This weekend is Sankranti, which is a festival celebrated all over India, albeit in different ways. This festival marks the sun’s transit into the Makara (Capricorn), marking the end of the month with the winter solstice and the start of longer days. As with all festivals, various feasts are prepared for Sankranti too. In western India where I grew up, families make a sweet called as Til ladoo or Til Chikki using sesame seeds and jaggery and these are shared with neighbors and friends.
So being Sankranti and all, I decided to make a sweet dish too today. I decided to just call it Chocolate Halwa! I struggle to name my creations since they are usually some kind of fusion dish. Most of the times they are based on some original Indian dish where I then have to come up with variations in order to make them compliant with my diet. And if this is not the first time you have come to my blog, then you will surely know what my diet is – I am grain free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free and night shade free! I am basically on an AIP diet with some ‘reintros’, mainly spices and cashew nuts. Thank you for your sympathies. Usually that is the reaction of most people when I tell them about my diet. They feel sorry for me. But you don’t need to. Seriously, I am doing quite well. And most importantly, it has been helping me to keep my inflammation levels down. And then of course my passion for cooking and baking comes in handy since I somehow manage to come up with dishes that I can continue to enjoy even on this diet 🙂
Today’s recipe is also a similar creation. Water chest nut flour (called as singhare ka atta) is a prime ingredient in my pantry now. I make parathas with it and also make sweet potato pancakes with it. I regularly also make singhare ka halwa, which is a traditional indian sweet dish usually eaten during religious fasting periods since it is made from water chest nut flour (singhare ka atta) which is grain free. I make a dairy free and refined sugar free version of it and enjoy it often. It helps me with my cravings for indian desserts! The thing about most indian desserts (at least the ones I love) are the ones that are served warm – like payasam/kheer or puddings, gulab jamun, halwa and jalebi. Gosh, just talking about all these is making me drool 🙂
For all of these I have now a version that is paleo and AIP – sweet potato gulab jamun, tapioca pudding, papaya halwa and singhare ka halwa! So life is good! And then today I added another one to my repertoire – where I decided to make a ‘chocolate’ halwa! I am not sure if fudge is the right word to use for halwa but I couldn’t think of any other dessert in the western world that could compare to this dessert. Halwa is usually made from wheat flour, with a lot of sugar, ghee and milk and in most cases also topped with nuts. The consistency of halwa is somewhere between a fudge and a pudding. It is a little softer than a fudge and a little more firm than a pudding. And when had warm, it is simply delicious!
So going back to my chocolate halwa, all I did was add some carob(you can add cocoa too) to my water chestnut fudge recipe. And then I decided to set it in a pan by refrigerating it so that I could cut into fudge like squares. My plan worked out perfectly and the chocolate halwa squares were super delicious!
Watch a quick video of this recipe:
Sharing this recipe at this week’s Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.