Thanks to Simran for the recipe and Lataji for her notes on the recipe. Of course, Srivalli, for all her efforts.
I have pasted below, both the methods for halwa. I also did a little change to the recipe.
My update: Since I didn't have khoa handy, I decided to add some sweetened condensed milk. I also added saffron for the delicate flavour it renders. The sweet turned out lip smacking, more like Badam Halwa.
Moong Dal Halwa
Soaking Time : Overnight
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 - 45 mins
Recipe 1 with khoya
Split (Yellow) Moong dal - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup - 1 cup (depending on your preference)
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1/2 cup
Khoya - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts and raisins for garnish
You can make any quantity with this as long as you keep this ratio constant : equal amounts of dal and sugar, half the ghee and khoya.
Method to prepare:
Lightly roast the 1 cup of moong dal, wash, soak overnight and be ground to a fine paste adding very little water.
Take a thick bottom pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee and fry the moong dal paste till it turns brownish and releases the ghee. Add sugar and khoya.
Stir fry until both the sugar and khoya are well absorbed. Turn off the heat, then mix in cashew nuts and raisins.
Recipe 2 with just the dal
Split (Yellow) Moong dhal - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk - 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji - instead of water for the sugar, this gives the khoya added taste, Simran's recipe asked for water)
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.
Method to Prepare:
Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.
Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.
Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.
Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
Cook until the ghee surfaces.
Garnish with cashews and raisins.
Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan
Don't leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
You aren't looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
Though original recipe didn't call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.