I am participating in Indian Cooking Challenge after a long break. For this month, we were challenged to cook a traditional sweet, badam halwa. It is a rich halwa loaded with ghee. I used unsalted butter. Almonds or badam are soaked overnight, peeled, ground to paste, cooked in ghee, sweetened with sugar and flavored with cardamom powder. I followed the recipe as given and felt I could have cut back a little on ghee. Mr.U thought it was a too sweet but it was fine for my sweet tooth.
Servings: 1 – 1 ½
- ¼ cup Almonds ~ Badam
- 4 tbsp. Ghee (I used unsalted butter. Check note below)
- 4 tbsp. Sugar or to taste
- Pinch of Cardamom Powder
- ¼ – ½ cup Water
- Soak almonds in water overnight. Peel, wash the almonds and grind to a fine paste. I forgot to soak almonds overnight and instead soaked in hot water for 2 hours in a covered pan. Then peeled the almonds, put them in freezer for 30 – 45 minutes and then ground to paste. This tip, to soak in hot water, freeze and then grind to paste was shared by Kalyani and it worked just perfect.
- After peeling the almonds, grind them to fine paste using very little water. I used about 1 ½ – 2 tbsp. of water but if possible, use less water.
- Heat ghee or unsalted butter in a nonstick pan and roast almond paste stirring it constantly until it is roasted and changes color. This will take about 10 minutes. I roasted it on medium to medium high flame for 3-4 minutes and then reduce the flame to medium low. If the paste burns reduce the flame to low and roast it stirring constantly.
- Once the almond paste is roasted, gradually add water and bring it to halwa consistency.
- Add cardamom powder, sugar and mix well. Halwa will become diluted as sugar melts.
- Cook on low flame until halwa thickens and ghee/butter begins to float.
- Less ghee can be used. Ghee was floating on the halwa. Usually traditional sweets do tend have lot of ghee in it but I felt I could have cut back on ghee.