Bombay Ice Halva, a must have sweet from Mumbai. A sweet that is not only great to eat but also pretty artistic in form. Thinly sliced pieces of Halva interleaved with parchment paper makes this dish a cute one. The pioneers of this sweet are Mohanlal Mithaiwala, and it soon spread across the city and country!!
Ice Halva probably gets its name ice from the white icy color it used to traditionally be made in. Innovation has now taken over and it is available in an array of colors and flavors like Saffron, Rose and Black Currant among others. Here is a recipe of the traditional white Ice Halva which is quick to make. The only patience required is to let the halva set well!!
All-purpose Flour/ Maida 1/2 cup
Clarified butter/ghee 1/2 cup
Cold Milk 1/2 cup
Sugar 1 cup
Cardamom seeds 2 tsp, lightly ground
Almonds, Pistachios 1/4 cup, slivered
Saffron 8-10 strands
Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan and let it melt. Lower the flame and add sugar, all-purpose flour and milk. Mix well and set the flame to medium. Add the saffron strands and let the mixture cook on medium low flame for 20-25 minutes, stirring continuously till it comes together as a thick mass.
Take a large piece of Aluminium foil and line it with clarified butter. It is very important to remove the halva from the flame at the right consistency. In order to make sure, take a tsp of the mixture and spread it in a thin layer on the foil.If it solidifies in 3-4 minutes, it is the right consistency. If it does not, keep cooking the mixture and try again. Switch off the flame once the desired consistency is achieved and transfer the mixture onto the foil. Line a thick plastic with clarified butter and place it on the foil. Roll it out using a rolling pin to a sheet of about 1/4 inch thickness.
Remove the plastic, spread the cardamom, almonds and pistachios and place the plastic again and roll it again. This ensures the dry-fruits and cardamom sets in well. Roll out to a thin sheet and remove the plastic sheet and set aside. Let the halva set for sometime and cut it into squares using a pizza cutter. To make the halva interesting, use cookie-cutter to cut out shapes like stars.
Let the halva cool for 4-6 hours and it will come out from the foil easily. The time taken for it to solidify with differ with the country and the season. The top of the halva becomes shiny once it is completely cooled. Do not try to force the pieces away from the foil, else they will crumble. Overturn the halva, and slowly remove the foil from top. Alternate the halva pieces and parchment paper to store in an airtight container.
Enjoy Bombay's famous Ice Halva.