Haalbai is one of the traditional, age-old, Indian Sweets made from a combination of Coconut, Raagi, or wheat flour and jaggery. Earlier making this delicious Indian Sweet was a tedious process as grinding stone was the only option available with which it could be prepared. In fact, most Indian sweets require a lot of effort like grinding, kneading, and so on. With the invention of mixer preparing these Indian sweets has become easier and so also Haalbai.
Though this is available in some specific eateries, they lack the softness that the authentic Haalbai should have. Here I am giving the recipe for this dish, in simple, easy steps. Once you taste, this I am sure you will become fan of this dish. I have evolved the easy method of making this, as this is one of my most favorite dishes.
Coming to the health point, it is much better than the chocolate and cake which is loaded with sugar and fat content. The use of Raagi makes it fiber-rich and also jaggery used is better than sugar comparatively. Coconut is a healthy ingredient that has many benefits.
- 5 cups fresh Coconut – Grated
- 1 cup Ragi flour
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 3 cups jaggery
- Dry fruits cut into small pieces
- Cardamom powder
Preparation of this traditional Indian Sweet – Haalbai
First mix grated coconut, ragi flour, and wheat flour using water to the consistency of Dosa batter keep it aside for about an hour. Now grind this well in a mixer and extract the milk using a sieve. You can repeat the process using warm water so that milk is extracted completely.
Soak jaggery in little water and boil it. Strain it to remove dust if any, and add to the milk extracted and mix well. Put the mixture in a thick bottomed vessel, preferably a cooker, and put it on high flame. Initially, you have to keep stirring continuously till it starts boiling.
As it starts boiling the liquid starts getting thick. Now reduce the flame to a minimum and you can stir it once in 5 minutes. Do not forget to stir thoroughly once in 4-5 minutes otherwise, it sticks to the bottom and gets burnt.
It takes about an hour or so to get cooked. Once the content starts becoming thicker, stirring should be done continuously. Now is the time to add dry fruits of your choice fried in ghee. Dry fruits are optional, some people like to relish it plain.
When the liquid starts solidifying, the stirring marks start remaining for a few seconds which suggests that it is almost done. For the first-timers, I suggest to put a few drops of this on a plate, cool it, and check whether it solidifies. On cooling, if it gets cut without sticking to the knife, it indicates that it is done. Now pour the contents to a greased plate and allow it to cool.
When cool cut it into the required size and shape. Now soft and yummy Haalbai, the best Indian Sweet, in my opinion, is ready to relish. It can be relished at room temperature or you can refrigerate it and enjoy.
From my experience
- You can use only Ragi flour which enhances the taste, but the color will be on the darker side.
- Dry fruits are optional as per your choice.
- No need to add ghee to this except for frying dry fruits and greasing the plate
- Haalbai has a shelf life of 1-2 days, but can be stored in the refrigerator for long.