Sunday, 3 July 2016

Murshidabad Postor Halwa Recipe / Khus Khus Halva Recipe / Poppy Seeds Halva Recipe ~ Rejoicing Two Fulfilling Years Of Blogging


Two years of a fulfilling journey into the culinary world of everything extraordinairé and I am all the more charged up to unravel further and further. This unending enthusiasm of mine to delve extensively into this fascinating world of food seems to be on an upscale even more now. As I sit back, retrospecting, the realisation dawns on me that so much has changed since this voyage began exactly two years from today. I have in my own little way learnt so many facets and things related to food which I would have never known had it not been for this Blog. My Blog propels me to constantly be on the quest for new cuisines, ingredients which I have never heard of before, connects me to the glorious past of countries through their food and also gives me the confidence to try recipes in my kitchen which I perhaps would not have done otherwise. Truly, this culinary adventure of mine has become so fascinating with each passing year.

The other beautiful gift that my Blog has given me and which is priceless, is the reach and connect which I have with beautiful people from corners of the globe which I have never visited. Nothing can be more fulfilling and gratifying than the fact that people whom you don't know or whom you know only virtually, read your thoughts in your Blog, go on that food sojourn with you virtually and finally, get themselves to visually try the dish which you put up. It does not end with that, they also write down words as feedback, encourage, infuse enthusiasm and wait and ask you to share with them some more of your love for everything food. The love which you my readers shower on me has been the biggest reward for me and my Blog. My Tryst With Food And Travel has transcended beyond the realms of my own boundaries only because of you, who keep me on my foodie toe all the time. Thank you , thank you and thank you for giving me something to look forward to every single day of my life. Thank you for being on this Culinary Adventure with me. I am totally charged up with this exuberance from you my readers and with the eager anticipation that our bond will be further strengthened, that you will continue to love, encourage and propel My Tryst With Food And Travel, I commit myself to this Blog and to your warmth and zeal. 

This year I celebrated my Blogversary by cooking Biryani and basking in the wonderful memories which blogging has bestowed me with. 3rd of July also happens to be the Happy Wala Birthday of Mr. S and for those of my readers who do not know this, I changed the Blogversary date of My Tryst With Food And Travel, to coincide with the Birthday of Mr.S , because not only did he coin the name of my Blog, but has been that ever supporting rock who keeps my passion for food and my zeal to pen always fueled up. In fact the celebrations had started a day in advance, with Mr. S and his friends enjoying the Euro Football encounter 2016 between Germany and Italy and I amidst all the fervour and frenzy of the match doing, what I love to do, clicking pictures of the food we were having and weaving a story in my mind to share with you. Coming to the Biryani which I cooked, it was my Mum-In-Laws recipe, which was made for indulgent keeping in mind the Birthday festivity with a lavish sprinkle of pistachios and pine nuts, (specially ordered from Iran) and was served with the most radiant and Ruby red Pomegranate filled yogurt Raita/dip. No Indian Celebration is complete without a sweet and the quintessential Poppy Seeds Halva always makes it to the list of celebratory dishes and the recipe of which I will share with you in this post.The Khus Khus Halva was cooked in my home in India and I had this dish waiting in the wings to be published on a special occasion.

Mum-In-Law's Chicken Biryani Recipe, Served with Pomegranate Raita
Khus Khus Halwa

Why I chose to share the Khus Khus Halwa dish especially on my blogversary was because it happens to be a favourite dish of my late father. Bapi as I addressed him is totally responsible for the person I am today. If I am able to regale you with my stories here and if I can tell a story in the first place or for that matter even pen a single sentence, it is not only because I inherited a tiny bit of Bapi's gold medal winning story telling genes but also because he had filled my room with all kinds of books by Hans Christian Anderson as soon as I started to read. It's a heart wrenching thing that my father never got to know that I have a space where I write my heart out. It tears my heart to bits, that he could never read even a para from my Blog. But on this happy day today, I would like to believe, that he is somewhere up there watching me write, influencing my thoughts as I pen the stories and blessing me to win your hearts with my earnest efforts and endearing passion both for narrating stories and food.

Dear readers, I also want to start a new series, only for you. This series will comprise of 15 dishes and I am sure you will like it. So introducing the series "15 HEALTHY VERSIONS OF YOUR FAVOURITE INDIAN DISHES". Though I am not a qualified nutritionist, I have used my own little knowledge, garnered through years of love of food, taken help of friends who are qualified nutritionists, spoken to grand old ladies of the family who are treasure houses of knowledge and ultimately relied on the recipes of certified, well known Indian Chefs. Also I wanted to do this series for those family and friends of mine who were having certain health conditions and were not freely able to savour these dishes, whilst others around them would happily eat them.

