The Rain Trail

1479084_10152465734233759_1669005246987762472_nWhat is it about the rains which uplifts my mood and makes my heart go pitter patter…for me rains are soothing,  always making me want to just sit in my garden and gaze into the beautiful grey skies. Growing up in India, we eagerly waited for the rainy season to start in June, especially after the immense dry heat of summers in Pune. The grey skies were and still are a very welcoming sight for me, the drum of thunder rolling in the distance and the blaze of lightening streaking the sky bright… rains bought with them puddles in which we sailed paper boats, it was the season when raincoats and rubber rainy shoes were worn to school…later on in my teenage years rains were an excellent excuse to go cycling in the back lanes of camp, all military areas dotted with quaint cottages of the bygone british rule.Beautiful roads of Pune coloured green because of the rains, the banyan trees which are the pride of Pune lining both sides of these roads…It was pure bliss to cycle down these winding lanes.Especially with my best friend Patricia.. I have beautiful memories of these  cycle rides when getting soaked to the skin added to our carefree and fun loving lives..

Rains are an opportunity to eat hot comfort food, being Indian for us that probably means , piping hot pakodas, garam garam chai, melt in your mouth seeras and halwas, and not forgetting the hot corn on the cob available on most streets in India. Its quite a common and welcoming sight to see the corn vendor busy roasting sweet corn on the cob or bhutta and generously applying fresh lime halves which are dunked in red chillie powder and salt all over the hot charcoal roasted bhutta…yummm.

Luckily for me I live in Jakarta, indonesia which means 6 months of the year we get rains, for me that is good, but there are many who would beg to differ, especially those whose homes are flooded yearly. Sadly that is a reality of the other side of the coin..

Today I will share with you a recipe of moong dal halwa, a sinful mouthwatering delicacy which is best eaten on a cold rainy day…and listening to your favourite bollywood songs..

MOONG DAL HALWA

2 CUPS OF YELLOW MOONG DAL.. SOAKED IN WATER FOR 6 HOURS..STRAINED AND GROUND COARSELY.

1 CUP GHEE

1/2 CUP OIL

3 CUPS SUGAR.. BOILED WITH 5 CUPS OF WATER TILL JUST ABOUT MELTED…KEEP HOT

1/2 CUP OF HOT MILK TO WHICH 1/2 TSP OF SAFFRON HAS BEEN ADDED

1 TSP CARDAMOM POWDER

CHOPPED ALMONDS AND PISTAS

 

TAKE A NONSTICK WOK OR SAUCEPAN, ADD GHEE AND OIL TOGETHER AND HEAT GENTLY..

ADD THE COARSELY GROUND DAL AND SAUTE  NON STOP FOR ABOUT 45 MINS TO AN HOUR ON A LOW FLAME..AT THIS TIME THE DAL WILL HAVE A HEAVY CONSISTENCY…I LISTEN TO MY FAVOURITE HINDI MUSIC WHILE I COOK SO IT KEEPS ME HUMMING AND HAPPY…:)

WHEN YOUR KITCHEN IS ENGULFED WITH A NUTTY AROMA.. AND THE DAL MIXTURE FEELS LIGHT AND IS A BEAUTIFUL GOLDEN BROWN COLOUR…

ADD THE SAFFRON INFUSED MILK AND WATCH THE MIXTURE SIZZLE…

NEXT ADD THE SUGAR WATER…AND MIX GENTLY.. BE CAREFUL AS THE HALWA WILL SPLUTTER FIRST BEFORE SETTLING DOWN…KEEP THE FLAME ON SIMMER AND COVER FOR A FEW MINUTES TILL THE WATER GETS ABSORBED BY THE DAL..REMOVE THE LID AND ADD CARDAMON POWDER AND LET THE FLAVOR SEEP RIGHT INTO THE HALWA..SHUT THE FLAME AND LEAVE COVERED FOR A WHILE…

SERVE IN A BOWL DECORATED WITH CHOPPED NUTS…. AND ENJOY…

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