Poppy seeds or Khus Khus (also called gasagasalu in Telugu) are known for their somnolent or sleep inducing properties. So, last week when my father was unwell and not sleeping to well, I made this Khus Khus Halwa for him. As a bonus, since he likes sweets, it also made him happy to eat it. 🙂
Called Khus Khus Jo Seero in Sindh, Post ka Halwa in Himachal Pradesh, and Gasagasala Hawla in Telugu, this dessert is very easy to make and is quite popular across India. It is essentially a solid version of the Gasagasala Payasam |Khus Khus Kheer I have written about earlier.
Khus Khus or Poppy Seeds are much maligned (banned in some countries) because they are the base from which opium and morphine are produced. If we can look past this fact, we will realise that Poppy Seeds are are highly nutritious with high concentrations of iron, calcium, phosphorous, and zinc.
A moderate consumption of Khus Khus is actually quite beneficial for health. One way to use khus khus is to soak and grind it to a fine paste, and then add this creamy paste to gravies or in place of/in addition to ground onion, etc.
Coming back to Khus Khus Halwa, the focus should be on soaking the poppy seeds well because otherwise the halwa will have a rather unpalatable grainy texture because poppy seeds are notoriously difficult to grind. The rest of the recipe is rather easy. 🙂
How to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Khus Khus Halwa or Poppy Seeds Halwa is super easy to make and quite different in taste from other halwas. Called Gasagasala Halwa in Telugu, this dessert is not overly sweet and hits just the right notes post a heavy meal.
Himachal Pradesh, Indian Food
100gmsKhus Khus, Gasagasalu, Poppy Seeds
In about 2 cups of water, soak the khus khus overnight (or for at least 8 hours).
Drain all the water from the khus khus.
Grind the soaked khus khus to a fine paste. Use a little water or milk if needed.
In a large heavy bottomed kadai or pan, over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp ghee.
Add the poppy seeds paste and saute till it becomes aromatic and just starts to change colour.
Turn the heat to low, add the sugar and cardamom powder, and mix well.
Gradually add the milk and mix well.
Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
Over medium heat, let the Khus Khus Halwa cook till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Stir at regular intervals.
Turn the heat off and transfer the Khus Khus Halwa into a serving bowl.
Drizzle the remaining ghee and garnish with the almond slivers.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa | Poppy Seeds Halwa
Soaking the Poppy Seeds: The Most Important Step
Cover the poppy seeds with enough water and soak them overnight (or for at least 8 hours). If you do not soak the poppy seeds enough, they will be difficult to grind and/or cook.
Drain all the water from the poppy seeds. I used a soup strainer.
Using a little milk, grind the soaked poppy seeds to a fine paste.
Making the Khus Khus Halwa | Gasagasala Halwa | Post ka Halwa
Choose a a heavy bottomed kadai large enough to mix the halwa comfortably.
Over a medium flame, heat the kadhai and melt 2 tbsp ghee.
To the melted ghee, add the poppy seeds paste.
Stir-fry the poppy seed paste till it starts to change colour and becomes aromatic.
Reduce the heat to low, and add the sugar and cardamom powder to the fried poppy paste.
Mix well and stir-fry for about a minute.
When the sugar is well-incorporated, add the milk.
Immediately mix well to ensure that the poppy seed mix blends well with the milk with no lumps.
Over medium heat, cook the mix till the milk is fully absorbed and the poppy seed paste is well cooked. Keep stirring at regular intervals to ensure that the halwa does not stick to the kadhai.
When the Khus Khus Halwa is cooked, remove it from the heat off and transfer the into a serving bowl.
Dudhi Halwa | Lauki Halwa is super easy to make and depending on the mood can be made simple or decadent. Either way it is very delicious and quite popular.
With Diwali being just round the corner, I decided to make a fully loaded version of this delicious Halwa and am quite pleased with the results. I have used Mawa and Ghee libreally in this version of the Dudhi Halwa and so after it cooled, it solidified a bit and I could even cut it into the burfi shape. 🙂 However, if you do not use Mawa it remains soft and nice and is much lighter on the stomach as well.
When I made Dharwad Peda last year, I had written about how that sweet and Belgavi Kunda are dear to me from my childhood. Both these sweets were a once-in-a-year treat when Dixit Uncle (Amma’s colleague and a dear family friend) went on his annual vacation to Belgaum.
