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Monday, March 12, 2007

Maida Halwa

easy recipe maida halva halwa sweet dessert indian
I was talking to my mom last weekend, just usual call... She doesn't get to see her little granddaughter (my wee one) much, living in another continent and all, so, she makes rather sweet requests on and off asking me to cook something special for the wee tot:
"I really want to make maida halwa for my little baby but since i can't send it all the way over, make her some today and feed her, will you?"
"Sure, amma, of course."
That's how this dish materialized yesterday:-)

My mom makes this maida halwa for Diwali usually, among a dozen other sweets and snacks. It has not been my favorite as I don't quite have the sweet tooth... but, it is very tasty nonetheless. And easy to make!

It is amazing to me that many of the indian sweets my mom makes have just a few ingredients - sugar, flour, ghee - and the various proportions/combinations/methodology bring about quite a spectrum of sweets. Wikipedia says Maida is super refined wheat flour typically, but, this recipe uses all-purpose flour.

Halwas are usually ooey-gooey and don't usually set into a solid form. I stuck this maida halwa in the freezer for a while till it set well so I can cut into squares for easier handling:-) It remains gooey at room temperature, to be enjoyed by the spoonful...

The rich chocolate brown color of this halwa just comes from toasting the flour to a golden brown before mixing it with the sugar syrup.

easy recipe maida halva halwa sweet dessert indian

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar (maybe a little more, if you like)
1 cup water
1 cup chopped cashews, walnuts, raisins, dried cranberries
2 Tbsp ghee or butter (as needed)


grease a plate with 1 Tbsp of ghee, or more as needed, keep handy

heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a pan, fry the chopped nuts and dry fruits, drain them out of the pan and set on a plate handy

add the flour to the same pan, with residual ghee in it, and toast the flour, stirring constantly, till it turns a beautiful light brown and loses the raw smell of flour

combine water & sugar, in a separate pan, bring to a gentle simmer and allow to boil over medium-high, stirring constantly to form a thickish sugar syrup, almost a "one-string-consistency", as my mom would put it:
hold a drop of syrup between index finger and thumb, separate the fingers slowly - if the syrup forms a single string between the fingers, it is ready
the catch of course is that it is incredibly hot, so, takes a brave heart to try it:-) i simply scoop a spoonful and try to pour it back into the pan and eyeball its viscosity, just trial and error...

when sugar syrup seems "ready", add the toasted flour as well as the fried nuts & dry fruits, stir well till thickened, off heat

pour into the greased plate, allow to cool; serve warm or at room temperature

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  • At 9:50 AM, Blogger Mo said…

    Looks delicious!

  • At 10:46 AM, Blogger Roopa said…

    thats a nice recipe, looks easy to me:)

  • At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Aparnna said…

    Hi, I tried this recipe but towards the end after I added the maida, it became a big lump and was quite hard...could you tell me where I went wrong?

  • At 8:42 AM, Blogger Sheela said…

    HI Aparna, a couple of things could have happened - but, not being there to see it I can't be sure: 1)sugar syrup was not "ready" - this is hard to explain - just trial and error might help get this right; 2) too high heat when adding maida into sugar syrup and not stirring constantly... Sorry, there really isn't many steps in this recipe, so, I guess these are the two places I can think of to watch out for your next batch. Good Luck!


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