Archive for September 2008

Sweet Potato Halwa

September 25, 2008

Halwa or halva is one of the simplest sweets, traditionally prepared by cooking grated vegetables (lauki or edible gourd, ash gourd and a variety of root vegetables) in generous amount of ghee with the combination of flour, sugar, milk, flavorings and nuts in the Indian kitchen.

1 sweet potato
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom seeds, crushed
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1/8 cup milk powder or khoya – optional
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1/8 cup unsalted cashews, chopped

1) Remove the skin from sweet potato and wash thoroughly. Cut into uniform pieces or cubes (yielding about 2 1/4 cups chopped).
2) Place them into a microwave-safe bowl and add 1 teaspoon water. Cover and microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir and microwave for another 1 to 2 minutes or until they are fork tender. Remove from microwave and mash them without adding any liquid. Set aside.
3) Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add roughly crushed cardamom seeds (if you like) and mashed sweet potatoes and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except cashews (choice of nuts). Continue to cook, stirring constantly until there is no moisture left in the pan. Stir in the chopped cashews.
4) Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a lightly buttered 8-inch round baking pan or thali (Indian stainless steel round dish). Spread the mixture evenly with a lightly buttered back of metal spatula. Let it cool completely and cut into desired shapes. Serve it warm or at room temperature. Yield: 6-8 servings

Note: This dish may be prepared with baked or boiled sweet potatoes along with additional flavorings and nuts.