Recently in the past few years, there have been a lot of changes in Bangalore. Lots of hotels like ‘ Halli Thindi’, ‘Halli Mane’, etc have come up in different parts of the city. I love the concept of these hotels which serve food that are traditional, authentic, local specialties. So many of the forgotten local Karnataka favorites are being revived, and popularized , thanks to these Hotels.
One such forgotten recipe is for Haalbai. I am not sure if any version of this halwa is made in any other state, it would be great to know. Haalbai is a really delicious, traditional sweet, made with coconut or coconut milk. The other major ingredients can either be rice( Akki), wheat( godhi), or raagi.
This is the recipe for akki haalbai is as follows-
Rice- 1/2 Cup
Grated coconut- 1 1/2 cups
Jaggery(Powdered)- 1 1/2 cups
Cardamom(powdered)- 4 to 5 pods
Ghee- 1 Tbsp
Soak the rice in water for 2-3 hours. Grind the coconut with the rice to a fine thick paste in a blender. Take half the ghee in a thick bottom pan. Add the coconut- rice paste, jaggery powder, and cardamom powder. Keep stirring continuously, till the paste starts leaving the sides of the pan. Add the remaining ghee. The haalbai is ready to set, when it stops sticking to the sides of the pan, and forms a smooth ball, like so-
Grease a deep dish with a little ghee, to set the haalbai. Cut into pieces after it cools down a bit. Enjoy, a little piece of tradition……………