Anyone who has been to a Hare Krishna temple for the Sunday Feast is certainly familiar with this tasty, fragrant Indian sweet. Let’s not confuse it with Middle Eastern halvah, which is also super tasty, but is rather different taste and texture. Indian halva is traditionally made with ghee or butter — however we can make a delicious vegan halva with good margarine. Oil works too, but it lacks the richer flavor. I love to round out a nice Indian thali with this treat served in a little metal bowl, like in the photo above.
This recipe is a variation on one of the most classic cookies, the legendary Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. The oats always make me believe I’m eating something more wholesome and it’s still a treat! The cranberries lend a fruity tartness and the mix of walnuts and ground hazelnut amplify the nut taste. You could replace the cranberries with more raisins, or the raisins with more cranberries, or both with more nuts, as you like. Add some ground flax or hemp seeds if you’re feeling extra earth-crunchy. Unlike most baking recipes, this one is fairly hard to mess up. Hmm… Maybe that’s why I like it so much.