Of Apples & Apple-thieves…Microwave Apple-Paneer Halwa

I know this person, who when she’s bored, dons her apron and is off to try something new in the kitchen. Do you know who that person is? You guessed right…It is very much yours truly!!

Talking of how I love to experiment in the kitchen…one rainy and boring afternoon, I set out to try something new with a combo that has two of my favourites – Apples & Paneer. Apples always make me go weak in the knees, and so does paneer. So when I had a chance to pair the two,  I couldn’t resist myself! Before we dive head-long into the recipe, let me tell you a little story – Once upon a time, when I was little girl…whenever Apple was brought home, I would make them disappear in a trice, even before anyone else could register their presence and think of having them. Amma would realise they’d disappeared only after meal-time when she or dad would sit down to cut some fruits, and the fruit basket would be empty, thanks to me. Its only then that she’d be able to explain the lack of my appetite during meal-time! Owing to this habit, I would get reprimanded very often during Apple season, for being selfish and greedy, and I would be found sulking in my room afterward, but I’d still be secretly gloating from the pleasure of eating all those rosy-cheeked apples. Boy I was mean! It’s only once I got a little older that I realised how important it is to share and there has been no looking back ever since. Even today, Amma fondly calls me ‘Apple Kalli’ (meaning ‘Apple thief’) when she gets the chance! 😛

Ingredients:

  • Apples – 2 nos (de-skinned, cored and grated. Add 2 tbsps of milk to the grated apples to prevent them from browning, but don’t overdo it since the milk will curdle from the rancid apples)
  • Paneer/Chenna – from 1 litre milk (see how to).
  • Maida – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – to taste (I eye-balled the amount of sugar I used, so please use your judgement while adding to yours. Don’t forget that apples are already sweet, so you’d require lesser sugar than usual)
  • Kesar/Saffron – a few strands; soaked in warm milk
  • Elaichi/Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Pistachio flakes – 2-3 tbsps
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp (to grease the mould if using, else to grease the kitchen platform to roll out your halwa on)

This proportion makes about 12 nos 2-inch round fluted halwa pieces.

Note: I have used a heirloom 2-inch round fluted mould (my grand-mom’s) to set my halwa in. If you have something similar you could use it, else just roll out on your clean kitchen platform and cut into desired shape once set.

Procedure:

  • Make the chenna/paneer (see how to).
  • Once the chenna is ready, place it on a clean, working surface. Add 2 tbsps maida and knead well (about 10-15 minutes) till the chenna has no more lumps and is smooth textured. (You could choose to knead by hand or if you own a food processor, you could get it to knead it for you. I prefer doing it by hand though. Take your pick).
  • While you are at the chenna, put the grated apples and sugar in a thick-bottomed pan and let it cook on a low flame.
  • Add the saffron strands and cardamom powder to the apples. Stir well.
  • The Apples will turn slightly brown as they cook. Let it do its job. Once softly cooked (pinch between forefinger and thumb to check done-ness), transfer to a wide plate and let it cool under the fan.
  • Once the chenna has been kneaded and the apple has cooked and cooled, mix them both together in a bowl.
  • Return this mixture to the heavy-bottomed pan, and cook on a low flame for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously. It is very important to do this on a low flame, else the chenna will turn brown and harden in no time.
  • Remove from flame and add the remaining maida and knead well to incorporate.
  • Now put this mixture in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. (My MW sets to 900W at high, so please do the math if your’s sets to a lesser wattage at high).
  • Remove from the microwave and let it cool for a half-minute, else you’re going to scald your fingers if you start to work with it right away.
  • Grease your mould (if using one) with a little ghee, put a small quantity of the readied mixture, press hard to make the impression of the mould, and delicately remove. Set on a clean plate.
  • If you aren’t using a mould like me, then grease your clean kitchen platform, and roll out the halwa mixture to a 1/2-inch thickness. Let it sit for a half minute and then cut into desired shape.
  • Make a depression in the centre of each halwa piece with your forefinger, and stuff it with pistachio flakes…makes it look like a pretty flower.
  • Serve warm (if you like it that way) or let it come to room temperature and then serve. I made my halwa moderately sweet and we thoroughly enjoyed it!

