Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Apple Halva

Apple Halwa 1
For two years I have tried to be a part of Summer Fest an event organized by Food Network. Its a season long garden party where Food Network and HGTv joins hands with bloggers and gardeners and we all share our favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips. A new produce is featured every week and it goes on through out summer.
Apple
 This year as you might have noticed I have been away a lot because of which I missed on a lot of fun things going on in the virtual world, Summer Fest being one of them. And even though summer is almost over I still wanted to take part in the event which too is soon to be over with summer. So as I said with this event we explore one seasonal produce every week which for this week is Apple.

collage 1-2

I am lucky to have an apple tree in my backyard and just like my house was flooded with greengages sometime back its soon going to be flooded with apples. I say that with confidence looking at those lean yet strong branches testing their flexibility with the amount of fruit weighing them down. The fruits which are still not fully ripe and still very green but you can see their cheeks slowly turning red as if the change in weather is making them blush. But a three year old doesn't get it when we say that the apples are not ready yet. It doesn't stop her from standing under the tree, raising both hands up in the air and jumping in hopes that she might catch a grip of them. Many times she doesn't but sometimes she does and when she does she would come to us with a couple in her pocket and one in her hand, half eaten and would say, "look maa, they aaal clunchy and yummy. I think they aaal leady!". So I guess the apples are ready and looks like we are ready to step into fall! 

collage 2-2

Apples that I got (or should I say the little one got for me!) although were not fully ripe but still very sweet and so I thought of making halva with them. Halva is a popular Indian sweet dish, very similar to a pudding made with either a type of flour, ground nut, vegetable or fruit as base. The recipe that I am sharing today is very similar to Gajar Halva recipe already on the blog. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 cups peeled, grated green apples (Can use any variety of apple. I had easy access to green)
1 teaspoon ghee (clarified butter) + 1 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
2 tablespoon cashews (break into smaller pieces)
2 tablespoon golden raisins
Water as needed

Method:
In a thick bottom saucepan or wok add 1 teaspoon ghee. Turn the heat on. As ghee begins to melt add grated apples. Stir well.
Reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes. If the apples are too sweet it will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add upto 1/2 cup of water (depending on how ripe the apples are), replace the lid and cook until the apple is soft and form a loose ball. Approximately 10-15 minutes.
Add sweetened condensed milk. Stir everything well together, scraping the sides of the pan if something's sticking on it.
Cook for another 8-10 minutes on medium low heat until all the liquid is evaporated and the halwa turns into a golden brown, shiny, loose mass.
In the meantime heat the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and fry the cashews and raisins until the cashews are lightly golden and raisins are puffed.
Add fried cashews, raisins and crushed cardamom seeds to the halwa. Mix everything well together and serve either hot or cooled down, as per taste.

Here's what my friends did with apple this week: 
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Gluten-Free Jewish Apple Cake  
Virtually Homemade: Apple Pie Muffin  
Chez Us: Baked Apples With Creme Anglaise  
Daily*Dishin: Easier-than-Pie Creamy Apple Bake  
Made by Michelle: Pear Apple Crisp  
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Apple, Fennel and Cheddar Cheese Panini  
From My Corner of Saratoga: Spiced Apple Dutch Baby  
Thursday Night Dinner: Apple Bread Pudding  
Devour: 7 Apple Desserts Beyond Pie  
Healthy Eats: Marrying the Apple With New Flavors  
FN Dish: Let's Go Apple Picking
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