We have been on a hara chana high for sometime. It was the easy and yet exotic option for quick snacks and ghugnis all through this winter. I was developing a lot of non vegetarian recipes for a brand and was fed up with not having my own choice of food for a while. I always love cooking my food on my own whims, my own 'flavours for the day' and when I have to work on something which is fixed, I feel a bit suffocated in terms of food choices. I don't know if you relate to it or not, but give me the fanciest of foods on a day when I want a simple khichdi, I will not be happy eating them. But that is another story.
There is harey chane ka halwa to cheer up. This harey chane ka halwa is mostly set and cut like barfi or fudge. One of the most surprising flavours trust me, and so brightly coloured.
Some of the seasons fresh produce gave me hope and I enjoyed some quick foods of my choice as well.
Harey chane ka halwa looks and sounds tricky but it incredibly simple and quick.
Hara chana, fresh green peas and some thukpa and thenthuk type soups were a great relief as they take minimal effort to be cooked. I made hara chana jhal mudi many a times for a tea time snack and loved it. But then a friend from Banaras reminded me of this hare chane ka halwa and I got transported to the older days when we never counted our desserts.
Not that we ate too much desserts as a family but we usually had everything we wanted. I think we never knew so much abundance of all things super sweet vying for attention all the time. Home made real food desserts were the norm and we grew up to become fit healthy individuals. Cakes were very occasional even if we had started baking at younger age, all of us siblings used to have so much fun in the kitchen. This harey chane ka halwa brought back all those memories.
This halwa would remind you of the halwas of Kerala and Tamilnadu (probably other states of south India as well) where they make pineapple and ripe jackfruit halwa and dehydrate it so much that it make a nice dense cake that can be sliced like karachi halwa. But this harey chane ka halwa is not that dehydrated and doesn't keep well at room temperature. This is something to be had the same day or to refrigerate and consume the next day.
(makes 9 large squares, or 6-8 servings)
hara chana (tender green garbanzo beans) 200 gm
pistachios 25 gm (you can use cashew too)
sugar 25-50 gm as per taste
ghee 30 gm or 2 tbsp
chopped pistachio for garnish
Some people add khoya to this halwa but I like it without khoya. If you want to add khoya, you can make instant khoya in microwave by following this recipe.
Make a powder of pistachios first, add the hara chana in the blender and make a smooth paste of the two.
Heat ghee in a kadhai and pour the paste in it. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes and you would see how the green paste starts getting smooth and a bit gummy.
Add the sugar and stir more to cook further. The halwa will start looking shiny and sticky. This is the time you pour it into a deep plate or a square dish of suitable size. Spread it in even layer, thickness can be of your choice. Mine was 1 cm thick layer. Sprinkle chopped pistachios over it and press with your fingers so they embed well.
Let it cool in refrigerator for an hour or so, cut squares and serve as required.
Alternately, you can serve the halwa hot or warm like gajar ka halwa.
The taste is rich and nutty and very very delectable. This halwa will be one of those good looking desserts you can serve for formal meals as well.
Let me know if you try this harey chane ka halwa or call it harey chane ki barfi. You can make such a halwa with green peas too, but the taste will be a bit different as peas don't have that nuttiness that hara chana lends to this halwa. I hope you get hara chana in your part of the world.