Tirunelvali halwa/ திருநெல்வேலி அல்வா/ இருட்டுக்கடை அல்வா/ Wheat halwa with whole wheat grain

Written by: 7aumsuvai

Wheat halwa/Tirunelveli halwa is a popular sweet recipe prepared with wheat milk and sugar. Especially popular in Tirunelveli Irruttu Kadai because of its unique preparation and taste. This recipe is prepared from scratch and results was awesome.

Ingredients: Serves 6 to 7
  • 1 cup - Whole wheat grain (Samba kothumai)
  • 2 1/4 cup - Sugar (2 cups +1/4 cup for caramel)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup - Ghee (I had used close to 3/4 cup)
  • 10 no's - Cashew nuts
  • Water as needed

Preparation method:
Making of wheat milk:
  1. Soak whole wheat grain in water for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Grind it in a mixie with 1 cup of water and filter the milk. This is the first milk and set it aside.
  2. Return the fibrous wheat to the mixie and add 1/2 cup of water(or add as needed to grind). Grind and repeat the filtering process, this is a second milk. Repeat the process again for third milk and fourth milk (if possible) then discard the wheat fiber
  3. I filtered the milk once again to make sure there are no fibres left.
  4. Set this bowl with milk undisturbed, cover with plastic sheet. After 3 to 5 hours, the thick milk will settle in the bottom. Carefully scoop out all the water on the top of the bowl and discard the water.
  5. Now measure the milk, I had 2 cups of wheat milk. So I added 6 cups of water to 2 cups of milk(1 :3 ratio) mix well and set this aside.

Making of sugar syrup:
  1. Take a heavy bottomed vessel/non stick vessel, add 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of water to melt the sugar. No need to look for any string consistency .
  2. Meanwhile in another pan, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sugar along with 2 to 3 tsp of water, stir it well on medium flame. Bring it to a boil.
  3. It starts dissolving and once the mixture comes to a boil, stop stirring.Let the syrup simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Keep your eyes on the mixture. It should turn from white to a light golden to dark amber in colour. This can happen within few minutes; therefore, it is important to prevent leaving your pan unattended.
  5. When the mixture reaches a uniform dark brown colour, then the caramel is ready. Immediately switch off the stove, else it will turn black in colour and may have a burnt bitter taste in your halwa.
  6. Immediately pour this caramel over melting sugar. Keep stirring and mix it thoroughly. This caramel is our food color here, we are not using any artificial color. Caramel color is our halwa color. Sugar syrup is ready.
Making of halwa:
  1. Add wheat milk to the sugar syrup, continue to mix over high flame in the beginning but when it starts getting thick. Keep the flame in medium.
  2. Do not stop stirring as the milk will tend to settle at the bottom. Stir continuously until it thickens slightly.
  3. Keep stirring continuously adding ghee in intervals to avoid drying. After 1 hour or so, you will see the halwa becomes glossy, comes together and it no longer sticks to the bottom. This indicates that halwa is done. It took 1 1/2 hours for me to get perfect halwa.
  4. Finally add roasted cashew nuts in ghee to the halwa and mix well. Yummy Tirunelveli halwa is ready.

  • Since I had used 1/4 cup of sugar for caramilization, my halwa turned out to be slightly brown in color.If you really want dark brown color halwa then use 1/2 cup of sugar to caramelize. It also depends on the sugar you are using.
  • Original recipe ask for 3 cups of sugar for 1 cup of wheat grains. Since my sugar is over-sweetened , I had to use less but it was perfect. It depends on the sugar you are going to use.

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