Lockdown has forced me home and most travel plans stand cancelled but there is poetry, art and cooking to keep me grounded. Winter brings a variety of fruits and veggies to fall in love with. When someone bought orchard fresh apples from Narkanda, Himachal Pradesh I was excited to make a few things apart from munching on their sweet crispy goodness.
On days when everything gets a bit too overwhelming I begin to crave for something sweet yet healthy. Home cooked in a jiffy is my choice of instant desserts. This three ingredient apple halwa is so good I can’t tell you. Simple and easy to assemble. It doesn’t have khoya or milk in it so if you are lactos intolerant this is perfect for you. I love stewed apples so this is a star dish for small hungers. It also reminds me of those delish apple pie fillings I used to make at one time.
It I used both golden and red delicious apples in it. You may use whichever juicy apple you have. The sweeter the fruit lesser the added sugar. I prefer the flavour of the fruit to be the focus of the dish.
It is perfect as a Fasting dish too. Good way to get the kids eating fruits. I use minimal ghee and let me remind you it is a good fat so do not be afraid to use it.
Here is the recipe :
Apples – 3 large
Sugar – 3 tbsp ( adjust according to the sweetness of fruit. I sometimes use jaggery or brown sugar too)
Ghee \ Clarified Butter – 2 tbsp
Cinnamon \ Nutneg – A pinch
( You can use a pinch or two of Green cardamom powder or apple pie spice mix too)
Slivers of almonds / Cashew as desired
Wash and pat dry the apples. Peel, core and grate them fine. I prefer this texture but you can give a spin in grinder too to make it bit smoother.
In a heavy bottom or non stick pan add warm ghee and slightly fry the cashews if using. Remove in a plate and keep aside.
Now add the grated or pureed apples to the warm ghee. Keep heat on medium.
Cook till all the juice from the apples evaporates. The mixture might splutter so be careful.
Add sugar and mix well. Continue to cook and stir occasionally so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. Keep heat low medium.
The addition of sugar will make it liquidy again so keep cooking till water evaporates.
Stir in whichever spice mix you are using.
Here you need to be vigilant. Keep a watch on the texture. It shouldn’t be under cooked like a pudding or over cooked into thick mass. The moment is all comes together turn off the heat.
Add the chopped dry fruits and serve.
If you wish to turn it into squares of barfi you need to just cook a little more and then pour the mixture in a greased plate to set. Cut in desired shape to serve.
You can make the pumpkin halwa the same say. Just steam the grated pumpkin and follow the same steps. Use the deep orange ripe pumpkin for it.
You can mix the two ingredients too. It tastes yup.
This is a simple no fail fall recipe you can try this season. Give it try.