This Festival of Lights add the goodness of fresh and seasonal fruits to your festive halwas
Around the world, a sizable number of Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains celebrate the holiday of Diwali. This festival marks the win of good over evil and light over darkness. The Hindu New Year falls on the same day as Diwali. The primary reason for the festivities is that Lord Rama and his wife Sita rejoined their realm from exile on this day after slaying Ravan. Indian sweets are typically referred to as "mithai." A long-standing custom treats sweets as pure offerings to the gods. These delicacies express warm wishes, love and affection to family and friends. When it's Diwali, the scale of mithai goes boundless. Among various desserts, halwas have become a staple sweet something. It is surprising to know that from the Arabic word "hulw," which means sweet, comes the term "halwa." Originating as a Turkish dish, it is now a part of Indian cuisine. So, on this Diwali, let's keep the tradition of halwa on. But instead of regular ones, try some fruits halwa.
Custard apple halwa
Remove the seeds of 1 custard apple and now puree it to make one cup of pulp. Heat 1 teaspoon of ghee in a skillet, fry 10 cashew nuts and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds and take them out on a plate. In the same pan, pour the custard apple puree, and lower the flame. Blend in 3/4 cup sugar and keep stirring. Add ¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder and 2 teaspoons honey and blend well. Cook till the puree starts leaving the edges. Drizzle 3/4 tsp of pure ghee and add 2 teaspoons of raisins. Switch off the flame. Pour on a greased bowl and garnish with fried cashews and pumpkin seeds.
Orange raw halwa, Image Source: Shutterstock
Heat ghee in a skillet, add semolina and cook until it turns light brown. Set aside. Pour 2 cups of fresh orange pulp into a hot saucepan. Add sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of orange zest while keeping the flame low. Cook until it boils and starts to thicken a little. Add the roasted semolina and cook for a few more minutes. Pour in 1/2 cup cream and simmer until the water has entirely evaporated. Cut off the gas. Transfer the halwa to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped almonds.
Ghee is heated in a pan. Add 1 cup semolina and roast on low to medium heat for two to three minutes. The colour shouldn't turn brown. Stir in the 3 diced bananas. Add the warm milk in batches and thoroughly stir. This prevents lumps. Add the raisins, cardamom powder, and sliced almonds or cashews. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar until it is completely dissolved. For two to three minutes, simmer the banana halwa. Mix in the saffron. Cook the halwas for 2 to 3 minutes, stir and boil. Serve warm or hot banana halwa.
Strawberry halwa, Image Source: Fabulous Fridays
Heat ghee in a skillet, add 1/4 cup semolina and roast until the colour changes to a light golden brown. Slowly add the 1 cup of hot boiling water or milk, stirring constantly. Mix thoroughly after adding 1/4 cup sugar and cardamom powder. Cover the kadai once the sugar has completely dissolved. Continue to boil the halwa for 2 more minutes. When ready, simmer the 1 cup pureed strawberries for another two minutes. Pour the halwa into a serving dish and top with the sliced almonds and cashews.
Apple grape halwa
Using separate blenders, prepare juice from the apples and grapes. Mix and strain the juices. Stir the cornflour thoroughly with half a cup of the combined juices to prevent lumps. Place a heavy-bottomed wok or skillet over medium heat. Heat ghee and roast nuts and raisins. Take them out on a plate. Mix the remaining juice with the sugar in the same skillet and whisk for 5 minutes or until the juice slightly decreases. Then, add the salt and cornflour juice mixture and constantly stir until it is somewhat thickened and resembles halwa. On a platter, spread the mixture out. After letting it cool, cut it into pieces.