Sunday, April 17, 2011

Beetroot Halwa and Dad's Cooking Experiments

My father was your typical working person. Off to work in the morning, back in the evening, cursory look at marks and homework. He was a tremendously hardworking and focussed person for whom nothing was too much work. I wish I had one tenth of his focus and capacity for work. I am sure I would have been a lot better for it. He was an engineer by profession and a pretty good one at that. He never forgot what he learned in college till the last. He remembered formulae, theorems... everything...

But he had a secret love for cooking. He used to love to experiment in the kitchen. But he never looked at cooking from a chefs point of view. His approach was more from an engineer's angle. He would love to tell my mom that for dosas to be perfect, the temperature of the tava should be this and that. Or some other such similar things. But for all his efforts, my mom's experience won each time. She would effortlessly make these yummy foods and he would struggle to get the taste just right.

One his favourite foods to make was Beetroot Halwa. Don't ask me why. I have no idea. This is not a sweet that I have seen commonly on tables. But he liked it, I think. Once I grew up and developed a love for cooking, I realised that I would like to learn this as well and now it has become a firm favourite for me.


2 cups Beetroot grated
2 cups Milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powdered
1 tablespoon Cashewnuts for garnish
1 tablespoon Raisins


Cook the beetroot in the pressure cooker along with the milk till fully cooked and soft.

Open the pressure cooker and let out the steam.

Add the ghee and fry the halwa for a few more minutes till it starts coming together like a ball. It also develops a glossy look by now.

Add the sugar and cook till it thickens up again.

Fry the raisins and the cashewnuts in a teaspoon of ghee and add to the halwa along with the cardamom powder.

Serve cold or hot.


UPDATE: Thanks Asha for pointing out the error of forgetting the sugar. As you can see now, it has been rectified.