Halwa is a dense gelatinous confectionary. Its various versions are enjoyed by people across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, etc. It is believed to be brought to the Malabar Coast of Kerala by Arab traders. The recipe incorporated native elements like coconut oil, and assumed a character of its own. Kozhikode’s halwa is famous throughout the state. Unlike its Tirunelveli counterpart where ghee is used, Kozhikode’s halwa owes its distinct taste to the use of pure coconut oil.
Recipe for Kozhikodan halwa
- All-purpose flour: 2 cups
- Coconut oil: 1.5 litres
- Orange food colour: a pinch
- Cardamom: 6
- Cashew nuts: 50 Gms
- Raisins: 50 Gms
- Small dry coconut slices: 2 tbsp (optional)
- Ghee: 2 tbsp
For sugar syrup
- Sugar: 4 cups
- Water: 2 cups
Add water to maida or all-purpose flour and make a paste. Allow it to remain for a few hours till it ferments. Discard extra water.
To a big hot pan on the stove, add sugar syrup, food colour and the fermented paste one after the other. Stir the mixture continuously. Add oil and crushed cardamom seeds, and continue stirring.
When the extra oil oozes out, the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and becomes a whole mass. Grease a tray with oil and scatter roasted cashew nuts, raisins, coconut slices in the bottom. Pour the hot mixture into the tray and pack tightly.
When it cools down, slice halwa into pieces, and serve.