Radhe Radhe !
Arrowroot is an easily digested starch extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant, Maranta arundinacea. The starch is used as a thickener in many foods such as puddings and sauces, and is also used in cookies and other baked goods. Arrowroot is extremely bland, making it suitable for neutral diets, especially for people who are feeling nauseous. It is not terribly nutritious, but it helps to soothe upset stomachs. If you ever suffer from loose motions, just mix a fistful of arrowroot powder to plain water, and gulp it down. Within minutes you will be alright. This is the reason many health food stores carry arrowroot cookies.
Now, let's make the famous Bombay Halwa. Although the sweetmakers use maida in this recipe, we shall cut out maida altogether. Why ? Because we are allowed to have arrowroot in Ekadashi, and if we add maida (refined flour), we cannot offer it to our Beloveds. Now this is an exotic dish to offer on fasting days. So why spoil it by adding maida ?
If you mix food color, it will look like this. If you wish to avoid color, it will look off-white. however the color will make no difference in the taste. So it is up to you.
Now here goes the recipe -
250 grams arrowroot powder
1 kilo sugar
1/2-cup cashew-nut pieces,
red food color
1/2 lemon juice
350 grams ghee
3/4 liter water
rose extract (or vanilla extract).
1. Mix arrowroot with water to form thin batter. Keep aside for eight hours.
2. Now, add the entire sugar in 3/4 liter of water.
3.allow the mixture to boil while stirring constantly till the mixture forms a thick syrup. (one-string consistency).
4. Add lemon juice to the sugar syrup to prevent the crystallization of the syrup.
5. Now, pour the liquefied arrowroot in a non-stick fry pan placed over a very low flame.
6. Start adding one teaspoon of ghee at a time to the Bombay halwa mixture, alternating it with a teaspoon of the sugar syrup, till both the ingredients are reduced to half their actual quantities.
7. Next, add a pinch of the food color followed by sprinkles of the sliced dry fruits and stir the Bombay halwa mixture till evenly combined.
8. Continue adding ghee and syrup exactly in the same fashion you did a while ago and do so until they are completely used up.
9. Add the remaining assorted nuts in the dessert and mix well. Also add the rose essence to it.
10. When the mixture has simmered to a translucent mass and has begun retreating from the walls of the non-stick pan, it’s time for you to get a plate and get ready to pour the mixture on it (Tip: The more you cook it at this stage the more it becomes elastic, so cook it to your desired consistency).
11. First, grease the plate and then, pour the wonderful smelling Bombay halwa onto the plate and allow it to cool down at room temperature.
12. Finally, after an hour cut the halwa into squares, offer to your Beloveds. After removing the prasadam, bite into one square to get a magical mouth feel of the chewy and nutty Indian dessert you just brought to life with your culinary skills! (Tip: Store the Bombay halwa squares wrapped in butter paper in a sealed container)