desired. I like the besan aroma to dominate so don't add any other flavor.
When the besan is nice n pink, add some chopped nuts of your choice n keep stirring till the nuts are roasted too, taking care not to burn them.
Add 1/3 cup of sugar (a little more if you like it more sugary) mix, and pour 1/4 cup of water.
Take care to pour the water in a thin stream and keep stirring the mixture with the other hand, till a crumbly soft ball is formed. Keep stirring for a few more minutes if you like thin pieces of crust into it. Yes if you keep bhunoeing it more and don;t urn that often, small crusty bits of halwa get caramelized and some people really love them.
Cooking it more after adding water allows crust formation which is liked by some people as I mentioned, and that's it. Serve hot, no garnish needed.
I suggest to keep the portions small as it is heavy on the digestion as well as calories, keeps well in the fridge for a week...just microwave and serve hot again.
Nuts can be added if required, but besan ka halwa is great as it is.