Moong Dal Halwa

Moong Dal Halwa
 Moong Dal Halwa 
Soaking time: 3-4hours 
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30mins  
Serves: 3-4

Moong dal (spilt husked yellow mung lentils)- 1/2 cup
Ghee (clarified butter)- 1/2 cup
Green cardamom powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Milk (full fat whole)- 1 cup
Water- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 3/4th cup  
Pistachios (pista)- 5-6(unsalted), sliced or chopped 
Almonds (badam) - 5-6,sliced or chopped
Cashew nuts- 5-6, sliced or chopped 
Saffron strands- 15-20


We will start making the halwa by making paste of Moong dal. 

Wash Moong dal thoroughly and soak in 3 cups of water for at least 4 hours.
Drain the water and blend dal into a thick paste, adding just enough water as needed to blend.

Melt ghee in a non stick pan. 
Add the ground moong dal.
Mix well. Keep stirring.

Keep on stirring the halwa on a low to medium flame. 
Use spatula to gently press the paste, then fold the paste over and press again. This will stop the formation of lumps.
The halwa has the raw aroma of the Moong lentils and it should go away completely. For that keep on stirring and turning and pressing the paste. Keep the flame on low to medium only. Otherwise the paste may stick or get burnt. 

The halwa first is pasty, then starts getting lumpy and then starts breaking down and getting separated with the fat releasing from the sides. Break the lumps while stirring.

Meanwhile when the halwa is cooking, in another pan or kadai, take milk, water and sugar. Keep this pan on the stove top and stir so that the sugar dissolves. on a low or medium flame, heat this milk-water-sugar mixture till all the sugar gets dissolved. Once sugar gets mixed with water milk solution, switch off the flame and add saffron strands.

Do not stop stirring the moong dal mixture while preparing water milk mixture.
Moong dal mixture should reach a granular consistency before you add the water milk mixture. 
You should get the fried and sweet aroma from the mung lentils and the color should become a light golden to golden brown. 
In a while you will see the fat would get separated from the moong dal paste.

This is the time to add the water milk mix to the fried mung lentils.
The mixture sizzles, and it might splutter so be careful while adding the hot milk and water mixture.

Stir well. The liquid should get completely absorbed by the dal paste. Keep cooking on low heat till the fats/ghee gets separated.
Add cardamom powder. Give it a good mix.
Turn off the heat.
Garnish with slivered nuts. 
The halwa will thicken over time.
Halwa tastes best if it is served hot!!