During winters, the only dessert that comforts me is warm Halwa topped with ghee roasted crunchy nuts. Halwa, is a sweet Indian pudding usually made with winter vegetables, ghee (clarified butter), milk, sugar, khoa (milk solids), and lots of ghee roasted nuts. To give usual halwa a new twist, I made Pistachio Crumble to top and served it with chilled Misti Doi (sweetened baked yogurt). This is inspired from classic western dessert-Apple Crumble with Ice Cream. I made the Apple Crumble long back and ever since I was tempted to try this with some Indian dessert.
I chose a mixture of beetroot and carrots to give my halwa that lovely color. The halwa was made by using skimmed milk, honey and a little ghee to cut on the calories and it was not too sweet. Misti Doi is made with hung yogurt, condensed milk and gulkand (rose petal jam) and it was like caramel and rose flavored smooth ice cream. Crumble was made with pistachios, whole wheat flour, jaggery, ghee and salt and resembles the taste of atta laddos (Indian wheat flour fudges). To describe the taste, its like warm beetroot pudding with lightly salty, sweet crumbly top and smooth and melting ice cream. It may seem like lengthy but all the elements come together quickly without much standing time. Do try this recipe with vegetable of your choice and let me know how did you like it. Serve the halwa hot with quinelles of chilled misti doi.
Beetroot Halwa and Pistachio Crumble with Gulkand Misti Doi
For Gulkand Misti Doi:
(Make the baked yogurt first as it needs time to chill)
Hung Yogurt: 1/2 cup (take whole milk yogurt and hung it in sieve for atleast 1 hour in the refrigerator)
Condenesed Milk: 5 tbsp (As per taste)
Gulkand/Rose Petal Jam: 1 tsp
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- In a oven proof bowl, whisk together the above ingredients until smooth.
- Prepare a water bath by taking a larger oven proof tray/bowl and pouring hot water into it. Place the yogurt bowl in this large water bath. The water should reach half the height of the yogurt bowl.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is set and wiggly. If not set, bake for 5 more minutes.
- Bring to room temperature and chill for an hour.
For Beetroot Halwa:
Beetroot: 1 1/2 cups, boiled/roasted and grated
Carrots: 1 cup, grated
Milk: 1 1/2 cups
Honey: 1/2 cup (As per your taste)
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Green Cardamom: 1/2 tsp, powdered
Vanilla Extract: 1/2 tsp
- In a non-stick pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee and saute grated beetroot and carrots for 5 minutes.
- Add in milk and simmer for 10-15 minutes until all the moisture is evaporated and carrots are cooked.
- Add in honey and mix well and again simmer for 3 minutes until thickened.
- Finish with remaining ghee, cardamom powder and vanilla and switch off the flame.
- Transfer to baking dish.
For Pistachio Crumble:
Pistachio: 1/4 cup, whole
Whole Wheat Four: 1/2 cup
Jaggery/sugar: 3-4 tbsp
Ghee: 3 tbsp, cold (You can use cold butter too)
Green Cardamom: 2-3, powdered
Salt: a pinch
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- In a blender or processor, combine flour, pistachio, jaggery, cardamom and salt until pistachio is coarsely ground but not powdered.
- Transfer to baking dish and rub the mixture with ghee until finger tips until clumpy. Try to keep big clumps of ghee and flour by working with finger. Bigger clumps give bigger crumb. (More bigger than shown in the picture)
- Spoon the mixture on top of the halwa and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the top browns slightly and is fragrant.
Serve the crumble halwa hot with quinelles of chilled misti doi and enjoy. Garnish with caramel decorations and rose syrup.