Karachi Halwa

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Karachi Halwa as the name implies comes from the Sindh region. Much as it was popular in the Northern part of the country as Bombay Halwa, it is now popular across the globe. As a child I remember gawking at the nut-filled bars of the sweet wrapped in cellophane sheets and displayed in the mithai shops and used to wonder how such differently colored bars in green, yellow, red, and orange  could  be made in plenty. The first time I tasted was again an experience of its kind – the gummy-chewy bar with filled with crunchy nuts.
Took sometime to figure out that it is not too much of a task to make this and now microwavable versions are also available.

For all the chewy texture it takes up less ghee as  to other bars such as mysorepak.

Ingredients

Corn flour 1 cup

Sugar 2 cups (and a half if you like it very sweet)

Water ½ + 1½ cups

Crushed cashew  ¼ cup (you can add crushed pistachios and almonds too)

Cardamom powder  ¼ tsp

Clarified butter (ghee) 2 tbsp

Orange color   a few drops or a pinch of powder

Method

  • Add half a cup of water to cornflour in a bowl and whisk it into a smooth paste. Add the color to the paste and mix well.
  • In a thick-bottomed wok make a syrup with sugar and 1½ cups water. As the syrup starts boiling simmer the flame and let the syrup get thicker but it is not necessary to get a string consistency.
  • When the syrup gets sticky add the flour mix to the syrup and keep stirring continuously. As the mix starts thickening it gets translucent and glossy. Ensure there is NO lump formed.

kakarachi halwa thickeningins

  • As  the mix thickens add ghee and stir longer till the jelly-like mix starts leaving the sides of the wok.
  •  Add the crushed nuts and cardamom powder and blend them by stirring a little longerIMG_2157
  • Transfer the mix quickly to a well greased plate and tap the plate a little to get an even spread.

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Let the plate cool enough (up to an hour) for the jelly to set before cutting them into desired shape and size.

Store the pieces in an airtight container up to a week or longer in the refrigerator.

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Chef’s Note

  • If you want the jelly to set faster leave the plate in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Depending the color you like you can vary the color to green or yellow
  • I tried adding turmeric powder as a natural color and found that those  pieces had a turmeric flavor and thus it was not a great idea 😦

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