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26 responses to “Of Apples & Apple-thieves…Microwave Apple-Paneer Halwa

  1. Love this halwa. How delicious they look and a very pleasing color too. Your favorite color, yes?

  2. Hey, loved the pics and I’m sure they must’ve tasted yummy!!

  3. Aaaww Madhuri!! Am on a diet girl, and you seriously tempt me to eat this off the monitor :). This is an extremely innovative recipe I must say. And the halwa looks so very pretty!! Am coming over for some of this once am off my diet 😀

  4. Oh man, that luks fab’ sucha wonderful dessert’ interesting-new combo’…worth experimenting 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  5. Somebody is on a paneer spree. Love these clicks. Rub on me some of your experimenting-in-the-kitchen-when-bored spirit!

  6. Woooooooooooowwwwwwwwww…this is now probably the best among all your best! Love Love Love the idea – how creative..

    This looks like heaven and I really want to have one right now – I’m sure going to be trying this sometime soon. Your apple thief story is funny – mine was always chocolate – my mom used to tell me not to go with anyone who offers me chocolate – she was always worried I’ll be kidnapped with chocolate – I think you could have been kidnapped with a basket full of red delicious apples!

  7. Apple n paneer wat a lovely combination looks yummy

  8. Wow halwa sounds very interesting, unique and very creative..cute presentation..

  9. Wow Madhuri, How creative. Beautiful looking pics, simply tempting. Never even heard of this, I am bookmarking and definitely making it one day !!! 🙂

  10. Oh this looks gorgeous! The apple paneer is surely an uncommon combination. From the look of it, I can’t stop drooling over them! Ur pics have come out so well. Love the first one with a contrast background!

  11. Looks Yummy, Nice presentation. It can make anyone hungry 🙂

  12. What a unique combo!Looks bewitching 🙂

  13. Beautiful clicks..Interesting combo ! And sigh !! I miss being there 😦 Will try it for sure !

  14. Interesting recipe..and looks so gorgeous..

  15. Recipe sounds very interesting!! Pictures look fabulous!!

  16. Hi Madhuri

    this combination of Apple and Panneer turned out to be great. Also many congrats for exposing the plagiarism of my namesake Deepa’s ( Foodlyrics) blog. You are a true friend.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

  17. creativity at its peak i must say..what a combo!!
    http://forkbootsandapalette.wordpress.com

  18. Hey Mads how are you. It is really long since I stopped by your space. Just like you I wear my cooking hat whenever i feel bored. Last 2 weeks I was on completely on cooking spree..
    Halwa looks insane and am wondering where the paneer disappeared.. This will make a perfect get together dessert. Quickly glanced through your other posts too, love the Rasamalai, I am bookmarking it.

  19. Hi Madhuri,
    You have a wonderful blog…pics are awesome and mouthwatering..I really enjoyed going through your recipes..Keep up the good work n Best wishes to your blog 🙂
    I received your comment..Thank you very much for letting me know about the facebook content..I will surely look into that matter..thanks again..

    regards
    Chakali
    http://chakali.blogspot.com

  20. Hey Madz..this looks so awesome..very unusual combination..too good..love the clicks.

  21. Very creative and looks like a million $$…awesome halwa!!

  22. Looks so delicious…Nice color and shape.

  23. Oh this is yummyyyyyyy halwa, and very nice presentation :))

  24. Wow! Such a wonderful looking halwa! Very innovative too…. love it! Am soo tempted to try it out……..

  25. delicious halwa madhuri!! Loved the combo of apple n paneer

  26. Innovative halwa recipe Madhuri…loved all the pics! why don’t you send it to Nivedita Thadani’s event~Halwa…

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