I can think of any form of cooked gooseberry and drool. Come season we will have pickled ones, some in brine, some wholes in spiced water, some in curds and sometimes grated and pickled. However, the whole gooseberries in sugar syrup did not have to be in season. My father always purchased them as he knew all of us love them. I used to find gooseberries through many months in Lulu hypermarket in Bahrain irrespective of the season. I made thokku to fill a 1ltr london Dairy icecream tub and it was consumed quickly by Niki and me! That was when I wanted to try sweetened thokku...sweet and hence halwa should be apt.
The recipe is quick, as I cooked it in the microwave, uses just about four ingredients and if cooked a little longer, hardens like a rollable ball then you may have amla laddoo:), as you may find in the picture.
I have used about 12 fairly large gooseberries that were not very sour. The fact that they were so less sour tempted me to use them with sugar. The otherwise insipid taste was equalled with the sugar. Just for flavour I have used cardamom too.
12 large size Indian gooseberries
1/2 cup very hot water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water for the sugar1 tablespoon ghee for the halwa
1 teaspoon ghee- just to line the utensil
2 pods of cardamoms crused coarsely
Wash the gooseberries and pat them dry. Drop them in the hot water and keep them in for two minutes. Remove from the water and grate them. Alternately you may crush the pulp and remove the stone.
In a microwave proof bowl, grease the walls with ghee/oil. Add the sugar to the water for the syrup. Cook on micro power high for 4 minutes. Stir and check the consistency. If a thread can be drawn between the thumb and forefinger, the syrup is ready. If not keep for a further minute or two.
Add the grated fruit, stir and return to the microwave. Cook on medium high without covering for 3 minutes initially. The addition of fruit will dilute the syrup and the goose berry pulp will cook in this.
Allow to stand two minutes.
Remove and check if they have blended well and the fruit is cooked while still crunchy.
Add the ghee and crushed cardamom and mix well. If the consistency is thin, you may cook for another 1/2 a minute. However, when cool the halwa will hold.
Nivedita is calling for as many halwas as possible and I hope mine makes it to her list celebrating sweets with Halwa.