We can prepare the varieties of recipes using the Dates and I have Dates Milkshake and Dates Surprise posted in my blog here. Recipe for Kajoor Ka Halwa or Dates Halwa was noted down by me in one of the family functions where the Halwa was being prepared in bulk. Since it tasted so good, I was quite curious about its preparation. The cook was kind enough to provide me the exact measurements and I wrote down these measurements and instructions. This was almost 6 years ago but I could not make use the recipe noted down by me. After 6 long years, I finally made up my mind to try this recipe exactly as per the instructions provided by the chef and recorded in my recipe book. The Halwa came out well beyond my expectations. Since you can preserve the Halwa for many days, we had a good time with this delectable home-made sweet for many days.
For the Dates Halwa to come out really well, do make sure you choose soft de-seeded Dates packed appropriately. If the Dates are found to be a bit hard, soak them for little more time in Hot Milk to soften them before preparing the Halwa as mentioned below. If you soak less, the Dates will not get crushed completely and pieces remain in the paste used for preparing the Halwa. I used soft Dates which took only an hour of time to turn soft.
You may want to check out my post Dates Milkshake to know about the Health benefits of Dates. For those curious to know more about this wonder fruit, here is a web site with information on nearly 100 commercial varieties of Dates grown in Libya alone.
- Dates or Khajoor – 2 Cups
- Hot Milk – 2 Cups
- Sugar – 1-1/2 Cups
- Ghee or Clarified Butter – 1 Cup
- Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp
- Cashew Nut pieces – 25-30 small pieces
Cooking Time : 30-40 min
Soaking/Preparation Time : 6 hrs
How to Make Dates Halwa :
- Remove the seeds from the Dates and cut into medium size pieces and soak it in hot Milk for 5-6 hrs. If using soft Dates just soak it for half an hour to one hour before grinding.
- Grab a plate, grease it with Ghee or Clarified Butter and keep it ready.
- Take out the soaked Dates along with milk from the vessel and transfer them to a big mixer jar and grind them to a smooth paste.
- Remove the Dates-Milk mixture paste from the mixer jar and transfer to a big kadai, add 1-1/2 cups of Sugar and mix it once, then switch on the stove to high-medium flame. Stir continuously with the help of a laddle without a break even for a minute; need to avoid Dates mixture from getting roasted/burnt at the bottom of the kadai.
- While stirring continuously, add the Ghee 1/4 cup at a time to the kadai and keep stirring while the Ghee or Clarified Butter mixes completely with the Dates-Milk-Sugar mixture. Once the Ghee is mixed well, again add 1/4 Cup of Ghee and stir continuously. Repeat this process until the Ghee is used up completely, all the while making sure you keep stirring. At the end add Cashew Nut pieces and Cardamom powder and stir well.
- Continue to stir the entire mixture until it starts separating out from the sides of kadai and starts forming a big lump. It may take around 30 minutes to form a Dates Halwa lump. Once the lump is formed, transfer the Dates Halwa mixture to the Ghee greased plate (Step 2) and spread the mixture evenly across the greased plate with the ghee greased flat spoon. The flat spoon needs to be Ghee greased too to help avoid the Halwa mixture from sticking to the spoon while you use the spoon to lay evenly the Dates Halwa mixture across the plate.
- Leave the mixture for 15-20 minutes in the plate and then start marking the Halwa to shapes of your preference. Do not try to take it out until the Dates Halwa cools completely; if you hurry, the shapes of Dates Halwa pieces can get changed and give a soggy look although it might still taste great.
Now the Dates Halwa is ready to serve.
- Better to use the soft and black Dates, which is very tasty and easy to prepare when you are in a hurry(just half hour of soaking in milk required instead of 5-6 soaking time).
- Do not use non-stick Kadai; Halwa mixture and Ghee will not get mixed properly, Ghee will start separating out when stirring and the proper Dates Halwa consistency will not be achieved.