Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Traditional Kozhikode Halwa

EVERY city has at least one sweet named after it and in Kozhikode; it is the thick, black, yellow and white glutinous Kozhikode Halwa. Every sweet shop, every bakery, every major store selling food items and packaged foods, sells the ever-present Calicut Halwa. You will find the Halwa stacked behind a glass counter, a big, fat, black mass, glistening with oil, and with a sickly sweet smell about it. Visitors to the city are initiated into developing a Kozhikode Halwa fix by crafty salespersons in these stores who cut a thin slice of the sweetmeat and offer it for sampling. Once tasted, the visitor gets hooked onto the Halwa.
Kozhikode/Calicut has an entire street with stores selling colourful Halwa. Locally called Aluva, it is a made from flour, sugar and lot of stirring to a sticky/rubbery consistency and the mouth-watering smell of cooked sugar and coconut oil. This is the traditional way of making it.

• 2 cups of all-purpose flour
• 4 cup of sugar
• 1 cup water
• 1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed.
• 1.5 liter coconut oil(or vegetable oil)
• •dry coconut slices(optional)

Mix the flour with 8 cups of water and leave it covered for a day. Remove the water from top and add make up the water again and leave it for one more day. Flour will start to ferment by this time. You may keep it refrigerated on the second day to prevent over fermentation.

Remove the water form top and filter out any lumpy portions from the flour paste. Heat the oil to 350 degrees and keep it aside. Boil the sugar with 1 cup of water and add the flour paste and cardamom seeds. Stir everything together and add the hot oil. Stir continuously on medium/high heat until the halwa separates from oil and starts to sticks together. Continue stirring for two more minutes and transfer to a greased pan and add the coconut slices. Cool down and cut into desired size.Don't worry about 1.5 liters of oil, it will separate out and can be reused later. Cooking in excess hot oil is a key step in getting the correct consistency and finishing it faster

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