Jaggery and Whole Wheat Flour Halwa

Atta Halwa is a very tasty prasad served at Gurudwaras. It is made with sugar and whole wheat flour. But if you can make the same sweet with jaggery, you get a healthier sweet. The unique taste of jaggery and the flavor of roasted whole wheat flour combines to make a smooth and soft halwa. I used organic wheat flour, organic jaggery powder, and homemade ghee and the result was amazing. I would recommend using organic jaggery for the best taste and for the rich dark brown color. This is a good sweet to make as a prasad offering for the Gods, when guests gatecrash, or just to pamper yourself.

Ingredients:
Wholewheat flour – 1 cup
Jaggery – 1 cup
Ghee – 1/4 cup
Water – 1-1/2 cups
Cardamon powder – 1/4 tsp
Cashewnuts/almonds – 5-6

Preparation Time: NA
Cooking Time: 25 mins
Serves – 4 to 6

Method:
Take jaggery in a vessel, add water, and heat until the jaggery dissolves completely. Do not boil. When the jaggery melts completely, turn off the fire.
Strain this solution to remove impurities in the jaggery and set aside.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add 3/4th the amount of ghee. When the ghee melts, turn the flame to low and add the wholewheat flour. Roast carefully on low heat, stirring all the while until the wheat flour is golden brown in color and you start getting the scent of roasted wholewheat and ghee. Keep roasting until you start feeling that the flour is about to get burnt and turn black. For a cup of wheat flour, it takes about 15 minutes if you roast it carefully on low flame.
Turn off the fire and transfer the roasted flour into a plate.
Pour the melted jaggery water into the same pan that you used to roast the wheat flour. When the water starts to boil, add the roasted wheat flour carefully, avoiding splatter.
Add the remaining ghee and mix vigorously until the mixture turns smooth. Do not worry even if you see lumps. Press the lumps with the spatula while turning the mixture around in the pan. You will see that the mixture starts moving together as a whole mass. Cook for about a minute more.
Add cardamom powder and mix well. Garnish with cashew/almond pieces roasted in ghee.
I like this best when served warm. You can serve at room temperature also.

Notes:
Make sure that you use a thick bottomed pan so that the wheat flour gets roasted evenly and does not get burnt.
Keep stirring continuously in low heat until you feel that the wheat flour is brown and almost about to get burnt. This is key to get the right taste or else your halwa would have a raw wheat taste.
To get the best taste, do not economize on the ghee. However, when you are making this
just to satisfy your cravings, you can cut down on the ghee. It would not taste as rich, nevertheless is utterly satisfying.
The sweetness of your halwa might vary slightly based on the jaggery variety you use and the amount of molasses in that jaggery.

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