Haalbai is usually made on the day of Nagara Panchami festival in Udupi, Karnataka. We also call it as Manni in north Karnataka and is prepared from whole grain wheat, Rice and Ragi. My mum usually makes manni with fresh Ragi grains and it tastes amazing.
This post is a part of the Culinary Hoppers Blog hop post. The theme was South Canara cuisine.When my friends planned for Blog hop with dishes from South Karnataka, the first dish that came to my mind was this. My mum made it so many times when I was in her place postpartum. They say that the jaggery and whole grains combined keeps up milk production.
Haalbai is usually made with Rice and coconut but I love the taste of wheat Haalbai better. There are 2 versions where you use coconut or you don't. I have made both but I will post the steps of the one with coconut. I had to make it twice since the Haalbai I made for the first time was finished as soon as I clicked pics. My dad loves Haalbai so, I made it again when he visited.
I loved the taste of Haabai when coconut is added but liked the texture of it without coconut. I have used jaggery that I get from my hometown, it is called Joni bella. It is a semi liquid jaggery that is molasses. You can just use the regular jaggery and add it grated or powdered. Also, I have reduced the amount of jaggery used but if you have sweet tooth, you can increase the quantity. Anyway, here is the recipe for a perfect Wheat Haalbai, which is healthy and delicious.
|Nutritional Information (Approx) (per serving)|
|Wheat grains/Wheat berry||1 cup|
|Coconut grated (Optional)||1 cup|
|Cardamom powder||1 teaspoon|
Grease a plate with ghee and keep aside. Soak Wheat grains for 24 hours or at least 12 hours. Grate the coconut and make sure you use fresh coconut.
Grind together Wheat and coconut into a smooth paste.
Sieve the ground paste using a mesh or a muslin cloth. You can add little water and repeat the process till all the milk is extracted. This step is optional yet it makes the halwa more smooth and easy to handle.
Mix the milk and jaggery and start the flame under low. Keep stirring every minute. Add cardamom powder.
Once the mixture reached a pasty state, add just a teaspoon of ghee and mix well. Adding Ghee is also optional but gives a glossy look and adds taste.
Make sure to keep stirring, it gets a little difficult once the mixture starts leaving the bottom of pan. It takes about half an hour to 45 minutes. To know when it is time to remove from pan, take a little of halwa and cool it in the spoon. If it is not sticky when you try to hold it with your fingers, it's done.
Remove from heat and spread the mixture on the greased plate. Cut to your desired shape and serve cooled.
* It tastes best when served the next day of preparation. So, you can prepare the previous day if you are expecting guests.
* Adding ghee is optional but it makes the mixture easy to handle.
* Make sure to keep the mixture stirring and do not leave the mixture on flame without stirring.