Nutty Farina Halva with Sliced Carrots
Supermarket farina replaces semolina in this halva. This enriched wheat cereal is available in most supermarkets in three types: instant, quick cooking, and regular. For convenience, you can use one of the two types: pre-toasted Malt-O-Meal farina or cream-of-wheat brand quick-cooking farina. For additional fiber, nutrition, texture and flavor, a mélange of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, bran and wheat germ can be added. If you do not have all these items, replace the missing ones with substitutes. For example, you could use granola, instead of bran or wheat germ. This dish is a power-packed way to warm up an icy winter morning up an icy winter morning, or celebrate a fire side serving.
Preparation and cooking (after assembling ingredients): 15-20 minutes
• Barley or rice syrup – 1 cup (240 ml)
• Water – 1 ½ cups (360 ml)
• Cinnamon stick – 2-inch (5 cm) piece
• Cloves – 4-5
• Carrots, scraped and thinly sliced – 2 medium-sized
• Unsalted butter or ghee – ½ cup (120 ml)
• Malt-O-Meal brand pre-toasted farina or Quick-cooking farina, dry-roasted over low heat for 10 minutes – 1 cup (185 g)
• Chopped walnuts, cashews and almonds – 2 table spoons (30 ml) each
• Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds – 2 tablespoons (30 ml) each
• Bran flakes and wheat germ – 3 tablespoons (45 ml) each
• Currants, golden raisins and grated coconut – 2 tablespoons (30 ml) each
1. Place the sweetener, water, cinnamon, cloves and carrots in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Gently boil for about 5 minutes, or until the carrots are just tender. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered.
2. Place the butter or ghee in a large saucepan over moderate heat. When it is hot but no smoking, stir in farina, nuts, seeds, bran and wheat germ. Stir-fry for a few minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Stirring constantly, pour the carrots and syrup into the hot grains. At first the grains may sputter but will quickly cease as the liquid is absorbed. Place the pan over low heat and simmer, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Stir in the dried fruits and coconut. Turn off the heat, cover and let the pan rest undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a spoon. (If the halva is dry, add water. If it is still liquid, place over heat and cook until thickened). Serve hot.
By Yamuna Devi Dasi