I will now straight away share the recipe of Murshidabad Style Postor Halwa / Khus Khus Halva /Poppy Seeds Halva. This recipe is from the erstwhile district of the Nawabs and is royal, lavish and will leave a lingering taste which will be hard to forget. This dish is a Poppy Seeds Halva, the recipe of which was safely guarded by the Khansamas or cooks of the erstwhile Nawabs of Murshidabad. Many many years later, the descendants of the Khansamas in the kitchen of the Nawabas , working in star hotels would share the recipes with the world so that this delectable cuisine could reach you, no matter which part of the globe you were. Poppy seeds halva is sure to tease your visual senses and overwhelm your taste buds. This dish is so perfect for celebrations and special occasions and is very easy to make. So let's take a look at its ingredients.



MURSHIDABAD POSTOR HALWA RECIPE ~ 

AUTHOR ~ PIYALI MUTHA
SERVES ~ 4
CUISINE ~ INDIAN / ROYAL
TYPE ~ DESSERT / SWEET DISH
TIME ~ 10 MINUTES PREPARATION + 30 MINUTES COOKING + OVERNIGHT SOAKING OF POPPY SEEDS

INGREDIENTS ~

1) 500 Gms. Posto / Khus Khus / Poppy Seeds
2) 100 Gms. Khoya / Khoa / Milk thickened till it acquires almost solid consistency (Available in asian stores, Indian and Pakistani sweet shops)
3) 200 Ml. Milk (preferably full cream, fresh milk)
4) 250 Gms. Sugar
5) 200 Gms. Ghee / Clarified Butter
6) 4 Pods Green Cardamom, cracked
7) 125 Ml. Water for sugar syrup

FOR GARNISH ~

1) 1 Tbsp. Pistachios chopped
2) 1 Tbsp. Almond Slivers
3) 1 Tsp. Dried Rose Petals
4) 8~10 Saffron strands

COOK WITH ME IN EASY STEPS ~

1) Soak the poppy seeds covered with water overnight or at least for 4~6 hours.
  • Drain all the water using a strainer and transfer the poppy seeds into a grinder.
  • Grind into a paste which will be neither coarse or very smooth.
2) In a wok or frying pan heat the clarified butter. Add the ground poppy seeds paste to this carefully when the ghee is warm.
  • Mix and stir.
  • Keep frying the poppy seeds till it slightly changes colour and also till the raw smell of poppy seeds completely disappears.
3) Add Khoya now and mix well. Keep stirring till the khoya softens.
  • Add Milk slowly now.
  • Mix well. Simmer.
4) While the fried Poppy Seed Paste and Khoya are simmering in the milk, we prepare the sugar syrup.
  • Take sugar in a deep bottom pan.
  • Add water.
  • Stir.
  • Leave it on the burner till it reaches a rolling boil. Remove the Pan from the burner.
5) Add the sugar syrup slowly to the contents in the pan.
  • Mix well.
  • Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add the cracked green cardamom.
  • Simmer till you see the clarified butter floating on top or it leaves the side of your pan.
6) Garnish with pistachios, almonds, rose petals, saffron.
You may add a few drops of rose water if you wish.

Serve this delish Poppy Seeds Halva hot or cold as you like. This is very simple to make. Only take care that you fry the poppy seeds well and don't burn it in step 2.

Make this dish for festive occasions. it will surely add up to the grandiose of your celebrations.

PICTORIAL STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE TO COOK KHUS KHUS HALVA~

1) Soak the poppy seeds covered with water overnight or at least for 4~6 hours.


Drain all the water using a strainer and transfer the poppy seeds into a grinder.

Grind into a paste which will be neither coarse or very smooth.

2) In a wok or frying pan heat the clarified butter. Add the ground poppy seeds paste to this carefully when the ghee is warm.


Mix and stir.

Keep frying the poppy seeds till it slightly changes colour and also till the raw smell of poppy seeds completely disappears.

This is how it should look and then you know you can move on to the next step.


3) Add Khoya now and mix well. Keep stirring till the khoya softens.


Add Milk slowly now.


Mix well. Simmer.


4) While the fried Poppy Seed Paste and Khoya are simmering in the milk, we prepare the sugar syrup.
Take sugar in a deep bottom pan.


Add water.


Stir.

Leave it on the burner till it reaches a rolling boil. Remove the Pan from the burner.


5) Add the sugar syrup slowly to the contents in the pan.


Mix well.


Let it simmer for 2 minutes.


Add the cracked green cardamom.




Simmer till you see the clarified butter floating on top or it leaves the side of your pan.


6) Garnish with pistachios, almonds, rose petals, saffron.
You may add a few drops of rose water if you wish.



Serve this delish Poppy Seeds Halva hot or cold as you like. This is very simple to make. Only take care that you fry the poppy seeds well and don't burn it in step 2.

Make this dish for festive occasions. It will surely add up to the grandiose of your celebrations.

Reference ~ 
Chef Devraj Halder