The very mention of ‘Halwa’ is likely to cause increased salivation in most Indians! And if you have been on a gluten free diet, then halwa just gets tossed out of your life 🙁
Halwa had always been my favorite, favorite dessert! Actually growing up my mom used to occasionally make ‘Broken Wheat Halwa’ as an evening snack. She used to make it with unrefined sugar (jaggery) and also add loads of ghee to it. So yum! I still remember those days when I would step into the house after school and instantly smelling the aroma of this halwa, make a dash into the kitchen!
So over the past 3 years since going gluten free, I have missed ‘Halwa’ and that’s an understatement! I did make a version of halwa using ‘singada atta’ or water chestnut flour which is pretty good! This recipe is bothe gluten free and grain free. So If you are on AIP, then this recipe is a great option for you.
But if you have been able to reintroduce quinoa, then this quinoa halwa you have definitely gotta try! It seriously is the ‘REAL DEAL’! I have been thinking of making this for the longest of times since quinoa has the texture of broken wheat and I had a feeling it would work well! Boy, was I right! Oh this recipe is so, so easy and one that is sure to satisfy your cravings for halwa completely! I first made this a month ago and after that I have made it almost every week.
If prepared properly, quinoa is a highly nutritious grain – it is high in protein and has all of the 9 essential amino acids. It is therefore a great option for vegetarians1. See below my instructions to cook it properly .
Best part about this recipe – it is so easy to make and it has only 3 main ingredients!
- You can add cardamom for flavor but it is not needed – the halwa tastes great as is!
- You can use ghee or coconut oil however ‘ghee’ is what gives the most authentic ‘Halwa’ flavor! Although ghee is ‘dairy’, pure , grass fed dairy is tolerated by a lot of folks who cannot tolerate dairy in general. Ghee is also one of the first foods I try to reintroduce in clients on an AIP diet since it has a similar nutrition profile to the butter that it’s made from, minus the protein; ghee is approximately 60% saturated fat. Ghee is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K2 (the animal form of vitamin K, which can be hard to find). Ghee has always been a staple in the Indian diet and that probably explains why people thrived on a largely vegetarian diet.
- For cooking quinoa, I always recommend soaking it in advance for a few hours (anywhere between 2 and 12 hours) to get rid off phytic acid which is an ‘anti-nutrient’ and to make it more digestible. Soak uncovered at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Then drain and rinse once more.
Check out my video for the step by step recipe!
- 1 tbsp ghee or extra virgin coconut oil
- ½ cup quinoa (soaked for anywhere between 2 to 10 hours), washed and drained
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (Add 4 tbsp if you like it more sweet)
- 1 green cardamom, coarsely powdered- about ½ tsp (optional)
- extra 1 tbsp ghee or extra virgin coconut oil
- chopped nuts for garnish (optional)
- Soak quinoa for at least two hours or overnight. Using a fine strainer, drain the water. Keep aside.
- Heat a stainless steel or non stick skillet/pan. When hot lower heat to medium and add the ghee (or the coconut oil).
- Add the drained quinoa and stir for a minute. Then add the sea salt and the water and cover and cook on low heat for about 10 mins or until all the water is evaporated and the quinoa is cooked perfectly.
- Now open the lid and add the coconut sugar, the cardamom (if adding) and the extra ghee or coconut oil. Stir on low heat for 3-4 minutes until you get Halwa consistency. Turn heat off.
- Serve halwa warm garnished with nuts on top(optional).