Monday, February 4, 2019

Habshi Halwa

Judy has a very good friend who is originally from Karachi, Pakistan and goes home regularly to visit family. After a recent visit home she brought us a bright red, yellow and brown can of habshi halwa, what she calls her favorite dessert. We opened it up and it was full of a thick brown substance that was quite hard, but which was sweet and tasted quite good. 

Later in the day we visited a cultural fair sponsored by a local Muslim organization and they had brown treats, cut like brownies, but that were obviously habshi halwa. They tasted even better than what we got out of the can, more moist. 

This afternoon we scooped some habshi halwa into small glass bowls and microwaved it. It quickly broke down into a thick, liquidy mass. It had the taste of a very thick, crunchy, sweet and condensed milk, but not nearly as sweet. 
It is made from sprouted wheat, milk, sugar, butter ghee, and nuts (which give it the crunch). It was fun to find that it is one of 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die (2008 Quintessence). 1001 notes that it is the shezhada or crown prince of halwas and one of the great desserts of Indian cuisine. 

Ghee is the other product Judy's friend brought us. It was in an aluminum package and looks like fat. It is version of clarified butter that originated in India. Clarified butter involves evaporating out the water from butter, then separating out the fat (clarified butter) from the milk solids. To make ghee you do the same thing, then simmer the clarified butter which makes it taste more nutty and aromatic. We spread some on toast and Judy suggested it a lamby taste. Today I put a greater quantity on toast and also tried some plain and was not fond of it. It is probably more of a mental issue than a taste issue. 

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to using the ghee as the fat for frying vegetables. I love the taste and think it will add a meaty flavor to the veggies.