Potato Halva, A Sweet Snack
Aloo ka Halva
Mamta Gupta (learnt from my grandma)
When fasting, Hindus can not eat anything containing cereals to break the fast. My grandmother, who fasted at least twice a week, used to make it with either sweet potatoes or ordinary potatoes. It tastes good with either. As children, we used to look forward to her fasting as she always cooked special meals in the evening. She also used to tell us stories specific to each of her fasts.
Sweet Mashed Potatoes Serves 6.
500 gm. potatoes
125-150 gm. sugar or to taste (I find 100 gm enough)
125 gm. ghee or clarified butter
1/2 tsp. ground green cardamoms
2 tbsp. chopped nuts of your choice(optional)
Boil potatoes in their skin. This keeps them intact. I boil mine in a microwave oven on full power (800) for 7-8 minutes. They should a ‘give’ a little when pressed.
Mash potatoes evenly. I use a potato-ricer (see last picture) for this. It makes the job easy and gives perfect, smooth mashed potatoes.
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan/Karahi.
Add mashed potatoes, fry stirring frequently, until ghee separates from the mass. This takes at least 15-20 minutes. The Halva tastes better when potatoes are fried well.
Add sugar and mix, stirring all the time, until a little ghee separates again.
Turn off heat and add cardamom powder and 2/3rd of the nuts.
Place in a serving bowl and garnish with remaining nuts.