apples and me have a love hate relationship… i did not like them as a child and hated them. as always was the case, i was forced to have apple milk shake everyday… a milk shake i detested so much. i swear, whenever i go to buy fruits, i will buy all fruits except apples. there is no place for apples in my heart and in my kitchen.
but as there are always twists and turns in a love hate relationship… so is the case here. i do have a distinct aversion for raw apples in whatever shape or size they may be…. but i have a distinct likeness for cooked apples in fried, steamed or pureed form. apple cake, tarts, puddings, pie, apple fritters, apple kheer… all these goodies with apples are always on my top list.
with a lot of apples in the kitchen and thinking what to do with them??? make an apple pie, apple cake or something else.??? whilst browsing The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking book, i came across an apple halwa recipe…. and i was on the run with peeling, coring and dicing the apples.
the hare krishna book of vegetarian cooking has fantastic recipes. the recipes in the desserts and sweets section is simply superb, with a few recipes dedicated to desserts made with fruits. this apple halwa is also good for kids who do not like apples like me. easy to make, apart from some heavy stirring with your hands…. but your wrist will not pain
the best part of this apple halwa is that its not a heavy dessert as no milk, cream or evaporated milk (khoya) is added in the halwa. i have used ghee to make the halwa, but you can also make it with an odourless oil like sunflower oil. to add some warmth to the halwa, i have added cinnamon powder and vanilla powder. and the apple halwa had the hint of cinnamon tinged with the flavor and aroma of vanilla.
the original apple cake recipe, has raisins added to the halwa. i detest sour tidbits in a sweet base. so i have not added raisins. almond slices have also been added in the original recipe. you can add any dry fruits of your choice. seasonal fruits can be used to make this halwa. ripe pears, mangoes and other juicy fruits can be replaced with apples. finally you could also make this healthy apple halwa on festive occasions.
so here follows a step by step recipe of apple halwa:
1: heat the ghee in a kadai or saucepan and add the apples to it.
2: fry the apples for 4-5 minutes or more, stirring often till they soften. when they have become soft, add 1 tbsp water. lower the heat and cook these uncovered for 15-20 minutes.
3: the apples will start to thicken and merge. with a spoon mash the cooked apples and keep on stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. you could keep some small chunk sized pieces if you want.
4: now add the sugar. the recipe called for 1 and a half cup sugar, i just made it to 5 tbsp sugar…. sugar also depends upon the sweetness of the apples.
5: i also added cinnamon powder to the halwa…. apples and cinnamon are made for each other
6: continue to stir and cook the halwa till the mixture become one and starts to pull away from the bottom of the kadai.
7: i also could not resist adding vanilla powder to it.
8: increase the heat to medium and continue to cook the halwa, stirring often. when the mixture becomes thick, difficult too move and translucent, remove the pan from fire. i did not want to stir more…. no wrist pain ya…. just that i wanted a little juicy and soft halwa. you could add some sliced or chopped nuts and raisins at this point and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
9: remove the apple halwa on a greased thali or plate and form into 1 inch thick layer square.
10: decorate it with some halved almonds and pistachois.
11: when cooled cut into squares or diagonal shaped halwa. serve apple halwa warm or cold.
apple halwa recipe details below:
- 6-7 apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp ghee or butter or oil
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp vanilla powder or 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp sugar …. add more if the apples are less sweet
- 1 tbsp blanched, peeled, halved almonds
- 1 tbsp blanched, peeled, halved pistachios
- melt the ghee or butter in a kadai or saucepan.
- add the apples and fry them for 4-5 minutes.
- when they get soft and browned, add 1 tbsp water.
- lower the heat and cook the apples uncovered for 15 minutes till they merge and thicken.
- mash the apples with your spoon and stir frequently to avoid the mixture from getting burnt.
- add the sugar.
- continue to stir and cook till the whole mixture becomes one and starts to pull away from the bottom of the pot.
- rasie the heat and keep on stirring.
- add cinnamon powder and vanilla powder or vanilla extract. mix these and continue to stir.
- when the mixture becomes translucent around the edges and its becomes difficult to remove the spoon, remove the kadai or saucepan from the fire.
- add chopped dryfruits or raisins and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- take the halwa on a plate and form into a layer of 1 inch thick square
- decorate the halwa with halved almonds and pistachois.
- when cooled, cut into squares.
- serve apple halwa warm or cold.
- apple halwa can be refrigerated and stays good for 3-4 days.