Now this is what I term as the top of the lot Halwa – Moong daal halwa. This is again one of my favourite and an extremely relishing delicacy from North/West India. This rich dessert is generally present in most Indian celebrations like weddings, and Diwali/Holi. Since it is very warm, rich and on a heavier side, people tend to prepare/relish this rich dessert especially in winter. I however do not mind to have it at any time 🙂
Moong Daal halwa has a very special place in my world of cooking – when I started cooking for the 1st time, this was the first sweet/dessert that I tried my hands on (and luckily it was a super hit). My Nanaji (maternal grandfather) loved his Daal ka halwa very much and was very particular about it. When I made the daal ka halwa for the first time, I had given him a little for taste. Guess what – he was very happy and told me to prepare it for Diwali (which meant in a large quantity, as my maternal side family is very big 🙂 ).
All said and done, the most important key for making Moong Daal halwa is patience – it takes a lot of time; you have to stir, stir and again stir the daal continuously on a medium flame.
You can store this halwa in the refrigerator for several weeks – just add a little milk to the halwa before reheating it.
The ingredients for making Moong Daal Halwa are :
- Moong Daal (split yellow lentil) : 250 gram
- Clarified Butter (ghee) : 250 gram
- Khoya : 250 gram
- Sugar : 250 gram
- Almonds : 15-20
- Pistachios : 15-20
- Cardamom : 3-4
- Food colour : a pinch (optional)
Wash the daal and soak it in enough water for overnight.
Grind the daal (not very fine) in the mixer without using any water / very little water – actually I like the grainy halwa and not the paste one.
Heat clarified butter (ghee) in a wok (non stick preferably). Add daal in it and stir continuously; make sure there is no lump formation and, the daal does not burns or sticks to the bottom.
Stir and cook continuously till the raw smell is gone and it becomes brown in colour. It will take 25-30 minutes to get the daal cooked completely. The properly cooked Moong daal will not stick to the frying pan and you can see the clarified butter (ghee) getting separated from moong daal.
Now add khoya (crumble khoya by your hands and then add), mix it properly and stir continuously till khoya and daal mixture become together and brown in colour. Let it cool down. Add half of almonds and pistachios to it.
Making the Sugar Syrup :
Heat a pan with sugar and 1 cup of water. Mix food colour in 1 tsp of water and add it into sugar syrup. Cook this sugar syrup till you get 1 thread consistency.
A Deep dive into the making of One thread sugar syrup:
Boil the water and sugar together in a pan, until sugar dissolves and it reaches a rolling boil. Now turn the heat down to keep it boiling gently.
When the sugar is fully dissolved, add 2 tsp milk to the syrup (the milk causes any impurities to come to surface so that they could be removed) and allow to boil some more. A scum will form on the surface. Remove this scum by skimming the syrup with a spoon.
Dip a spatula in this syrup; lift it out, and touch it with the tip of your forefinger to pick a drop of the syrup. Be very careful – it can burn your finger! Touch your forefinger with your thumb and pull apart slowly, to see how many threads are stretched between your finger and thumb. When you see one thread or wire it means your one thread sugar syrup is ready.
Let the sugar syrup cool down a little bit and then add the daal and mix it properly. Now add cardamom powder, remaining almonds and pistachios and mix it well. Your delicious Moong Daal Halwa is ready to be relished.
Insider Tips / Finer Points :
You can add more khoya, if you want a more rich halwa.
Similarly you may add more sugar, if you like more sweetness in the halwa.
Sugar syrup and daal mixture both should not be too hot, when you are mixing in the last step; otherwise it will become chewy.