Thursday, 25 February 2016

Aadu no Halwo ~ Adrak Halwa ~ Ginger Fudge

Adu no Halwo - Adrak Halwa (Ginger Fudge)
Like grains of sand that trickle forth as we hold onto them tighter and slip away entirely, before we pick up another fistful, winter months in our country come for a while, kiss our cheeks with their soft cool breath and disappear until the earth takes its next round around the sun.

With them they also bring brightly colored fruits in blushing hues and fresh vegetables which promise us the comforts of warm simmering broths and hot parathas infused with fresh green leafies.

The most sought after winter foods here in India are the vast variety of halwas (fudges) that grace our kitchens and our bellies.

As November sets in, halwas are made across the length and breadth of our country, from various fruits, nuts and vegetables.

Gajar ka halwa (Carrot fudge) is undoubtedly everyone’s favorite, but those made from white bottle gourd (dudhi ka halwa) and almonds (badam ka halwa) are also very popular.

We Parsis make a rich winter fudge known as Vasanu, during the winter months, and it tastes nothing close to anything that I have ever eaten. Made from thirty six ingredients, such as powdered sunflower seeds, resin of the baval tree, dates, walnuts, wheat germ milk, mixed nuts, mixed root powders, powdered lentils, dry coconut and the crème de la crème, copious amounts of fiery dried ginger referred to as ‘Sunth’ this delicacy is painstaking prepared by stirring the ingredients for hours atop a slow flame, in desi ghee (clarified butter).

Vasanu is best had a spoonful a day and simultaneously followed by a gulp of hot mint chai (milk tea).

The ingredients help fight winter related ailments, like stiff bones, achy back, runny nose and most importantly generate heat and immunity in the body. Such contrasting flavours and textures are rarely found in one dish.

Today I share with you, what I call wannabe Vasanu, where the taste is similar, the ingredients are but a few.

What I realized I (or for the matter of fact all Parsis) like about Vasanu is its gingery taste coupled with its sweetness and crunch and since this lovely delicacy is not easily available here in Pune, I thought of making a simplified version of it and set off on a journey with ginger paste – the center of our affection, sugar, clarified butter and mawa (evaporated milk solids) in tow.

Little did I know, that my experimental journey would yield such a lip-smacking destination.

The recipe when you first read it will make you lift your brows in wonder, coupled with a thought that the writer has completely lost it. But fret not, I promise you that this unusual pairing of ingredients makes one of the most delicious halwas that you have ever tasted. After all life and food are best enjoyed as a journey and who knows what beautiful destination they may throw up next.


You will need:

¾ cup/ 200 gms fresh ginger paste (Donot use store bought packaged paste)

1 tbsp / 15 ml milk

½ cup/100 gms mawa/ khoya (evaporated milk solids)

2 – 3 tbsps / 30 – 45 gms granulated sugar

3 tbsps / 45 gms pure ghee (clarified butter)

Handful of dried fruits and nuts

¼ tsp elaichi (green cardamom) powder


-          Deskin and puree fresh ginger in a blender with a little milk to make a paste.

-          Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed wok or khadhai, once it is hot add in the ginger paste and saute on low flame till the ginger loses all its raw smell.

-          Next add in the mawa and mix it with the ginger till it changes to a deep golden colour.

-          Now add sugar one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired sweetness.

-          Turn up the flame to medium and cook until the mixture leaves the sides of the wok.

-          Sprinkle cardamom powder and mix in.

-          Remove onto serving dishes.

-          Garnish with lightly toasted dried fruits & nuts and serve hot, preferably with a cup of chai!


As I was making this halwa, it tasted like eating raw ginger paste, but as I gradually increased the sugar, it morphed into an absolute delight.

Has this happened to you too? Have you set off on an unknown food adventure? Combined mismatching flavours and textures? What happened then?  Was your journey worth it? Were you absolutely delighted with what you created in the end?

I recently stumbled across a lovely page called Foodventures, where foodies like you and me can share our own culinary adventures, I’ve shared my food story there and you should too!

Check out how you can embark on your own foodventure, click here

Also, do not forget to watch the video below, where two of our favourite foodies at the top of their game, share with you their own foodventures :-)

So long foodies!

Spread the love and share the food(venture)!


  1. Oh I have never heard of such a halwa and you are right. Unless I try I would not accept that it would be so delicious as you write :) A perfect adventure Parinaaz.

    1. Thank you Parul, sweet of you to write to me, do share your own Foodventures on the like above. The entries are still being accepted. Cheers!


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