Tirunalveli Halwa | Wheat Halwa
Tirunelveli halwa is made from the milk of the wheat grain, unlike the regular halwa which uses the flour of the grain. The milk is extracted and fermented to add a dimension to the texture of the halwa.
The name of the town Tirunelveli in central Tamilnadu stands for “Thiru”- Lord Shiva, Nel “Paddy” and veli “Fence”. A story in which a farmer’s paddy crop is protected by Lord Shiva with a fence or like a fence. Hence the name for the town. Speaking of Tirunelveli we would all think of nothing but Tirunelveli Halwa – Wheat halwa. Did you ever wonder why a wheat halwa was famous in Tirunelveli where wheat is not grown? Tirunelveli is known for its paddy fields.
Here is the story – A Chettiar merchant from Tirunelveli traveled to Rajasthan in the early 1900s and fell in love with the Halwa there. On his way back home, be brings along the cook who made the halwa for him, so that he gets his favourite food every day. Little did he know he was laying the foundation for a business that would thrive a century and more. Also known as “Iruttu Kadai Halwa which stands for Dark shop, the name was given to Tirunaveli Halwa as it was sold in a shop which opens only in the night.
To know more about the Tirunelveli Halwa – Wheat halwa. Tamil Nadu’s Legendary Red Wheat Halwa You Need to Try
Tirunelveli halwa is made from the milk of the wheat grain, unlike the regular halwa which uses the flour of the grain. The milk is extracted and fermented to add a dimension to the texture of the halwa. I have tried both the fermented and the unfermented variations of it. The fermenting of the milk is for a purpose and not to be neglected.
Tips to make a perfect Tirunelveli Halwa Wheat Halwa
- The ground wheat has to sediment well before you take the milk from the top. Allowing sediments into the milk will give a rough texture to the halwa.
- Stir Stir Stir. Stir till the halwa separates from pan. Without stirring air bubbles form at the bottom of the food which will slowly raise and explode as it raises up splattering on our face.
- Leaving the pan without stirring may also burn it at the bottom.
Step by step video
Tirunelveli Wheat Halwa
- 1 cup Whole Wheat grain
- 4 cup Water
- 3 cup Sugar
- 2 tsp Cardamom powdered
- 3 tbsp broken Almonds and cashew.
- ½ tsp Orange food colour
- 6 tbsp Ghee or clarified butter
- Soak the whole wheat in water for 8 - 10 hours.
- CHeck if the wheat has softened. Discard the water.
- Grind it in a wet grinder, with 3 cups of water. Grind for 12 - 15 minutes.
- The smooth ground wheat is ready to be strained for milk.
- Pass the well ground wheat through a seive / strainer. Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes.
- Now trasnfer the left over bran of the wheat into the grinder with 1 cup of water.
- Extract the second milk from the wheat like before. Discard the bran.
- Close the milk with a lid and set aside undisturbed for 8 hours to ferment.
- Now the wheat milk is ready for the halwa.
- Stir the sedimented milk well, as the startch of the wheat tends to settle at the bottom.
- Add the milk to a clean kadai (or vandli), stir continuoulsy.
- In 5 minutes if stirring on low heat, you will feel the milk solidifying into small trasnlucent pieces.
- Add the food colour, mix well
- Add the sugar at approx 6 minutes of cooking. Stir continuously.
- Add 3 tbsp of ghee and stir.
- Continue to stir till almost 25 minutes. The ghee will be fully absorbed.
- The ingredients would start to seperate from the sides as if it doesnt want to be stuck.
- Add the cardamom, broken almonds and cashew. Stir.
- Add the last 3 tbsp of ghee and stir. Stir well.
- THe halwa when dropped should fall in layers and not strings. Then the halwa is ready.
- Switch off the stove. Transfer the halwa to a vessel coated with ghee.
- Let it to set for 2 hours. Do not close with a lid, as it might tend to sweat.
- Slice the halwa with a sharp knife or eat it with a spoon.