I’m sharing an easy and popular recipe for your next holiday gathering. I found the original here, and tweaked it slightly to suit my family’s tastes. This halwa can be made using grated paneer or ricotta cheese. While the ricotta gives a creamier taste, it took longer to cook. Simmer the halwa mixture for about 20-30 minutes for regular texture, and around 45 minutes for a fudge texture (which is what we love).
- 1 (30 oz) can mango pulp – about 3.5 cups
- 12-14 oz block paneer [OR] 30 oz ricotta cheese (about 4 cups of one)
- 2.5 cups sugar
- 2 cups dry milk powder
- 1 tsp cardamom powder [OR] 2 tsp rose water
- ghee to grease your serving platter
- chopped nuts, saffron, silver leaf, etc for topping & presentation
- Finely grate the paneer if you are using it.
- Using a wide heavy-bottom pan (preferably non-stick or anodized), bring the mango pulp, cheese and sugar to a boil on medium-high flame.
- Once it reaches a boil, reduce flame to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes till mixture thickens, stirring frequently and making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the cardamom powder or rose water and the milk powder for thickness. Mix well. Cook for another 5-10 minutes and pour into a flat greased platter to cool.
- Alternately, continue cooking an additional 15 – 20 minutes if you like a thicker, fudge-like consistency. Then add the milk powder and flavoring, and cook for another 5-10 minutes and pour into your platter to cool.
- Spoon into individual bowls and top with nuts and serve.
NOTE: Make sure the pan is atleast 4-5 inches deep as this mixture will splatter as it thickens and simmers. Also, DO NOT ADD sugar mid-way unless you plan on increasing the cooking time significantly (yes, I learnt this the hard way!). The sugar will dilute your mixture and you will have to cook it down again – it’s like starting from scratch. Paneer gives the halwa more texture while ricotta makes it more creamy.