Suji Makhdi Halwa with Taal-kheer-Semolina Caramel Halwa with Sugar Palm kheer- A Bhog for Radha Krishno
This post is going to be about a sweet recipe that brings together two sweet elements together n will capture your imagination-one is a Sooji/Semolina Halwa with Caramel and another is a beautiful Taal-Kheer, which is classic Bengali dish. The season of the festivities is catching up in India, just 6 weeks ago it was Janmashtami-the religious celebration on the occasion of the birth of Lord Krishno, it was during that time when I created this dish keeping Janmashtami in mind. I wanted to create something unique for Lord Krishno, so this dish is dedicated to him.
Now let me tell you about “Taal” tree, it is called as Asian Palmyra palm, toddy palm, sugar palm, the tree is native to India n Southeast Asia, it is the ripe fruits of this tree from which the taal-kheer is made, brilliant orange in color, it has that unique flavor to it with a touch of bitterness to it, the bitterness is balanced by adding scarped coconut to it, the sweetness of the coconut balances the bitterness of the ripe taal juice.
The fruit is called Taal in Bengali, Tala in Oriya, Nungu in Tamil, Tari in Hindi, Tadfali in Guajarati, Taati ningu in Kannada, Munjal in Urdu. Ton taan in Thai. When the fruit is unripe the top part is cut and from there 3 jelly like portions are obtained which looks like fruits themselves, they have mild flavor n translucent to look at and on the inside each of them has a watery fluid- sweet n absolutely wonderful, the jelly like flesh is itself slightly sweet.
When the fruits ripen the outer fibrous portion becomes all orange and from them comes out the orange colored juice which forms the base of the Taal-Kheer. It is a tedious process to get the juice out of the orange fibers, often they are done by rubbing each seed on another or on a traditional grater. I will give you the recipe of the taal-kheer also in this post, the collected juice is simmered with grated coconut, sometimes with milk n sometimes with a touch of sugar until it becomes slightly thick like double cream and it has a beautiful orange color n amazing flavor.
The sooji caramel halwa is filled with the flavor of caramel n semolina, and it’s not overly sweet, the caramel has a slight touch of bitterness to it which only a super-taster will be able to identify, every bite of this halwa gives a enriching satisfying filling, it is soft, melts in the mouth. The caramel gives it the dark brown color and I added roasted almonds to it to add a new flavor at some bites.
If you are trying to make this dish I will suggest you make the taal-kheer a day before, it develops its flavor over time being in the fridge and also it makes the work easier for us, so after you make the halwa we are ready to serve and it will be a true labor of love, shared with family n close friends. So here is the recipe.
For The recipe: You will need
For the Semolina Halwa
I used Taal flavored oil, previously I made Taal dumplings/taal er bora in oil, I used that oil to make the halwa, it gives a background flavor of Taal in the halwa itself.
The warm halwa mixed with the cold Taal kheer, it is very hard to stop eating, in fact why do we have to stop? Gobble on. Bon appétit.