Happy Fathers day!!! For every son and daughter out there, Dad is their hero and role model and I am no different. I love my dad. As always, like any other special days, I wanted to make something sweet that personifies my dad. I also wanted it to be something that I haven’t made so far. So after some deliberation and searching, I made Bread Halwa. I have had bread halwa before, my mom’s (yummy!) and from this restaurant (Ananda’s) near (Rajapalayam) my home town in India which is famous for its Bread halwa.
Halwa is a popular Indian sweet which literally means sweetness. There are so many varieties of Halwa, like, Wheat halwa (the original), muscut halwa, semolina halwa, carrot halwa, bread halwa, beetroot halwa, Asoka halwa etc. Halwa is the only sweet that I love to have hot (but not the bread halwa, though :)) Back home, there is this town in my state called Tirunelveli which is famous for its halwa (especially from one particular shop called Iruttukadai). Also, there is another restaurant (Nanban Mess) in Kuttralam, a popular tourist town in Tamilnadu famous for its waterfalls, that makes one of the most delicious halwa out there. Having a bath at the waterfalls and then breakfast and halwa at that restaurant is a ritual which we never forget to follow while there. I simply love it 🙂
Generally, I don’t like fried food or any dish that involves frying. That was one of the main reasons why I did not try making bread halwa for a long time. All the recipes that I came across involved frying the bread. But when I came across a recipe that did not involve frying I tried it at once and the result was extremely tasty :D. The Bread Halwa recipe I have posted here is extremely easy to make and it takes no time at all, infact you can make it in less than 15 minutes tops. Care should be taken while cooking as you don’t want to overcook the halwa else it will get harder because of the bread used. Try out this Bread Halwa and you won’t be disappointed, I guarantee!
White Bread slices – 6 (I used pepperidge sandwich bread)
Ghee – ¼ cup
Milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Rose water – ¼ tsp
Pistachios, chopped – for garnishing
Boil milk and allow it to cool.
Cut the soft crust on all four sides of the bread.
Roughly chop the bread slices and soak them in milk. Mash the bread with clean hand without any lumps.
Heat a thick nonstick pan and add ⅛ cup ghee and add the mashed bread.
Cook in medium flame and stir constantly for few minutes until it doesn’t stick on the sides.
Add sugar in low to medium flame and mix well. Add the remaining ghee at this stage. Stir constantly until the halwa consistency. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Switch off the flame and serve hot or cold garnishing with pistachios. Enjoy! 🙂
1.Always make this bread halwa in low to medium flame. 2.This dish will be cooked real quick. So do not overcook otherwise you won’t get the desired consistency. 3.I used US measurements for this recipe.
After quite sometime, I am posting an Indian sweet variety that is called as Paalkova or Sweetened Khoya. It is a milk based sweet which also serves as a base ingredient for many other sweet varieties. Back home, the town of Srivilliputtur, which also happens to be my dad’s hometown, is famous for Paalkova. In ancient period, Srivilliputtur was a settlement of Yadava people, who in turn are descendants of Lord Krishna. Yadavas were cow herders by occupation and their settlement was called as Ayarpadi. So it is only fitting that Paalkova originated in this town that is known for the abundance of milk and cows. You literally can find a Paalkova shop at every other corner in the town. Since 1970s, the co-operative milk producers society and other vendors in Srivilliputtur started the production of Paalkova in a large scale and they still serve as the whole sale producers for other retailers throughout Tamilnadu.
Paalkova reminds me of so many sweet memories from my childhood. When I was little, me and my cousins go to Srivilliputtur to visit my grandma for the holidays. And every time we return home, there will always be a big pack of Paalkova amongst the luggage. That continued well in to my college days too. I had a standing request from my friends to bring back Paalkova after every holiday break :).
Preparation of Paalkova is a time consuming process and requires your attention often throughout the process. But it is worth the time and money when considering the end result – a creamy, rich and sweet Paalkova.I would suggest you continue with cooking other dishes (if any) as well, with one eye on Paalkova preparation too or else you will easily get bored and distracted. Since milk is the main ingredient here and you add sugar as well, you get satisfied very easily. Paalkova can also be served as a dessert after lunch or dinner. Try this tasty treat from my home town and enjoy its sweetness with your near and dear.
Add milk in a wide open heavy bottomed pan (preferably non stick) and bring it to boil.
Reduce the flame to medium-low and add sugar. Stir and scrape the sides.
After 20 minutes, milk is reduced to half. Keep stiring and scraping the sides of the vessel from time to time.
This is how the milk looks like after 30 minutes.
Milk is now turned to rabdi consistency. You can serve it just like that by adding saffron to it. This rabdi can be used in many desserts like Shahi Tukda, Rasmalai, Malpua, Basunthi, and so on.
After 50 minutes, milk has slowly evaporated and khoya is almost done. The color of the milk will be turned to slight yellow at this stage. Keep string and scraping in a low flame.
After a good 60 to 65 minutes, milk evaporates all the moisture and start producing bubbles. Keep stirring and switch off the flame. Sweetened khoya or Paalkova is now ready. Transfer it to a container and bring it to room temperature. Khoya gets thicken when it reaches room temperature.
1.Always be very watchful while making khoya or Paalkova. And patience is required in making this dish. 2.Keep the flame in low once when the milk is reduced to half. 3.Keep stirring from time to time otherwise it will get burnt at the bottom. 4. You can also make unsweetened Khoya without adding sugar using the method described in the recipe.