Haalbai is a unique sweet from Karnataka. Haalbai is a sweet cake derived from fat grained rice used to make idli/dosa. Haalbai is made in several households as a festival sweet or to celebrate special events.
How is Haalbai made:
Idli/dosa rice is soaked for a few hours to soften, then ground thoroughly to get batter. This rice batter is mixed with coconut milk and then added to a hot pan containing ghee and jaggery. Upon heating the batter mix thickens to form a cake. Add-ons like cardamom, elaichi may be added at this stage. Additional ghee or coconut milk added as felt necessary. Once heating is complete, the mixture is transferred to a larger plate, spread evenly and cut into cubes for serving. A piece of cashew or almond may be inserted on top of haalbai for visual effect and added taste.
Since jaggery used in Haalbai is made from natural sugars, Haalbai is safe for consumption by even those who have high sugar levels.
Where to get Haalbai:
Haalbai has a relatively shorter shelf life because of the usage of coconut milk. Hence it may not be stocked in restaurants or bakeries and is often made to order. You may take help from your local host to help locate a store where Haalbai may be available or made to order.