The horn of the milkman in the early morning was the call to get up and take the freshly squeezed cow milk. Our milkman patel kaka supplied the best cow milk. No mixing of water just pure milk. Once the milk was boiled, cooled and rested in fridge for few hours, it would form a half inch coat of balai aka cream. Balai would be removed and stored in a separate container. This process would continue for fifteen days to make ghee or sometime butter for cakes. Mostly ammi used to tell me to make ghee. The remaining brown crumbs after straining ghee were also kept. Ammi used to add it to different kinds of halwa. Specially aate ka halwa or a mix of sooji aur aate ka halwa. It is strange that every fifteen day halwa was lost in the memories. And this is the first time I have made it in thirteen years. Now and then the memories of ammi keep coming as we used to spend loads of time preparing delicious dishes. She was my guiding light , always encouraging me to try something new. Life is so strange , the memories keep coming , rekindling the joys in the sadden moments.
Aate Ka Halwa is a delicious, full of fat, loaded with ample amount of nuts. The process starts with roasting the aata with ghee. It is a little lengthy process as aata has to be continuously stirred so that it is not burnt but gets an evenly roasted brown color. The aroma of nuttiness and brown color are the success of this halwa. The entire process of making aate ka halwa has to be done on low flame.Once the flour is roasted, the concoction of hot water mixed with saffron, cardamom powder and salt is added. Salt is added to balance the flavor of sweetness. Once all the water is absorbed, sugar is added along with the khoya. In dubai I don’t make any ghee so there were no leftover crumbs of balai. The next best option was khoya for this Aate Ka Halwa. I have given another substitute for khoya too in the recipe note. But if you ever make ghee, don’t ever throw away the remaining crumbs. Add it to any of your favorite halwas. It gives a unique and a very delicious taste. To the recipe.