We do get a version of Dharwad Peda called Mathura Peda here in Mumbai, but Belgavi Kunda is scarce. I try to make do with Milk Cake or Therattipal but it is just not the same thing.
I have seen many recipes and posts for Belgavi Kunda but none motivated me to try them. Last week, Swapneel Prabhu posted “I made a no-bake Kunda tart with a marzipan-like mildly sweetened roasted nuts base and filled it with fresh homemade Kunda. I served the tart slice with some honey and sea salt Kulfi, again homemade.” The accompanying photo was what made me try this recipe almost immediately.
Swapneel’s Kunda turned out just the way I remembered it. Grainy, caramel-y, and above all super delicious. So I am in heaven. Also this post comes at the perfect time with Gokulashtami being round the corner. 🙂
Before I get on to the recipe a few words about Swapneel. He is considered the resident Master Chef on a foodie group we are all members of. (After reading about his Kunda tart in his own words do you have any doubts?). He comes up with so many innovative variations of traditional dishes and such wonderful plating that I am forever drooling over his food pics.
Here are a couple of dishes from Swapneel that are a testament to his passion for food and his level of skill.
Consider this Malabar Fish dish that Swapneel describes as:”Malabar Fish (Kingfish/Surmai) Tikka, Moilee Beurre Blanc, Madras Shallot Ash, Tapioca and Walnut Crumb, Tomato Chutney, Apple, Orange, Pickled Swiss Chard and Celery.Phew!I wanted to try doing three different styles of plating.
That meant there were certain variations in components and also in the way they were handled.”
How about this wonderful salad, which in Swapneel describes as “A vegan salad of oven-roasted yam, wild greens (sea purslane and what is locally known as ‘Koral’ leaves), tender coconut, star fruit, tied together with a mango-mustard dressing, finished with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.“
Can you see why I was so excited when Swapneel posted the Belgavi Kunda recipe? 🙂
Belgavi Kunda can have people in raptures. In essence it is a simple dessert. Just boil milk down till it is almost solid and add caramel to it. However, it takes time. This recipe for Belgavi Kunda saves us all the time by giving us a shortcut with no compromise on the taste.
tbspGhee - 2
tbspCurd - 2
tbspSemolina - 2Rava/Sooji
tbspDink Powder - 2Gond/Edible gum
Milk - 1 litreFull fat
cupSugar - 1
tspGreen Cardamom powder - 1optional
Crushed nuts - For garnish
Take an 8 to 10" plate with edges.
Coat it with about 1 tsp ghee.
Heat the ghee in a pan.
Add the edible gum powder and fry on a low flame till it puffs up.
Add the Rava and toast till brown and fragrant.
Add the milk, stir and bring to a boil.
After the milk boils, take off the heat.
Stir in the curd.
Add sugar to a non-stick pan.
Over medium heat, melt the sugar till it turns into caramel (brown thick liquid).
Add the milk mixture to the caramel. Be careful while doing this as you have a danger of being splashed a bit.
Now cook the mixture on a low flame while stirring regularly.
Cook till the liquid is evapourated and you have a thick, slightly liquid milk solid mix. A little loose than a Barfi mix.
Add the cardamom powder. Nutmeg powder may also be used.
Garnish with slivered nuts.
Let it rest for a few minutes.
You can serve the Belgavi Kunda both warm or cold.
Belgavi Kunda does not set into a firm block. It is not supposed to. Traditionally, it is just served in a cup like Halwa.
Yesterday, I was making Eggless Mango Cheesecake and I had some Mango Pulp left over. I decided on the spot to experiment and make some Mango Sheera. It turned out to be quite delicious and quite a hit with Mango-crazy family.
Ugadi or the Telugu New Year is on April 8, 2016. Also celebrated in Karnataka and in Maharashtra as Gudi Padwa. It is both a time of piety and gaiety. We start the day with prayer and Ugadi Pachadi and then celebrate the a time for family and friends. As with all festivities food plays a very important role. What better way to celebrate any festival than with sweets. 🙂 So today, I am presenting the recipe for Badam Halwa.
A rich dessert that is easy to make, Badam Halwa has a very very subtle taste. It does not need many ingredients; just Badam, saffron, milk, cardamom, and sugar. Almost all of these are easily found at home. Badam Halwa can also be stored for quite a while, especially if it is made without milk.