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 JAUZI HALWA SOHAN

In Awadh, winter is the time for ’Halwas’ of all kinds. The history of the ‘Halwas’ can be traced to the Arabia and Persia, from where it came, to stay in India. There are several varieties of these, prepared from different cereals, such as gram flour, sooji, wheat, nuts and even eggs. The special halwa or halwa sohan  which have four varieties, viz Papadi, Jauzi, Habshi and Dudhiya is prepared specially well in Lucknow. 

The Jauzi Halwa Sohan is a hot favourite even today, but the art of preparingit is confined to only a few households. Prepared for the most part from germinated wheat, milk, sugar, saffron, nuts etc., it has love and patience as its vital ingredients. Only a lucknowi can appreciate the play of ‘Shabnam’ or dewdrops on the wheat kept out under the night sky for germination. For the rest the role of the morning sun and evening dew may remain a mystry.

Ingredients:

Samnak (wheat extract)            250 gms

Milk                                        5 litres

Khoya                                     500 gms

Sugar                                      1 kg

Ghee                                       1 kg

Saffron                                    1 tsp

Kewra jal                                ˝ tsp

Mace                                      1 blade

Nutmeg                                   1 pinch

Green cardamoms                 10

 

Method:

The wheat extract or Samnak is available at the grocer’s or perfume (ittr) shop. The method for preparing it is as follows. Pick and wash approximately 1 kg of wheat. In a basket spread a moist muslin cloth and place the wheat in it. Then cover with the cloth and keep out in the night in open to allow dew to fall on it. Repeat this for 6-7 days, keeping the cloth moist till small shoots emerge from the wheat. Now  wash and grind the germinated wheat using some water. Then pass through muslin cloth to obtain the extract. This is the protein rich Samnak vital for the preparation of this Halwa Sohan. It is best prepared on slow wood fire. It takes several hours to prepare but the final product is worth the wait! 

In a kadhai, mix the wheat extract and milk and cook on a slow fire, stirring constantly. This process is important to obtain the right consistency. When the milk is reduced to half, add mashed khoya, stirring constantly  to blend to a smooth mixture. Then add dissolved saffron in kewra jal and sugar. Keep stirring. When the sugar is incorporated into the mixture and it becomes thick and difficult to stir, add ghee from the sides and stir well for about 20-30 minutes. When the Halwa no longer sticks to the kadhai and becomes a cohesive mass, turn it out in a greased tray or ‘thali’. Finely grind the mace nutmeg and cardamom. Sieve and sprinkle on the halwa. Then mark out diamond shaped pieces and serve when set. This can be stored for even a month in a cool place.

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