- 150gm flour
- 43gm cornflour
- 4 cups of water
- 200gm sugar
- 57gm rock sugar
- 114 gm ghee
- Banana leaves for spreading the hot mixture into the mould and storing it later .
- A few drops of yellow colouring (optional)
- A tablespoon of rose water
- A tablespoonful each of raisins, julienne almond, green and red cherries (cut into little pieces that have been mixed well)
1. Add a bit of water to the flour until it forms a ball of dough. Knead until it is soft. Add more water until it turns into an elastic texture. This is the gluten which can be fried and added to stir-fry dishes as a tofu substitute.
Filter the remaining liquid and store for three days and three nights. Let the flour settle at the bottom of the container . Change the water every morning and evening. Mix water , flour and cornflour and stir over low heat.
Take extra care to scrape the sides of the pot to ensure the liquid is mixed well until it is bubbly but do not allow it to boil.
2. Add sugar and rock sugar , using the metal spatula to stir and fold the mixture, continually turning it over from the bottom to the top of the pot. It is important to do this to avoid lumps, curdling or burning. The mixture will then gradually thicken.
3. When it becomes bubbly, lower the heat, add ghee and the rose water . Add colouring drop by drop to control the colour . Continue to stir using the folding technique until the thick liquid turns into a ball.
4. Take the pot off the heat. Continue folding, then add the almonds, cherries and raisins to the halwa.
5. Pour the hot mixture onto trays and spread it using banana leaves until it is even and smooth. Let it cool completely for about four to five hours before covering it with banana leaves and wrapping it with cling film. Store at room temperature away from sunlight. Do not freeze or chill. Halwa maskat can last up to 10 days.
There are several types of halwa maskat but the ones made locally are usually flavoured by raisins, almonds and cashew nuts.
Connoisseurs can tell the good ones apart by their translucent texture and glassy surface.
Technique and method is of paramount importance. A flat wooden spatula is initially used for stirring when the mixture is still very light. After it thickens, change to a metal spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the deep pot (Ann uses her trusted gerinsing, a brass pot which helps give the halwa maskat its deep yellow colour).
- By Siti Nurbaiyah Nadzmi