Guava/ Perale or seebe (kannada) is an easy to grow nutritious fruit which is very rich in vitamins (especially high content of vitamin A, moderate level of C). It contains good amount of potassium, sodium, protein & fibre. Another important thing is, it is low in fat & sugar content. It is easily available in India and there is no doubt you will have a nice harvest in season if you have a tree in your backyard. People avoid eating these fruits when suffering from cold or throat infection.
It was the case with me this season. We got a lot of them from a tree in our garden this year. I had very bad cold & sinusitis, hence avoided eating guavas to some extent though I loved them. We shared some of them with our friends and relatives. We still had enough of ripe guavas at home. Ultimately, I tried this halwa which was in my to-do list for quite some time. It turned out to be super tasty with the attractive glossy ‘Bombay Karachi Halwa’ look, which was again a new recipe which I wanted to try!
Also, about the name Guava cheese given in title, which I heard recently. It is nothing to do with cheese. This Caribbean Christmas sweet is also known as Goan Parad made with mainly 3 ingredients Guava puree, water & sugar (little lemon juice is added). The color of dessert varies based on the variety of guava we use to make this. My recipe is with a twist to the traditional recipe with the addition of corn flour. Recommended to use well ripe guavas. The sourness depends on the quality, maturity and variety of guava used too. If guavas are not fully ripe, then the sweet turns to be bit tangy which tastes great in a way too.
Now, let us come to the recipe part. Though it calls for good amount of effort & time, it is worth trying.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes (approx.)
Serves: 20 medium pieces of halwa
Guava pulp – 1.5 cup, process will be mentioned under method
Corn flour – ½ cup
Sugar – 1¼ - 1½ cup, adjust to taste
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Milk – 1 cup
Ghee – 4-5 tbsp
Chopped dry fruits – 1-2 tbsp (optional)
Turmeric powder – a pinch (for color), I usually avoid using food colors which is highly used in making this sweet.
Preparing guava pulp:
- Select ripe guavas (4-5 in number), wash and chop roughly.
- Boil the chopped guavas with ¼- ½ cup of water till soft.
- Using a mixer/ blender puree the boiled guava. Strain using a juice strainer and discard the seeds, extract the juice/ pulp completely. You can add little water if needed while doing it.
Making of Halwa:
- Chop dry fruits & nuts. Keep aside.
- Keep cardamom powder ready.
- Mix corn flour with milk without any lump formed. Keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a thick bottomed wok (kadai).
- Pour the guava pulp prepared as above. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add sugar and allow boiling. Let it thicken and turn to single thread consistency.
- Now, add corn flour mixture stirring continuously.
- Continue stirring till a single mass of halwa formed and it starts leaving sides of the wok. Add remaining ghee as and when needed, ie, when it becomes too sticky.
- When halwa is ready is done (takes about 20-30 minutes), add turmeric powder, cardamom powder and chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly, witch off the stove.
- Transfer the halwa to a greased tray, allow a little cooling.
- Cut into desired shape. Serve the halwa.
- It is suggested to use ripe guavas.
- Mix corn flour & milk mixture directly to sugar syrup (single thread consistency) if not using guavas.
- It is important to use ghee and sugar measurement as mentioned in the ingredient. Taste & texture of halwa changes with reduced quantity of ghee & sugar.
- Halwa takes longer if sugar quantity is reduced.
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