Halwa meaning sweet and Puri, a type of fried bread in the South Asian subcontinent. A typical Sunday brunch menu for many desis consists of a semolina sweet porridge (halwa), fried golden puffed Puris and a chickpea stew (channay) and curried potatoes (aloo). Accompany that with an array of condiments like raita (cucumber yogurt), achar (pickled spiced mango) and wash it all down with mango lassi and chai and your set for that mid afternoon food coma nap!
Whether it be for Sunday brunch, weddings or Eid this IS a Desis go-to comfort during celebrations, holidays or family reunions.
It only made sense for me to combine it into one and turn it into an annual Eid tradition for my boys. Who has the time to fry puris Eid morning or worry about all the cleanup?! This is where the 90s kid in me comes in with Pop Tarts!
Turning the everyday childhood classic pop tart filling into every Desi kids dream...HALWA! Now before you all get at me, I know you’re all wondering about that classic glaze. But because the halwa is already sweet, I chose not to over power it with a glaze. You certainly may, but imagine dipping these into Sheer Khurma Eid morning or into a bowl of spicy Chanay (chickpea stew) to balance that sweetness with some spice. Or just eating it plain on the go as you rush out the door Eid morning.
I’m a little too excited! Can you tell?! Let’s just get on with the recipe for you to try for yourself!
makes 12 to 14 pop tarts
Pulse and mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom powder in a food processor.
Now while the food processor is running, add cubes of cold butter.
Once incorporated and looks like a sand mixture add a tablespoon at a time of ice water.
Start with adding 4 and see if the dough comes together, if needed add another tablespoon if needed.
Once the dough is formed roll it out onto your work surface with some extra flour.
Split the pastry dough into two and form them into round disks.
Wrap each of them in plastic wrap and chill the dough for at least an hour.
**To ensure flakey pastry dough, make sure you use ice water and cold butter.
Roast and bring the semolina, butter and cardamom powder to a boil.
In a separate pot make a sugar syrup with water, sugar and orange color. (You may use, food gel, biryani color, knafeh color or omit it all together).
Now whisk the sugar syrup mixture carefully into the semolina mixture until it thickens.
BE CAREFUL! It will bubble up, but continue stirring until you get a porridge like consistency (about 3 to 5 mins). **Remove from heat while stirring if needed.
Set aside to completely cool.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll out your pastry dough to about an 1/4 inch thick.
Using a cookie cutter or cup, cut 3 inch round pie dough shapes.
Make sure you have an even number as you need 2 round circles for each pop tart.
I was able to cut 24 (3 inch) round shapes out of my pastry dough.
Place half the pie circles on your parchment lined baking sheet.
Scoop a tbsp of the cooled Halwa you had set aside, into half the centers of the pie circles.
Whisk your egg and water in a bowl to make an egg wash.
Brush the edges with your egg wash and place the other half of the cut pie circles on top of each one.
Now press the edges to seal with a fork.
Brush the tops of the pop tarts with more egg wash.
Now sprinkle with nuts and brush the nuts gently with egg wash to ensure they stick.
Optional: add more ground cardamom and flake salt if desired on top.
Bake in a 350’F oven for about 15 mins or until the pie dough is cooked and browned evenly.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 mins before devouring.
May freeze assembled pie doughs before baking and bake on a later day.
No need to defrost just add in the preheated oven and bake an extra 5 minutes.
Store bought dough may be used if you don't want to make your own.
If you have egg allergies you can use heavy cream in place of the egg wash.
I hope you give it a try and enjoy it as much as my family did!