Rich and delicious, this vegan Almond Halwa or Badam Halwa will stand out at your Diwali table, and no one will be able to tell that it's completely dairy-free!
Diwali's the time of year to go a little bit over the top, particularly with food. It is time when every Indian kitchen is overrun-- but never overwhelmed-- with sweets and savory snacks of every shape, taste and hue.
This year's Diwali dawned on me pretty suddenly, as it seems to do each year, actually. Since I'm no genius in the planning-ahead department, it was only yesterday that I woke up to the fact that I needed to get at least one really special sweet ready in time for the big day.
I pondered making vegan laddu, which I love and which are a true Diwali staple, but Desi is not crazy about them. So to make our Diwali sweet something we'd both really, really want to eat-- and share-- I decided on Badam Halwa, or Almond Halwa.
Badam Halwa is a rich, luscious treat that lends itself perfectly to very special occasions....like Diwali. But like the best dishes, it is also quite foolproof and requires just five ingredients (besides the garnish). Be warned that if you're not patient and balk from some heavy-duty stirring over a hot stove for nearly an hour, this is not the sweet for you.
Lots of cooks take tons of time blanching the almonds and peeling them, but I prefer to use whole almonds, skin and all, because the skins are full of flavor and aren't they good for you? Besides why do more work when you can do less?
Traditionally Badam Halwa would include a ton of milk and a ton of ghee. I used Earth Balance vegan butter and soymilk, although any non-dairy milk would do here.
More Indian vegan sweets for Diwali
- 3 cups almonds
- 2-3 cups nondairy milk (like almond milk or oat milk)
- 4 tbsp vegan butter
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp golden raisins
- Place the almonds in a blender (if your blender isn't a powerful one, like a Vitamix, soak the almonds in water for a couple of hours first to soften them)
- Cover the almonds in the blender with enough soymilk to cover them by at least half an inch. Blend until you have a pancake-like batter. You want the almond paste to be slightly grainy, but without any big pieces.
- Melt the vegan butter in a skillet, preferably a really well-seasoned cast-iron or non-stick one.Pour the almond paste into the skillet. Add the sugar.
- Over medium-low heat, stir the paste constantly with a ladle to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.
- When the paste loses a good deal of its moisture and expresses the fat, turn off the heat. Stir in the cardamom powder. Pour into a plate or a serving dish.
- For the garnish, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the pumpkin seeds and raisins and stir until they just start to change color. Pour over the halwa.
Love this vegan Almond Halwa? Check out more Indian vegan recipes on Holy Cow Vegan!