I sometimes receive requests from readers for a particular recipe. Many times, they are ideas that I have already considered but just haven’t figured out how to make yet. Sometimes, they are recipes that I immediately set off to create and appear on the blog within days. And then there are ideas like this one, for which I only have one response: “I don’t know what that is and have no idea how I would make it.”
Considering I’ve only eaten Indian food four times in my life, my knowledge of Indian cuisine is minimal. I have never eaten “Indian dessert” and have absolutely zero concept of what it’s like or what it should taste like. Thus, when a reader begged me to create a halwa recipe, I had to reject her, claiming that I had no idea what it was or what it should taste like.
To make matters worse, I could not go out and buy halwa, for it’s traditionally made with ghee (clarified butter), which is most definitely not vegan. The reader (whose messages I cannot find now, so I cannot give her the credit she deserves…) persisted and said it wouldn’t be that hard, but I was so intimidated that I continued to refuse.
That was nearly a year ago, and recently I decided to just take the plunge. Disclaimer: I’ve never had halwa before and I have no idea if this tastes like it. However, I used this vegan halwa recipe from Healthy Girl’s Kitchen as inspiration, and I can confidently claim that this oatmeal is delicious. Readers, I need you to confirm for me if this recipe tastes “authentic.” Try it out and let me know in the comments!
What you'll need:
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1 large carrot
- 2 cups milk of choice
- 2 cups water (or more milk)
- 4 dates, sliced
- 1 cup steel cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- pinch of salt
How to make it:
- Soak cashews in a small bowl of water for at least ten minutes.
- Meanwhile, rinse and peel your carrot. Slice into 1-inch chunks and add to food processor.
- When cashews are ready, drain and add to the food processor with the carrots. Pulse a few times until the cashews and carrots have mixed and are in gravel-sized bits. With my Ninja, this took mere seconds! Your processor may require more pulsing.
- Add milk and water to a saucepan over medium high heat.
- While waiting for liquid to boil, prepare your dates. Slice into tiny pieces and add to saucepan.
- Once liquid comes to a low boil, add oats and carrot mixture, and reduce heat to medium or medium low. (If you'd like to add a teaspoon of flax or chia seeds, do so now.)
- Stir occasionally and let the oatmeal cook for about fifteen minutes.
- Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add cardamom and salt. Continue stirring occasionally.
- When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal (it should be on the dryer/thicker side), transfer to a bowl. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (such as more cashews, etc.). You can also do what I did for the pictures and serve it in the traditional halwa format: pack the oatmeal into a ramekin, let it sit and firm up, and then empty upside-down onto a plate.