Almond and Chocolate Halwa
THEME: #216 VIJAYADASHAMI TREATS
What is Dussehra or Vijayadashami?
Its Monday and today’s recipe is a super delicious Almond and Chocolate Halwa. Dussehra or Vijayadashami is a festival celebrating the victory of good over evil, in North and East India. Lord Rama beheaded the ten headed demon King Ravana who had abducted Sita. Sita was Lord Rama’s wife. The word Dasha means ten and Hara means victory. This important Hindu festival coincides with the culmination of the nine days celebration of Navratri. Vijaya means victory and dashami here refers to the tenth day of the lunar calendar. For most of the south, east and north east of India, this festival marks the end of Durga Puja.
How is Dussehra or Vijayadashami celebrated?
Tomorrow is Vijayadashami or Dussehra. Therefore, effigies of Ravana stuffed with firecrackers will be erected in open fields or areas and set on fire in the evening. For North east, East and South India its the day when clay statues of Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Ganesh are immersed in a water body, bidding them farewell this next Durga Puja.
Festival and Food
Any festival in India is not complete without good food which is usually offered to the Gods and Goddesses. These offerings are then called prasadam or prasad, which is enjoyed by all those who attend the festival. A variety of food both sweet and savory is made at home, at community level and enjoyed by all. There is no particular dish that is offered to Gods and Goddesses during Dussehra. During the nine days of Durga Puja, Navratri and Dussehra, people will usually not eat non vegetarian food. Some don’t even cook with onion and garlic during these festival days. Some people fast for all nine days without consuming any grains, pulses and lentils.
The tenth day of the festival marks the end of fasting. As a result a variety of food is prepared. Rasmalai, rasgulla, sandesh, payesh, pantua are famous in West Bengal. Fafda and Jalebi is what Gujaratis enjoy on Dussehra. Maharashtra makes Kadakani, a sweet and savory dish served with green chutney. Appams, payasam and murukku is what you’ll find in South India during this festival. In North India you’ll surely get treated to carrot halwa, besan laddoos, jalebi and kheer.
For this week the group decided to cook a dish savory or sweet that one can enjoy during Dussehra or Vijayadashami. I had all intentions of making fafda, but couldn’t as again I’m about to close down my kitchen and am travelling. Not having all the ingredients at hand, it was time to re plan. This resulted in a hunt for a recipe where I could use my limited ingredients. I narrowed it down to almond halwa as I’ve never made it at home. So here was the right opportunity. Had to even tweak that traditional halwa recipe as I didn’t have any saffron or kesar. A packet of organic cocoa powder is what finally made its way to the kitchen from the pantry store. And I don’t regret at all making almond and chocolate halwa.
What is halwa?
Halwa, halva, halvah is a dense sweet dish usually enjoyed at the end of a meal or along with a meal. The word halwa originates from the Arabic language meaning sweet. Many Eastern Europe countries, Middle East countries, some African countries and the Indian Sub Continent all prepare halwa. The ingredients used may vary from nuts to grains like semolina, seeds, fruits and even some vegetables. Some may be set in a tray and cut into pieces, some may have a semi solid consistency.
A bit about Almond Halwa
Almond halwa is made either from soaked almonds or almond flour. Its sautéed with ghee (clarified butter) and then milk and sugar are added. Its cooked till the liquid evaporates leaving a lovely gooey like paste. Spices like cardamom, saffron, nutmeg and sometimes mace are added. My preparation of almond halwa is a bit different as I added vanilla extract and cocoa powder. Was I happy with the end result? Definitely yes and hubby couldn’t wait to try it as the whole house was filled the aroma of almond roasting. Without much delay, lets get down to the recipe for this gluten free sweet dish. As the halwa can be heavy on the stomach small quantities are usually served.
ALMOND AND CHOCOLATE HALWA
1 cup almonds
2 cups hot water
1 cup milk (dairy or almond)
½ – ¾ cup sugar (or erythritol)
4 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp cocoa powder (use a good quality one)
½ tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp chopped pistachios
- Soak the almonds in hot water for 10-15 minutes.
- Drain out the water and peel off the skin from the almonds.
