In a large heavy bottomed pan or skillet, heat the ghee or butter.
Add the besan, and roast on low heat until the besan starts turning golden brown and releases a nutty aroma, around 5-7 minutes. The besan will be gently bubbling, and still in a liquid state.
Add the milk slowly, while continuously stirring the besan so that no lumps form. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the moisture evaporates and the halwa starts holding its shape.
Now add the sugar and cardamom powder, and stir to combine.
Keep stirring on low heat, until the halwa starts to form a ball and is no longer sticking to the sides of the pot.
Transfer to a serving dish, and top with the nuts.
Ghee/Clarified Butter: A crucial ingredient used in traditional mithai and desserts. You can however substitue with butter, and it will still taste fabulous. I would not recommend using oil for this recipe, as the flavor won't be as good.
Chickpea flour: Also known as besan or gram flour, this is the key ingredient here. It's available in most big grocery stores, and is easy to find.
Milk: Full cream milk is best for this recipe, as it gives a richer flavor to the halwa.
Sugar: I use white granulated sugar and find that it gives the best result. You can also use jaggery or brown sugar instead.
Cardamom: For this recipe I used cardamom pods which I roughly crushed to impart their flavor. You can easily substitute with 1/4 teaspoon of cardamom powder.
Pistachios: I love pistachios so that's what I used but you can top with your favorite nuts such as almonds or cashew nuts. Even walnuts would pair deliciously with this halwa.
Important Tips to Follow:
Cook on Low: While making this recipe, keep the heat low at ALL TIMES. Chickpea flour can go from a beautiful roasted golden brown to burned very quickly. So it's best to make the entire recipe on low heat.
Roasting the Besan: This is key to developing that professional halwa/mithai flavor, and if you don't roast the besan enough, it just won't taste as good.
Add the Milk Gradually: When adding the milk, pour it in slowly and keep stirring, to avoid creating lumps.
Pay Attention to the Texture: The texture of this halwa changes several times during the cooking process, so it's importatnt to always be attentive and keep stirring at all times.