Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Milk Halwa

Recipe No: 253
Have you ever had an opportunity to taste Milk Halwa from ‘Ann’s Bakery’? It is one good Halwa and of course one of my favorites too...well along with a most of the other 'Ann's' specialties... (you will know it if you read some of my previous posts!!) Even though it took some time for me to get this recipe somewhere near 'Ann's' Halwa, the efforts were truly worth, considering the fact that we are big time fans of these.
Ingredients                                     Makes around 1.25 Kg
  • Milk……………………..........….3 Cups
  • Milkmaid……………...........….1- 14 oz can/ 397 gm can
  • Maida/ All Purpose Flour…3/4 Cup
  • Tapioca Pearls…..................1/3 Cups (Chavvari/ Sabudhana)
  • Sugar……………………......…...2 Cups
  • Ghee………………………….…...1/2 Cup
  • Cashew Nut pieces…………..1/3 Cup
  • Cardamom Powder…..…….1/2 Teaspoon
Method of Preparation
  1. Cook Tapioca Pearls with 2 Cups of Water for 15 minutes (after boiling) and strain it thoroughly. (There will be some Tapioca Pearls left without dissolving; please discard it.) Keep aside till ready to be used.
  2. Dissolve Flour in 3 cups of Water and strain it into a wide pan. Put this on  medium heat and stir continuously till thickened.
  3. Add the Milk to the thick batter on the stove and mix properly without any lumps.
  4. Stir continuously for around 20 minutes on medium heat till the Flour cooks well. This step is important as it cooks the Flour taking away the raw smell and taste, so please don't try to rush.
  5. Add cooked and strained Tapioca Pearls, Milkmaid and the Sugar; continue cooking for another 10-20 minutes. (By this time you will be able to see the bottom of the pan while stirring.
  6. Add the Ghee and continue cooking. Once it starts to come from the sides, add Cashew nuts and mix well.
  7. When you see small droplets of Oil  oozing out and the Halwa is coming together as a mass, mix in the Cardamom Powder.
  8. Remove it into an oiled pan and level the top off with the back of an oiled spoon.
  9. Let it sit at room temperature and cool completely before cutting it into pieces and serving at room temperature.
  • As this is a Sugar based Halwa, don’t cook it too long after it starts to come off the sides (Very small droplets of Oil should be present on the sides of the pan.) or it will become too hard when cools.
  • As per this recipe the Halwa is moderately sweet. Like most of the other Halwa, if you want it on the sweeter side, do add some more Sugar.
  • You have to cook the Halwa for sometime after adding the Sugar to get that signature color from 'Ann's' Halwa (form a bit of caramelization) as it wont look pretty without that color (happened to me many times) and the taste will be a bit different too.
  • Do strain the Tapioca pearls while hot; otherwise it will become very hard to strain.
  • Constant stirring throughout the process is very traditional for Halwa, and I recommend doing the same here too or the mixture may stick to the bottom (see the dark bits here and there in the pic, I am referring to that!) and can result in hard portions here and there in the finished Halwa.
  • The amount of Ghee given here is very less when compared to the 'Halwa standards' (the reason why not so much Ghee is oozing out towards the end.), so please do add more if you want it rich and traditional. If you want, please do substitute Ghee with Dalda.
  • Use a wide pan rather than a deep pan for making Halwa, so that the moisture will evaporate fast.

Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
serve it to your family with love…


sojo said...

kidilam!!!!! reminds me of my ammachi... she used to make white halwas and black halwas and everything under sun.... Love u, Asha ....for posting this....

Vimitha Durai said...

Oh yummm... That looks heavenly... Would have tasted the same...

some said...

Hi Ann,
I just love love your blog. I tried your kuzhalappam, 50-50 pudding, coffee biscuit pudding,bourbon biscuits etc and it came out just great. Kuzhalappam was hours of labor but got over in less than 30 minutes. I tried this milk halwa and jalebi and both were big flops.I never got this caramalized color in my halwa even if I was cooking it for more than an hour in med-low flame.The consistency was also was very sticky and I could not run knife through it.My in-laws r coming in one month and I want to impress them. Please help!!

Asha said...

I have to say that I overcooked it the first time I made this and was very difficult to cut it..You must have did the same thing... The 'caramelization' is mostly from the use of Milkmaid as I never got it without the Milkmaid. Another thing you can improve the consistency by drastically increasing the amount of Ghee (to 1- 1 1/2 Cups, but most of it will be recovered in the end) as in Anns Halwa we can see dollops of solid Ghee here and there. I dont want to use it so much and tried to avoid it. If you can, add the Ghee just after adding the ingredients and let the Halwa cook in the Ghee itself. Please dont cook too far as it is Sugar and will solidify more than you think.
Make it a day or two in advance... just to make sure that it is good to serve.

some said...

Thanks a lot for the reply. I will try to increase the ghee amount and reduce the cooking time.I cooked that long because I was trying to achieve that caramalized color.

sonia said...

Dear Asha,


I think your blog is the best, because you provide the most elaborate notes/tips with the recipe, which are the most important part of cooking. God Bless you.

Asha said...

Thanks Sonia... thanks a lot... Support means everything to me...

Maya said...

Hi Chechi :),

I came across ur blog 2 weeks back n from then on this is the first site i search when i open my browser :) I am sooo addicted to ur blog :p...This Milk halwa was the first receipe of yours which I tried out(And I'm an ANN'S maniac too.This fact drew me closer to ur posts).For me preparing Halwas was a pretty new thing :) I considered those as things outside my capability (Amma's kind of receipes )...But to my surprise ,it turned out fine :) colour and consistency was simply superb and I was appreciated by all ;)...Hats off to u chechi :p U rock :) Keep posting :D

Asha said...

Thanks Maya.... We are on the verge of a big transition in our lives and I think you will have to wait a bit more for new posts... But I give you my word I will continue this...

കാര്‍ത്തിക.... said...

Hii chechi,
i tried to make this mouth watering recipie,but came out with a loose item with white colour....hmmm....feeling very bad..i was thinking to make this delicious item as one of our onam specials...enthu cheyyaana....lle..better luck next time..

DEV said...

Hi Asha, Is there any substitute for tapioca pearls

Mariamma John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mariamma John said...

Asha....i was craving for Anns milk halwa...which was my all time favourite since childhood....but it seems that now there quality is going very low after the owner switch...and my sister told they where not able to eat the milk halwa they recently bought...and told she wont parcel milk halwa...sadened by the fact i searched milk halwa recipes but all in vain and then i serched milk halwa images and your halwa picture made my mouth water coz it resembles the old traditional Anns milk halwa....and now im excited coz im all set to make it....and will definitely try other Anns specials like churutu cramel tarts from your blog....

Mariamma John said...

Asha your recipe turned out tooo still licking the spoon....😋😋😋😋it taste like ann's milk doubt are you related to the Anns family pala???

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