Cracked Wheat Halva
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This halwa is very similar to semolina halwa and it is as easy to make. Lapsi is also known as dalia or fada. It is finely cracked wheat. It can be bought from Indian grocers, specially the Gujrati ones. If it is not available where you live, try making it it with cous-cous. Serves 4-6
1 cup coarsely ground wheat or lapsi or dalia. It looks like cous-cous
1 cup ghee
1 cup sugar (more if you like halwa very sweet)
3 cups boiling hot water* (3 times the wheat)
A few strands of saffron or 1/4 -1/2 tsp. green cardamom powdered
A handful of almonds flakes & chopped pistachios, mixed
A handful of raisins, if desired
* You can replace 50-100% of water with milk, especially when making it for children.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed wok or kadhai.
Add wheat or lapsi to the melted ghee and stir-fry until it turns golden colour. When ready, a wonderful aroma rises from the pan.
Add 2 cups of boiling water and simmer gently, covered. Stir frequently. Make sure that wheat is cooked through. Check it by picking a few grains from your spatula and pressing between your forefinger and thumb. The grains should be soft. Wrap a kitchen towel around your hand or wear an oven glove when stirring, as there is a lot of splashing from hotly bubbling halwa.
Add remaining water and sugar. Sugar can be dissolved in 1 cup of water in advance.
Add raisins and either saffron or cardamom powder.
Cook until ghee separates and halwa comes off the edges. The consistency of the finished product is like mashed potatoes.
Garnish with almonds and pistachios. Half of these can be added along with raisins.
Serve hot with tea.
You can freeze it too but it doesn't taste like freshly made one! Defrost fully, sprinkle a handful of water and heat in a microwave on full for 2-3 minutes, stirring half way through.