You know it’s nearing Diwali, when your family starts making many many sweets; and among them the traditional wheat halwas or Karachi Halwa or Cornflour Halwa or Custard Powder Halwas, or whatever your family calls them. This custard powder halwa uses a base or gluten-free custard powder or cornflour, and so is considered gluten free. But please check your custard powder or nuts packing to be sure.
When we were younger mom used to make green and orange colored wheat halwa for dessert, and it was nice and springy. She hasn’t made it in ages, but we remembered how awesome it tasted; so sis and I decided to make some custard powder halwa using a quick and easy method ourselves.
What ingredients do you need to make the Custard Powder Halwa?
50 gms Broken Cashewnuts
150 gms Custard Powder
450 gms Sugar
600 ml Water
3 tbsp Ghee or Butter
A few kesar or saffron strands – Optional
How do you make the Indian Custard Powder Halwa?
So first you start off by roasting the broken cashew nuts with a tablespoon of ghee or butter and leaving them aside.
In a deep dish pan, melt the sugar with half the water to form a syrup. Then let it thicken.
You’ll need to add about 75 grams of custard powder and whisk it briskly till you have no lumps. If you don’t have custard powder use the same amount of cornflour with a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and a few drops of yellow color. You can also add a few saffron or kesar strands if you want to.
Next, add in the roasted cashewnuts. Keep stirring continuously till it starts to thicken and leaves the sides of the pan. (This usually takes about 20 minutes)
When it starts to leave the sides of the pan, add in the butter/ghee and mix well. Then pour the mixture into a flat greased pan and press down with a spatula. (It’s easier to press it down with your fingers if you want it really flat, but be careful that your fingers don’t burn. Grease your fingers with ghee or butter to keep them safe.)
Let it cool for a few minutes, and then refrigerate for an hour before turning it over onto a large plate or flat board. The next step is cutting it into slices and serving.
Alternatively, you could also use your silicon cake moulds to form shapes. We’ve used hearts and bears as the moulds we had were larger and big enough for each person to get a 60 gram sized piece each. We also made some smaller half egg shaped pieces for dad that were about 30 grams each.
All in all, for the ingredients we used, it makes about 540 grams of custard powder halwa. So if you use half as squares, and the rest as moulds, you could end up 4 eggs of 30 grams each, 4 bears and 4 hearts of 60 grams each. But that’s a really vague number. You know why, don’t you? Yep, because the moulds you use will be different from ours. All you need to remember is that with the ingredients used here, you’ll end up with about 12 shapes and 20 odd squares.
We’ve never counted these dessert squares, because they’re not always the same size. But the average from 25 to 35 pieces if you’re doing only squares, and they’re enough to go around. Wink wink!
Store the custard powder halwa in the fridge if you live in a hot country like we do! It’ll last for 4 to 5 days. And come back again next week when we put up our recipe for those yummy custard powder cookies.
Indian Custard Powder Halwa Recipe
- 50 g Cashewnuts Broken into pieces
- 150 g Custard Powder
- 450 g Sugar
- 600 ml Water
- 3 tbsp Ghee (Indian clarified butter) (Indian Clarified Butter)
- .5 tsp Saffron Optional
- Roast the broken cashewnuts with the one tbsp of ghee and leave aside.
- Make a thick syrup of the sugar and water.
- Add in the custard powder and whisk briskly till all the lumps disappear. (See notes for substitutions.) Post this stir continuously.
- Here's where you can also add in the saffron or kesar strands if you want to.
- Add in the roasted cashewnuts and continue stirring while the mass thickens.
- When it starts to leave the sides, add in the rest of the ghee and mix for another minute or so.
- Pour out the halwa mixture onto the pan and flatten with a spatula. (It's easier to use your hands to flatten the halwa, but make sure you grease your hands with ghee or oil first or they will burn.)
- If using moulds follow the same procedure as the flat pan.
- Leave to cool for a bit, then refrigerate for an hour.
- Once the halwa is set, cut into pieces and serve. Yummy does it!
- If you don’t have ghee, use coconut oil. It gives it a nice nutty flavor.
- If you don’t have custard powder, use the same amout of corn flour along with a few drops of yellow color and 2 tsp of vanilla essence.