Every time I think of Halwa, it brings memories of my childhood in India. I remember attending various weddings and was in awe of the amount of food that was being made by the cooks. They were cooking for hundreds of guests in huge woks and cooking utensils. Indian weddings are usually attended by hundreds of guests since the wedding invitation usually says come with friends and family. The cooks would start making the food in the morning with huge quantities of vegetables, flour, ghee, oil, and of course the spices.
Halwa can be made with various ingredients – semolina flour, wheat four, almonds, carrots, lentils, yams etc. My favorite is halwa made with semolina and almonds or just with almonds (I will post a recipe of almond halwa in a future post). The traditional way to make halwa is with lots of ghee and sugar. I have made modification to the recipe to cut down on the amount of ghee and sugar.
A really good quality organic semolina is from Bob’s Red Mill. You can also buy the flour from any Indian store. It is called Sooji. Ghee is available in Whole Foods and other grocery stores or at an Indian store. I prefer the Pure Indian Foods brand of ghee shown in the photo. You can get the ghee via mail order by clicking on the link under Online Stores. Ghee has an excellent nutty taste and a pale yellow color. Ghee is made by heating butter long enough until the moisture in the milk solids evaporate. It has an excellent taste and is used in a variety of Indian dishes. I usually buy it ready made since it is too much of a hassle to make it from scratch.