- Process the almonds in a food processor to a coarse consistency, a bit like semolina.
- In a pan add milk and bring it to a near boil.
- Add cocoa powder and vanilla extract to the hot milk and stir it well.
- In another wide pan, heat ghee over medium to low heat.
- Add the almond powder and keep on stirring it over low to medium heat till it becomes light brown in colour. This will take about 10-15 minutes. The ghee will begin to separate away from the almond powder.
- Add the hot milk to the roasted almond powder. Be careful to pour from the side as the steam generated may burn you.
- Keep stirring the mixture till it becomes a bit thick for about 3-5 minutes over low heat.
- Add the sugar and mix. Keep stirring and mixing till the halwa comes away from the sides of the pan and you can see the ghee at the edges.
- Add cardamom powder and chopped pistachio. Mix well.
- Serve hot almond and chocolate halwa or serve it cold.
- I used only ½ cup sugar and it was just right for us. Feel free to add more sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
- To make a keto or diabetic version replace the sugar with a sweetener like erythritol or monk fruit sweetener.
- For a traditional almond halwa, omit cocoa powder and vanilla extract. When boiling the milk add some saffron.
- If you use almond flour, the roasting time will reduce but the halwa will not have a coarse texture.
- You can spread the mixture in a greased tray and let it set till you are able to cut it into squares or diamond shape.
- Don’t reduce the amount of ghee used as its difficult to roast the almond powder well with less ghee.
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October 8, 2019 at 1:27 pm
Hello Mayuri aunty, this recipe looks really yummy will definitely try out. Just a quick question if I already have almond flour, can I use that instead of soaking the almonds, peeling and then grinding? If yes, what should be the quantity of the almond flour? One cup? Am so glad you have started introducing some keto recipes😊
October 8, 2019 at 7:19 pm
Hi Tina, you can use almond flour, and its about 1 and a quarter cup. However, be careful that the flour does not get burnt so roast it over very low heat. You can make this a kept recipe by replacing the sugar. Yes you’ll probably see more keto recipes, hopefully.
October 9, 2019 at 2:47 pm
Can’t take my eyes off this beautiful looking and even more beautifully presented chocolate halwa di ! I do make chocolate halwa using coco powder and jaggery, next time I will try your method using almonds. Absolutely festive treat !!
October 9, 2019 at 11:34 pm
Thank you so much Poonam. Am sure your family will love the almond and chocolate halwa.
Renu Agrawal Dongre
October 9, 2019 at 5:18 pm
I love almond halwa and had it after my kids were born. Unfortunately not much after that. But I am loving this version with the addition of chocolate in it. Probably my kids would love to dig in this.
October 9, 2019 at 11:32 pm
Thanks Renu and I’m sure they will love it as its got cocoa in it.
November 12, 2019 at 6:04 pm
Chocolate almond halwa is treat to tastebuds. This is an apt recipe to lift your festival spirit. This certainly is a chocolate lover’s delight Mayuri.
I loved the use of jaggery in making this delicious halwa.
Thanks for sharing.
The Girl Next Door
October 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm
The Chocolate Halwa is so beautifully presented, it is surely a treat to the eyes. I’m sure it was a right treat for the tastebuds too. 🙂 Love the use of jaggery and organic cocoa powder here. Also, absolutely love those shell-shaped bowls!
October 14, 2019 at 9:07 pm
Thank you so much Priya, the halwa did taste awesome.
October 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm
I love halwa but have never thought to add chocolate, it sounds delicious and such an innovative idea. also love the little diya that you have used in the presentation.
October 14, 2019 at 9:05 pm
Thank you so much Nayna. I too was pleasantly surprised how good it tasted with chocolate.
Mireille Roc (@ChefMireille)
October 11, 2019 at 1:16 am
This is a great fusion version with the chocolate. I am sure it is a delicious dessert to try for sure!
October 14, 2019 at 9:04 pm
Thanks Mireille, try it, you wouldn’t regret it.
October 13, 2019 at 4:36 am
My kids love halwa of any kind, this chocolate version of badam halwa looks worth trying out for them..instead of almonds, I think we can use almond meal or almond flour too?? Beautiful clicks are so tempting!! in my to make list now!!
