Badam halwa is a rich traditional South Indian dessert generally made during festivals or special occasions. Badam halwa literally translates to almond halwa or pudding, and the basic ingredients are almonds, sugar, and ghee (clarified butter).
There can rarely be someone who doesn’t like this halwa. It is my younger one’s favorite and he would never let us cross Thillai Nagar in Trichy without buying Badam halwa from the Sri Krishna sweet shop on the 11th cross.
But it can be easily made at home too. The recipe is universal as is for traditional recipes. The general ratio is 1:1 of badam (almonds) and sugar. Saffron is added to give a natural color and flavor.
It’s a pretty simple and straightforward procedure too. Blanch the almonds, peel, and puree with or without milk and cook it up with sugar and ghee till it gathers together. Simple, right? 😀
The only care you need to take here is not to burn the bottom. So you will have to keep on stirring nonstop. A good non-stick pan is a great help here…and of course, patience.
Stop cooking when it gathers together and starts oozing out ghee. Transfer to a greased container immediately.
The only trouble I have encountered a couple of times during the initial days of making this is overcooking the mixture, as I was not sure of the right time to remove it from the stove.
Once I sensed that it is overcooked I turned off the flame, added 1-2 tbsp of milk, and gave it a good mix. As the mixture is hot it absorbs the milk and softens.
The halwa did not get spoilt even after 5 days on the countertop. And in my view, it’s better to slightly overcook than undercook 😀 . Coz if it’s undercooked it turns out chewy.
Another way is to add half a cup of hot water, mix it up well, and heat it up again. In this way also you can salvage the halwa if it becomes tough.
This is one of the costliest Indian dessert, the price may be attributed more to the price of almonds rather than the effort in making it. So give it a try this Diwali and enjoy homemade badam halwa with your family and friends.
O’er to the recipe…
Badam halwa/Almond halwa
- ½ cup badam(almonds)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ - ⅓ cup ghee(clarified butter)
- a big pinch of saffron
- a big pinch of cardamom powder
- a pinch of turmeric powder
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ cups water
- a pinch of salt
- Keep the ingredients ready. Heat up the water to a rolling boil. Add the almonds, let it boil for a minute, and turn off the flame.
- Keep aside for half an hour. Then, drain the water, and peel the almonds.
- Next, grind this to a coarse paste in a mixer with milk.
- Heat up a tbsp of ghee in a pan. Add the ground paste and saute for a minute till the raw smell disappears.
- Add the saffron and the turmeric powder and keep stirring for a minute or two.
- Next, add the sugar and a pinch of salt and keep stirring. Add ghee at intervals.
- Turn it off when it stops bubbling leaves the sides of the pan and starts oozing out ghee. Transfer to a ghee-coated container and garnish with chopped almonds. It will thicken as it cools.
- Grind the almonds to a coarse paste to get a good texture.
- A 1:1 ratio of almonds to sugar is just about perfect. You can add more if you like your halwas very sweet.
- Ghee can be added as per preference. I tried to keep it minimal but still ended up adding a bit more than a quarter cup.
- The troubleshooting tips mentioned above are those which I have tried and worked out for me.
- If you want to skip the milk, grind the almonds with just water.
- Use good quality saffron as it gives a nice color and flavor to the preparation.
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