Asoka Halwa

This Halwa, made with Moong dhal (paasi Paruppu) and it is a specialty from Thanjavur district.    This is also famously called as "Thiruvayaru Halwa”. I bet, definitely you would come across this Halwa in every wedding that happen in Tanjore side. It is also called moong dal halwa in different parts of the country.It takes a long time and lot of patience to prepare this Halwa.


Ingredients
Yellow split Moong dhal                     1 cup
Milk                                                 1 cup
Saffron                                            a pinch  
Wheat flour                                   -  1/4 cup
Maida                                              1 Tablespoon
Water                                             ¼-1/2 cup
Sugar                                              1 1/2 cup- 2 cups
Red food color:                               as desired (optional)
Kesari powder -                               2 to 3 pinches
Ghee -                                            1 cup
Cardamoms –                                  8 no (powdered)
Cashews & Sliced Almonds        10 to 15 (broken into bits and fried in ghee)

Method:
  •  Wash the Moong dhal and add milk and saffron. Cook the Moong dal in a pressure cooker until soft. Mash the cooked dal and keep aside.
  • Dry roast the wheat and Maida for a minute. Mix wheat flour in the water or milk to make a smooth, runny paste.
  • Heat this flour mixture in a frying pan, stirring continuously, and bring to a boil. 

  • Add the mashed Moong dal, mix well and cook over medium flame.
  • Once cooked, add the sugar, then half the quantity of ghee, and stir well.
  • Add the food color and the remaining ghee slowly and stir continuously, until the mixture forms a ball and comes off the sides of the pan. At this point the ghee will start oozing out.
  • Take 1 tsp. of ghee in a pan and again roast the nuts and cardamom powder. Add to the Halwa and switch off the flame. Asoka is ready now.
  • Pour the mix into the greased tray or vessel. You,cut  this into diamonds, squares, or rectangles.

 Note:
  • It will probably require a little extra ghee too. You can make a larger quantity of this recipe and store it refrigerated for several weeks. Just add a little milk to the Halwa before reheating it.

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