My first mithai love. Tapioca starch halwa studded with almonds and scented with rose, saffron and cardamom. This Kenyan-style halwa is traditionally wrapped in paper and sold by the log. Warm it up for a delicious, stretchy, jelly-like halwa. It's so fun to eat!
50gblanched almonds see video for how to blanch almonds
Orange and red food colours
Place tapioca starch in a large bowl. Gradually add 500ml cold water and whisk until you have a smooth, flowing mixture. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Melt the ghee in a pan. Add saffron, rosewater, ground cardamom seeds and food colours.
Place the sugar in a large, heavy-based non-stick pan. Add 400ml water, switch the heat on and stir until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the tapioca starch mixture once more. Once the sugar mixture comes to a boil, pour in the tapioca starch mixture.
Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring all the time. The mixture will begin to thicken and turn translucent in some parts. Keep stirring and cooking.
After about 10 minutes it will thicken into a glossy paste. It'll look a bit like gloopy wallpaper paste. Once it reaches this stage, add a ladleful of the warm ghee mixture and stir well. Continue to stir and cook, adding the ghee mixture in small increments every 2-3 minutes, until all of it is used up.
The mixture will begin to bubble up in places and thicken significantly. It will turn from pasty, to jelly-like as you cook. The whole process will take about 30 minutes. Towards the end of the cooking time, the halwa mixture will form an elastic, slow-moving goo-like consistency! It should look shiny and translucent. The colour should be a deep orange-red tone. Add more food colour if you need to. Once the halwa pulls away from the sides of the pan in a mass like this, it's ready. Watch my video tutorial to see all the stages and consistency you're looking for.
Add the blanched almonds and stir to embed the almonds into the halwa. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then place the halwa on a very large piece of cling film.
Shape the still-elastic halwa into a thick log, about 20-25cm wide. Use gloves if you find it still too hot to touch. Tightly wrap the halwa in the cling film. Scrunch the ends up to form a Christmas cracker shape and twist to tighten. Now wrap the log in newspaper or brown paper. Allow to cool completely at room temperature and serve. You can refrigerate this halwa log for up to a month.
You can also turn the halwa out onto a greased tray and flatten slightly. Cut into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
This Malindi Halwa will keep well in the fridge (wrapped) for 1 month. Do not freeze.
To re-heat the halwa, place a slice on a plate and microwave for 15 seconds. It'll heat up really quickly so keep an eye on it and make sure it's cooled down a little before you eat it.