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Recipe Source: Simran's Mother. Thank you aunty.
For the December 2009 Indian Cooking Challenge, Srivalli chose the Moong Dal Halwa, Dal Jo Seero for us Sindhi's. Every winter we would have tons of Khoyo, a kind of halwa that has poppy seeds, dates and other yummy stuff. Its so delicious and would take hours to cook and I could just not wait for it to be done. After that the seero that I love is this one, I would never have dared to cook it until now, not because I am lazy or was thinking it would be tough, I am in for challenges but only because I love when my mom cooks all these things. And Dal jo Seero is one off the sweets always made during weddings and big functions.
Anyways I had a nice experience making this, thought it would be a breeze but no it wasn't. I made it my mama's way finally. This is how my evening went.
7:00 AM - Soak 2 cups dal
6:00 PM - Grind the dal
6:15 PM - Heat the ghee
6:20 PM - Add the dal
6:21 PM - Dal sticking to the bottom
6:22 PM - Trying to Mix it
6:23 PM - All the ghee falling out, dal is sticking to the pan. Why is the dal sticking and why is all the ghee floating on top.
6:24 PM - Ok Ok relax...think....cant leave the stove cant go to the recipe....think.... keep mixing, ghee keeps falling out in the process
6:25 PM - Ok reduce heat more, remove all this ghee.
6:28 PM - All the floating ghee removed. happy now mixing will be a charm.
6:29 PM - Oh My this is so heavy, why is it heavy, why is my arm already paining.
6:30 PM - Heard the garage door open---thank god now hubby (who I call Listen) can do all the mixing this is tough (in my mind should have soaked 1 cup)
6:32 PM to 6:40 PM
Listen: whats UP?
Me: Come here.
Listen: whats this?
Me: Hold this. (giving him the ladle)
Listen: whats this?
Me: Mix this.
Listen: whats this?
Me: Mix it its sticking.
Listen: Ok Ok Relax. Starts mixing
Me: thanks, its dal jo seero
Listen: How come?
Listen: Whats that? Anyways what about my tea
Me: Whats that?
Listen: This is so heavy to mix and its sticking.
Me: I know thats why you are the right person for this. Let me call mom
6:40 PM tp 6:50 PM - Call to mama
Mama: Hello Beta
Me: mama I am making Dal jo Seero
Me: I soaked 2 cups dal for 11 hrs and then ground it. Then heated the ghee and added the dal but its sticking to the bottom and not mixing.
Me: Is this how you make it too.
Mama: Yes, you must have added less ghee.
Me: No No, I added lots it was floating so I removed half of it.
Mama: This Seeta needs more ghee.
Mama: Did you grind it very fine.
Me: Proudly, yes very like dosa batter.
Mama: Oh Oh. its should be coarse.
Me: Oh..Then now what do I do?
Mama: Off It bring it tomorrow I will see here.
Me: No I want to do it, should i add all the ghee back.
Mama: Yes please this will need more ghee since its finely ground and will be tougher to mix.
Me: Ok Hubby dear is mixing it, if he sees me add all this ghee he will not eat it. So I will go now and take over and see what happens.
6:51 PM - release DH - wheres my tea, I sat 2 minutes
6:52 PM to 7:00 PM - I go take the ladle, send him away and start the mixing and slowly add the ghee its getting better not bad its coming together. Great. But am tired of mixing.
6:53 PM to 7:15 PM -
Me: Listen can you please help me in mixing this.
Listen - Ok but wheres my tea.
Me: In a minute
Listen: Oh this looks better now, did you add more ghee.
Me: NO, its the dal its removed some oil, its normal. Keep mixing.
Listen: Till when?
Me (On phone with mama): Dont know, will call mama, called mama and she said Golden brown. I asked her how long it will take she said long time. She said bring it here tomorrow I will do it. I said ok I will just bhunofay it till brown and then get I dont have mawa anyways.
Listen: I know the color I have seen my mother make this.
7:15 PM to 8:15 PM - We take turns in mixing it, it keeps getting easier to mix. But its not turning brown at all.
8:16 PM - Listen is tired. Asks me for his tea again, I see the time and then tell him lets have dinner too late for tea. So I obviously forgot to cook dinner and we had maggie while I keep the flame on low and stirring every 5 minutes.
9:15 PM - Listen Listen see its brown now, the ghee is out, looks lovely come tell me when to stop. So we both wait for another 10 minutes and he tells ok that looks fine. GREAT. PERFECT
Listen Now what?
Me: Add mawa, but we dont have it. Will call mama.
9:20PM to 9:35 PM
Me: Can we add the mawa at the end.
Mama: We can but we will have to cook the mawa separately and add, the taste will change.
Me: So what do I do?
Mama: Bring it here tomorrow.
Listen from behind: Mommins no we want to make it here what else can we do????
Mama: Ok then make with milk only.
Speaker Phone is ON now
Me: Ok, so how much milk do we need.
Mama: about 4 litres.
Me: What? I just have 1.5 litres.
Mama: get it here I told na.
Listen: I will go get the milk.
Me: But I want mawa it tastes better.
Mama: Then Bring it here tommorow.
Listen: I will get the milk.
Me: No listen, I want Mawa.
Listen: Ok then we will add what milk we have and then take it tommorow, mommins buy the khoya and keep.
Me: No mama, when we come on the way I will go to the indian store and buy it and come.
Mama, Listen: Ok done.
We add .5 ltr milk and all the milk vanishes. What so we add more..thats gone too, we then remove what we need for tea and add everything we had. it keeps drinking it. I said ok thats enough. We off it and clean up.
Next day we went to moms place and the Indian store was closed, so no mawa...:(, so we landed up making it with only milk or should I say mama finished it off for us. But she did use a lot of Milk and cooked it for another 3 hrs on low. She adds more milk and cooks on low for low, so as the milk gets thick and will get to the mawa consistency.
Anyways it was delicious and everyone liked it..:) I dont think I am going to make 3 cups in future just small quantities. But it was a great experience
Moong Dal Halwa
Soaking Time : Overnight
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 - 45 mins
Recipe 1 with khoya
Split (Yellow) Moong dal - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup - 1 cup (depending on your preference)
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1/2 cup
Khoya - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts and raisins for garnish
You can make any quantity with this as long as you keep this ratio constant : equal amounts of dal and sugar, half the ghee and khoya.
- Lightly roast the 1 cup of moong dal, wash, soak overnight and be ground to a fine paste adding very little water.
- Take a thick bottom pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee and fry the moong dal paste till it turns brownish and releases the ghee. Add sugar and khoya.
- Stir fry until both the sugar and khoya are well absorbed. Turn off the heat, then mix in cashew nuts and raisins.
Split (Yellow) Moong dhal - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk - 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji - instead of water for the sugar, this gives the khoya added taste, Simran's recipe asked for water)
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.
- Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.
- Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.
- Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
- Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.
- Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
- Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
- Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
- Cook until the ghee surfaces.
- Garnish with cashews and raisins.
- Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan
- Don't leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
- You aren't looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
- Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
- In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
- Though original recipe didn't call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.