If you have been to Kozhikode, you must have had the quintessential sweet Kozhikode Halwa! The sweet is so famous that it has become synonymous with the place. Even though Halwa is a popular dish across India and the Middle East, Kozhikode Halwa stands apart from all the varieties you would ever get elsewhere. It is believed that the art and nuances of making Halwa descended from the Turks who visited Kerala in the olden days for trading spices. The locals soon started giving it a native touch by using coconut oil, coconuts and local spices.
What makes Kozhikode Halwa so special?
Kozhikode Halwa is a jelly-like sweet made in coconut oil, flavored with fruits, nuts, and spices, and garnished with nuts and coconut. There are many varieties that come in different colors and flavors. There’s Halwa that’s made purely of coconut and coconut oil. There are yet some flavors infused with the fragrant spices and spice mix. Nuts and dried fruits are inevitable ingredients that are widely used for garnishing.
The base is usually wheat, plain flour or even tapioca. It is rigorously sautéed in liberal amounts of coconut oil, while ghee is used in other parts of India. The rich coconut flavor is one of the elements that make Kozhikode Halwa stand out from the rest. The flavoring agents are usually spices like cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg, or dry fruits or even fresh fruits like Mango or Jackfruit. They come in all colors and many relishing flavors. The sweetening agent is usually sugar, but sometimes, even jaggery is used which makes it healthier and gives it a totally different flavor. Coconut flakes and coconut milk are also liberally used in some varieties of Kozhikode halwa.
Savoring Kozhikode and Halwa
The best thing about Kozhikode halwa is that it has a great shelf life. Well-prepared halwa can last up to a month, especially the dry fruits halwa which is a specialty. Jackfruit, which is seasonal and rare to get in many parts of the world, is typically preserved as chakkavaratti or a different form of halwa which is also prepared in a similar way. For jackfruit halwa, the base remains only the jackfruit with no flour added.
While in Kozhikode, there are many amazing destinations a tourist can visit. Not to miss is the Mithai Theruvu or the Sweetmeat Street which is the busiest trading center in Kozhikode. The place teems with shops of all sorts, especially clothes, sweets, and snacks. Kozhikode is a foodie’s paradise and the SM Street makes it the best destination ever into the world of typical Kerala food! In fact, you can explore varieties of Arab, Chinese and Mughlai dishes too at SM Street. Despite this variety offered, Kozhikode Halwa still remains the number one reason for tourists to explore this popular destination.
6 must-have flavors of Kozhikode Halwa
- Dry Fruit Halwa – Infused with the goodness of dates, nuts, and fruits liberally, dry fruit halwa is one of the most popular among Kozhikode halwa.
- Tender Coconut Halwa – Taste the lovely tender coconuts of Kerala and take them home as Tender Coconut Halwa from Kozhikode.
- Banana Halwa – Banana Halwa is also quite popular in Kerala. It is usually made of ripe sweet plantain, giving it a unique Kerala touch.
- Wheat Halwa – Kozhikode’s wheat halwa tastes quite different from what you get to taste from other parts of India. Infused with coconut oil, nuts, and cardamom, this amazing flavor of Kozhikode halwa is not to be missed.
- Pineapple Halwa – This is an amazing flavor of halwa to try out in Kozhikode. The local spices and coconut oil give it a unique flavor.
- Black Halwa – The Black Halwa is the king of Kozhikode Halwa. Made with the rich dried fruits, nuts, spices and coconuts, black halwa tops list of the most popular halwa varieties from Kozhikode.