Sweets are a must during festivals, especially during Navaratri we end up eating a lot of sweets. Navaratri is a festival to celebrate the victory of good over evil. It is a 9 nights celebration where homes are decorated with dolls, prayers are offered everyday with chanting, sweets are shared with friends and family. In southern part of India, it’s a tradition to go house hoping to see the doll displays. When we visit homes of neighbors and friends all the visitors are offered some sweets and sundal (a spicy lentil dish). My mom makes different kinds of halwa, burfi or ladoos during Navaratri.
This year for the Navaratri, I made my mom’s version of the Badam Halwa. My kids have been enjoying the Badam Halwa every time we visit India. Due to the pandemic we are missing our trips to India, meeting family and the pampering.
I make Badam Halwa using almond flour as well, but my mom’s recipe is very special and a favorite for my daughter. A very simple recipe all it needs is to soak the almonds, peel and grind, and cook with rest of the ingredients till it all comes together. The texture of this halwa is so good, slightly coarse and totally yummy.
My mom saves the milk cream every time she boils milk and uses it to make the Badam Halwa. When we made it for the first time, we were in the middle of pandemic couldn’t make extra trips to the grocery store so ended up using ricotta cheese instead of milk cream. My daughter approved the taste and since them we have made it so many times using ricotta cheese.
raw almond 1 cup
ricotta cheese 1 cup
sugar 1 cup
saffron strands 1/3 tsp
ghee 2 tbsp
milk 1/4 cup
Soak almond in warm water for 30-45 mins.
Peel the skin and grind into a paste using lil milk
-don’t use 1/4 cup of milk at once, add milk as needed
-the almond paste will be a lil grainy, which is the right texture)
In wide pan add the almond paste, ricotta cheese and sugar.
Cook on low to medium flame, till the sugar melts and add the saffron strands.
Continue to cook till the mixture gets the saffron color.
Add the ghee, continue to cook till the raw smell of almonds is gone and the mixture starts separates from the side of the cooking pan.