The word Halwa has become synonymous with Tirunelveli – the Halwa district of TamilNadu – from the time it was created by the people of Rajastan who were under the service of the local Zamindaars centuries ago. About five decades ago the merchants of Tirunelveli who travelled to Srilanka on business, brought back a recipe of another delicious Halwa called Muscat Halwa, while they returned to their home town. Initially it was prepared in small scale to cater to the local needs. Today it has stolen the hearts and taste buds of millions of halwa buffs around the world. Milk of Samba wheat, coconut milk and sugar are used in the preparation of this mouth watering halwa. I have used broken wheat for convenience and it turned out delicious too.
Broken wheat – 1 cup
Fresh coconut gratings of 1 coconut
Sugar – 2 cups
Cashew nuts – a few
Raisins – a few
Ghee – 2 tsps (for frying the nuts)
1. Wash and cover the broken wheat with water and soak overnight.
2. Grind the soaked broken wheat smoothly adding water.
3. Pass the ground wheat through a sieve and keep the milk aside.
4. Soak the coconut gratings in warm water for 15 minutes.
5. Blend the soaked coconut gratings smoothly adding water.
6. Extract the coconut milk by passing it through the sieve
7. Add some more water to the gratings and grind again.
8. Extract the second milk.
9. Combine the wheat milk , the first and second coconut milk extracts and sugar in a heavy bottomed vessel.
10. Cook the mixture on low flame stirring continuously.
11. The halwa will thicken rapidly, hence keep stirring to avoid lumps.
12. Keep stirring – remembering the adage ‘ No Pain No Gain’ – till the coconut oil comes out of the halwa.
13. When the halwa comes together and emanates the aroma of coconut oil , switch off flame and spread it on a greased plate.
14. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in ghee and garnish the Muscat Halwa.
Cut the delicious and flavoursome Muscat Halwa into pieces or enjoy in scoops.
Relish the Muscat Halwa either warm or cold.