The Cashew-Coconut Halwa is a simple yet decadently rich dessert fit enough to end an elaborate dinner. The richness of cashew and the nuttiness of coconuts imparts this Halwa a very mellow taste and both the hero ingredients make a perfect match with none trying to overpower the other!! The inherent sweetness of coconut permits using sugar in rather moderate amount and so is with the fat required to sauté the cashew and coconut, we can easily get away using a tablespoon or so less. By the end of the cook you are left to enjoy a dish that is gooey and chewy at the same time and when served warm it just melts in your mouth. While you may choose not to use saffron if it is easy to access but do not omit the cardamom powder.
So go ahead try making this Cashew-Coconut Halwa or Kaju-Kopra No Sheero as it is named in ‘Mithai’ the book by Ms. Tarla Dalal from where this recipe is sourced. I have been making this Sheero (Gujarati for Halwa) for many years and it has never failed to impress the dinner get-togethers!!
Cashew and Coconut Halwa
Serves – 4
Recipe source – Tarla Dalal’s Mithai
- 1 cup (100 Grams) cashewnuts, lightly roasted and coarsely powdered
- 1 cup grated coconut, fresh coconut
- 3/4 cup sugar ( I used only half a cup)
- 4 tablespoons ghee
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
- a few strands of saffron
- A few ghee fried cashews for garnish, chopped
- I have preferred to lightly roast the cashews before grinding them to a coarse powder. The cashew nuts can be roasted in a heavy bottom pan which we will eventually use for making the halwa.
- Before we start with sautéing the cashew-coconut mixture, begin with making the sugar syrup. In a saucepan add the sugar and 1/2 cup water and cook oil the sugar has dissolved. While the syrup is still warm add the saffron strands so the they begin to ooze out their flavour and colour.
- Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan and sauté the ground cashew nuts and grated coconut in it for 7-10 minutes on a low to medium heat. Take care to keep stirring the mixture all the while. The mixture will gradually turn light brown in colour and from instead of being clumped together it will begin to resemble a crumb.
- Once the mixture is properly sautéed add the sugar syrup. Keep stirring till everything is mixed well and turns into a homogenous mixture. Add the ground cardamom powder and mix well.
- Serve warm, garnished with some fried- chopped cashews.