Frankly, I am not cooking much thesedays. It is terribly hot in Mumbai and we are mostly eating boiled vegetables, curd and very light vegetable or fish broth with rice. For the same reason, we are not eating out often, too. When it is that hot, we feel that it is always better to stay indoors as much as possible and resort to either salads or simple, home-cooked food. And of course, our kitchen is always stocked-up with lots of seasonal fruits like mangoes!
However, there are times when we just need to pep-up our tastebuds with something unusual. This time, we tried to recreate a Bangladeshi classic called Knacha Aamer Halua. This dish proves that raw mangoes in a dessert is possible and these actually taste fantastic as a dessert ingredient! In India, the word Halua or Halwa means a sweet porridge that has been cooked in ghee. We have tasted some of the most exotic halwas all over India: be it the Beetroot Halwa, the Doodhi Halwa, the Egg Halwa or even Mutton Halwa. To add to this list, we recently had a phenomenal Knacha Aamer Halua (Bangladeshi Raw Mango Halwa) while reviewing the Bangladeshi Food Festival at Sofitel, curated by Chef Nayana Afroz. Although I didn’t ask for the recipe, but tasting the dish led to certain conclusions about the ingredients. Based on those assumptions, here is my own version of the Bangladeshi Raw Mango Halwa. This dessert is perfect for those who don’t like their desserts too sweet: the dish has a welcome tang arising from grated raw mangoes, which marries the sweetness of the Halwa perfectly. Addition of small pieces of almost-ripe Lalbaug mangoes to the halwa improved both the flavour and texture of the dish. The Lalbaug mango variety has a reddish hue on its skin and the pulp is sweet, but slightly fibrous.
By the way, two of my latest mango recipes were featured in Bombay Times recently:
If you like to experiment with unusual flavours, just like I do, then do give a few of my mango recipes a try and give a shoutout on Instagram (@purabinaha). Probably, this recipe of Knacha Aamer Halua will change your perception of Halwa altogether. Cheers to the season of mangoes! More recipes coming up soon.
Knacha Aamer Halua (Bangladeshi Raw Mango Halwa)
- 1 Grated raw Lalbaug mango
- Almost-ripe Lalbaug mango (diced)
- Bay leaves (small)
- Sugar (amount varies according to the sourness of mangoes)
- Homemade khoyakheer (alternately, use store-bought khoya or mashed barfi)
- Cardamom powder
- Chopped pistachios
- Squeeze out and discard the juice of grated raw mango to get rid of some amount of sourness. Transfer the grated raw mango to a small bowl.
- Heat ghee and add a bay leaf. Add the grated raw mango and salt. Sauté for 5 min on a medium heat.
- Add the sugar and homemade khoyakheer to this and cook till the mixture is almost dry.
- Further, add the cornflour and ¼ cup water to mix everything together. Cook for around 10 min so that all the water is evaporated.
- Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Finally, garnish the halwa with chopped pistachios.
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