I prefer to make Ashoka halwa over rava kesari (sooji halwa) for breakfast on special occasions because it is a nutritious protein-rich sweet.
I also like to serve this delicious melt-in-mouth halwa as evening tiffin.
Ashoka halwa is usually prepared using sugar; but here I have used palm jaggery and have not used any food color. Lets look into the Ashoka halwa recipe using karuppatti:
Mise en place :
- Heat a heavy bottom pressure cooker in medium flame.
- Roast lentils (paasi paruppu) when they begin to change the color.
- Wash lentils and pour water (2 cups) into the pressure cooker.
- Close the pressure cooker and cook lentils in high flame.
- When it reaches high pressure, simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile add powdered palm jaggery (karuppati) into a sauce pan.
- Pour water just enough to immerse them and bring it to a boil.
- When the jaggery dissolved in water and boiled into a syrup, remove from flame.
- In the mean time mash the cooked lentils with potato masher immediately after the pressure is released.
- Pour jaggery syrup into the mashed lentils and mix well.
- Only after adding syrup into lentils it is possible to find whether the mixture is lump free or not.
- If you still find some lump (as in the last photo below), you can use a hand blender to make the mixture smooth.
- Heat a non-stick pan in low flame.
- Pour ghee (1 tbsp), roast cashew nuts until golden and remove from pan.
- In the same pan add wheat flour and fry the flour in low flame until nice aroma is released.
- You may pour another tbsp of ghee to prevent the flour burning.
- Now add the lentil mixture into the pan and combine together.
- Keep stirring for few minutes in medium flame until coagulated while pouring remaining ghee little by little to make the process easier.
- Add powdered cardamom seeds & roasted cashew nuts at the end and mix well.
- Remove from the heat and serve hot or at room temperature.
You can microwave palm jaggery for 30-40 seconds as it helps jaggery to crumble into pieces. Thanks to a fellow blogger Bhavna for sharing this wonderful tip; she suggested it for cane jaggery (vellam), and I tried the same with palm jaggery (karuppatti) which is ever more harder. I find this method easier to break them apart quickly with no mess.