October 14, 2019 at 9:02 pm
Thanks Swaty and yes you can use almond flour but make sure it doesn’t get burnt.
October 13, 2019 at 1:00 pm
I love any dessert with Chocolate. Love the interesting twist to the Almond Halwa. Can’t wait to try this soon.Home made desserts are always the best.
October 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Thanks Preethi and yes homemade desserts are the best.
October 13, 2019 at 1:59 pm
Almond chocolate halwa looks very delicious with divine presentation di. I prepared chocolate halwa using sooji, but your version of halwa looks amazing and attractive. Will try this for coming Diwali 😍
October 14, 2019 at 9:00 pm
Thank you so much Aruna. Hope your family loves it when you make it for Diwali.
Sasmita Sahoo Samanta
October 13, 2019 at 4:15 pm
Great one !!! I just love the clicks here how beautifully you have shared…….. This almond and chocolate halwa looks really so delectable and perfect for a festive share 🙂
October 14, 2019 at 8:59 pm
October 15, 2019 at 12:11 pm
Almond chocolate halwa looks delish. I can imagine the divine flavour and taste. Perfect treat for kids as well as adults.
October 15, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Thank you so much Sujata.
October 21, 2019 at 11:25 pm
Nice fusion halwa. I have never tried out any halwa with chocolate in it. Looks interesting.
October 22, 2019 at 6:03 pm
Thank you so much Shobha. It tasted really good.
November 4, 2019 at 7:04 am
Wow, what a delicious looking halwa that is. Love the addition of chocolate – my husband would love this take on traditional badam halwa.
November 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm
Thank you so much Harsha, hope you’ll be trying the recipe out.
November 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Just in time, I found this recipe. It’s a perfect delight for chocolate lovers like me. Adding cocoa powder is a nice twist to the halwa. I just can’t wait to make this.
November 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm
Thank you so much Malini.
November 7, 2019 at 12:05 am
The Chocolate Halwa is surely a treat to both the eyes and tummy. I Love you take of the traditional badam halwa and love the use of jaggery and organic cocoa powder here….Lovely share!!
November 7, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Thank you so much Padma.
November 7, 2019 at 1:36 pm
Loved the twist to the usual almond halwa, looks tasty and ideal for any festival. Addition of chocolate flavour is like the icing on top.
November 7, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Thank you so much Jayashree.
November 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm
Addition of cocoa is a nice twist to traditional almond halwa, a double treat for chocolate lovers. A perfect sweet for the festivals.
November 11, 2019 at 4:07 pm
Thank you so much Usha.
November 7, 2019 at 7:15 pm
What a beautiful recipe this is! Love your presentation. Is that a shell shaped bowl on the side. My husband loves chocolate every thing and he will be so happy when I make this for him.
November 7, 2019 at 7:41 pm
Thank you so much Sandhya and yes its a bowl made from coconut shell which my daughter picked up from Bali.
November 8, 2019 at 9:35 am
Oh my! Chcoloate and almonds is a killer combination. Loved how you have combined the two in a halwa…I am drooling here….
November 11, 2019 at 4:08 pm
Thank you so much Anshu, it tasted awesome.
November 8, 2019 at 5:23 pm
such a delicious comb mayuri ji, Almonds and chocolate! A quickie dessert to make for any celebration, i bet bith kids and adult would love this halwa!
November 8, 2019 at 6:03 pm
Thanks Priya, it was sure a winner with all in the family.
Jagruti’s Cooking Odyssey
November 9, 2019 at 11:26 am
What we would do without any Halwa recipes in our life? Almond and chocolate Halwa a match made in heaven. In the past I have prepared semolina halwa with chocolate and received good response, next time almond and chocolate Halwa on my menu!
November 11, 2019 at 4:10 pm
That’s so true Jagruti what would we do without halwa. Would love to try shiro with chocolate.
May 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm
Made this almond halwa for my in-laws today and they loved it . Thank you for this wonderful recipe
May 14, 2020 at 10:35 pm
I’m so glad that your in laws enjoyed the almond halwa, Vimi. Thank you so much for trying out my recipes.