Heat butter or ghee on Saute mode. Reserve 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds for garnish and add the rest in. Add almond flour and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add sugar to the almond mix and stir well.
Heat milk, water and saffron in the microwave for 3 minutes. (You can also heat this on the stove-top). Add the warmed saffron milk along with ground cardamom to the pot, and whisk well to prevent any lumps.
Cancel Saute and close the lid. Set the vent to 'sealing' mode and pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
After the cooking time, manually release the pressure and open the lid once the pin drops. Turn on Saute. Simmer the halwa to cook off the liquid. Stir at regular intervals to prevent burning. (For this quantity, it takes anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the size of your Instant Pot. A larger surface area will help reduce the halwa faster.)
Cancel Saute when the halwa stops sticking to the pot and reaches a desired pudding like consistency. To check for doneness, take a tiny portion of the halwa in a spoon, cool for a minute, then gently roll it with your finger. If you're able to form a tiny ball, it's done. If it sticks to the spoon, simmer it for a few more minutes. Do keep in mind that it continues to thicken as it cools. Garnish with the reserved slivered almonds and serve warm! Enjoy!
For best results pick blanched almond flour meal to avoid getting the brown specs of peel in the halwa.
Fresh cardamom is always the best choice for Indian sweets. Peel 3 to 4 green cardamom pods and crush them in a mortar or pestle or coffee grinder.
Pick a good quality saffron for the most amazing floral aroma and a deep yellow color. Buy the smallest quantity you can find at your local international store or online, as you only need a tiny amount in this recipe. Store the remaining in any dark, cool place.
To check for doneness, take a tiny portion of the halwa in a spoon and let it cool for a minute. Then, gently roll it with your finger. If you're able to form a tiny ball, it's done. If it continues to stick to the spoon, simmer it for a few more minutes.
This recipe makes a rich and decadent halwa. But feel free to customize the ghee quantity to your desired level of richness, adding 1 tablespoon at a time.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates. If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.