Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ashoka or Moong dal Halva



This is Amma's famous sweet from India. I am not a huge fan of Indian sweets but I like this one.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/3 cup moong dal
2 cups milk
2 cups water
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cup ghee
pinch of ground nutmeg (or more to taste)

OPTIONAL ALMOND PASTE
Take one handful almonds, soak in hot water for 2 hours, peel, add milk and grind to a smooth paste. 

METHOD.

1. Take the moong dal, put it in a small pan and heat up dry over medium heat just until the beans feel hot to the touch.

2. Wash the moong dal and drain it, then add 1 1/2 cups milk 1 1/2 cups water to the moong dal. Cook in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles or until dal is cooked.

3. Put the cooked moong dal in a large stock pot. Add in the sugar and almond paste if using and heat over medium heat until the sugar melts (approx. 5 minutes).

4. Add in 2/3 cup ghee, and cook, stirring over medium heat. As it cooks, you will see it get thicker and thicker.

5. After about 10 minutes of boiling over a low heat, add in another 1/3 cup of ghee. After 10 more minutes, add in the final 1/3 cup ghee.

6. When the mixture gets to the correct consistency, sort of like a jam or hot fudge consistency (and the ghee separates from the mixture a tiny bit), take it off the heat.

7. Mix in a small amount of ground nutmeg.

8. Leave the Halva in the pot, as it cools it will get thicker and end up a thick pudding consistency and fall away from the sides of the bowl.