It was my birthday the other day and I didn’t want to bake a cake for a change. Actually, I wanted to try out a new recipe that I’d read about in this little book by Nita Mehta called Taste Of Hyderabad.
Ahmedabad is a cauldron in the summers. On my birthday too, the temperature soared. We didn’t feel like stepping out in the sun, so we didn’t eat out, or shop, but instead I cooked a feast for family and friends. I made date and split gram lentils halwa, mango ice cream, paneer kulchas and sambharia, a mouthwatering Gujarati stuffed vegetable dish. Those who have eaten it will vouch for its yummyness and I’ll post its recipe on my blog one of these days. But first, the recipe of the delicious halwa.
I’ve adapted this recipe from Nita Mehta’s recipe, as I said. However, I used 500 gms seedless dates instead of 500 gms seeded dates in the recipe and it came out delicious. You may want to adjust the quantity of sugar in the recipe though.
Date And Split Gram Lentils Halwa
- 500 gms seedless dates
- 1 1/2 cups split gram lentils ( channe ki dal)
- 1 1/2 litres milk
- 1 1/2 cups clarified butter (ghee)
- 2 drops screwpine (kewra) essence
- 15 almonds blanched, peeled and slivered
- A few pistachios chopped
- 1 tspn cardamom powder
- 1/4 cup sugar or to taste
- Was the split gram lentils or chaane ki dal and put them in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the milk and once it begins to boil cook on a low flame for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and the milk has dried up. Stir every few minutes to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep the milk and lentils mixture aside to cool. Grind the mixture to a paste.
- Wash the dates and boil in 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Remove from fire and let cool. Mash the dates with your hands.
- Mix the mashed dates with the lentil paste.
- Heat the ghee in a clean heavy bottom pan. Add the dates and lentil mixture and fry well. Check for sweetness and add sugar if required.
- Add the kewra essence and cardamom powder and stir. Decorate with slivered almonds and chopped pistachios. Serve hot or warm.