Making halwa is an ancient tradition passed down through generations, and you can make various types of halwa with different ingredients. Let us look at the most famous Indian halwa recipes.
Meaning of Halwa
The Arabic word “Halawa” (حلاوة) means ‘sweetness,’ while “halwa” (حلوى) means ‘sweets’ or ‘candy.’ The Hebrew word “halva” actually means “sweet” or “dessert.”
There is no equivalent of halwa or sooji halwa in English. The closest dish would be pudding.
Types of Halwa
Sooji Ka Halwa
The most common halwa is made with wheat semolina and clarified butter (ghee). This type of halwa is usually roasted with ghee, boiled in milk, and added sugar. You can garnish it with dry fruits or nuts, and it will often go by other names such as ‘sheera,’ ‘prasadam,’ or ‘rava kesari’.
Saffron strands may also be added for a color and flavor boost to this wheat semolina halwa when it goes by the name ‘rava kesari’.
Halwa made with nuts is a wide variety of halwa enjoyed worldwide. To make this halwa, nuts are soaked, wet ground, and then fried in clarified butter before adding sugar. The mixture is left to simmer until it has formed a lump. This type of halwa can be made using cashew nuts, almonds, and other nuts.
Kaju (cashew nut) halwa and badam (almond) halwa are two common varieties of this recipe. Making these delicious treats takes time and patience, but the result is well worth it!
Halwas made with vegetables are savory treats that bring a unique twist to the traditional halwa. To make them, the scrapings of vegetables such as carrots, ash gourd, bottle gourd, red pumpkin, or beetroot are roasted in clarified butter. Afterward, milk, sugar, and khoya are added before stirring and cooking until a lump is formed.
Carrot halwa and pitha (ash gourd) halwa are two popular types of vegetable halwa that you can enjoy along with other accompaniments. The textures and flavors they offer genuinely stand out among other desserts!
Combination halwa is a unique variety of halwa that combine semolina with various fruits, such as bananas.
One famous example of a combination halwa is banana sheera. The result is a delicious and irresistible dessert that you can enjoy, both hot and cold!
Halwa made with wheat malt is an intricate process often not done at home. Instead, big food-producing firms are the ones who typically make it in large batches. Wheat is soaked for 24 hours, then ground into a wet base. Afterward, the husks and fiber are removed and boiled on a low flame while stirring continuously until a lump forms. Sugar, clarified butter, and dry fruits are added to complete the recipe.
this halwa is made with jaggery instead of sugar. One such region famous for its wheat malt halwa is Madugula near Visakhapatnam in India, though you can also find it in various other places around the country.
Suji Ka Halwa or Sooji Ka Halwa
In India, the most popular variety of halwa is the easy-to-make sooji halwa, also known as rava sheera in the western states and rava kesari in the south. Semolina is also known as suji, sooji, or rava.
Sooji ka halwa is an easy dessert that any mom can quickly prepare within 15 minutes. It makes a delicious sweet treat, perfect for satisfying cravings.
Halwa is also prepared as an offering (prasad) for various festivals.
Suji ka halwa is a dessert made with fine semolina, sugar, ghee, and nuts and flavored with ground cardamom.
What Is Semolina?
Durum wheat is a species of wheat that is the second most grown after bread wheat. Semolina is a type of flour made from durum wheat.
Durum wheat is usually sown in spring and reaped in fall, and it thrives in hot and arid conditions found in the areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. In India, durum wheat is grown in Madhya Pradesh, with an output of approximately 1.0-1.2 million tons.
One way to distinguish semolina from traditional flour is its coarser texture and potentially darker, more golden color. Its aroma may also be more earthy.
Semolina is usually found in your regular grocery store, specifically next to the all-purpose flour. If you want to prepare halwa, use the finer sooji you can buy.
Variations Of Durum Flour In India
- Atta is the flour produced from grinding whole wheat grains using a traditional chakki, and it is used to make chappatis in North India.
- To create sooji (semolina), a coarse-textured wheat product you can feel between the fingers, the inner white material of wheat called endosperm is sifted through a sieve to ensure a consistent size. This process requires removing the bran.
- If you continue to grind sooji, the particles will become smaller and smaller until they are very fine and cannot be felt between your fingers. This is what maida is made of.
Some options for halwa include using yellow gram semolina to make moong dal halwa, wheat flour to make atta halwa, and Bengal gram flour to make besan halwa.
Halwa Recipe and Tips
Here are some halwa recipes you can try at home. Making halwa is incredibly easy. Making sooji halwa is the easiest, but you can perfect your skills with the essential ingredients at home.
Tip For Cook Mode
Have you heard you can use your phone or tablet for cooking without making a mess? Open the recipe card and use the Hey Google or Alexa assistant to guide you through the cooking process. You can ask for ingredients, steps, or pictures. Additionally, the cook mode will prevent your screen from going dark. It’s as easy as pie!
Sooji Halwa Recipe
Sooji Halwa is a tasty Indian treat crafted using semolina, ghee, and jaggery instead of sugar. It’s a guilt-free dessert, making it an excellent option for anyone wanting to satisfy their sweet tooth while staying healthy. You need basic cooking skills to prepare this suji halwa.
Ingredients For Sooji Ka Halwa
To make this semolina halwa, use 120 grams of semolina, 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of ghee, 50 grams of jaggery powder or coconut sugar, and hot water (double the amount of suji).
Include five chopped cashews, three sliced almonds slightly roasted in ghee, a handful of raisins, and two cardamom pods for making sooji ka halwa.
Preparation Of Sooji Ka Halwa
First, place the suji on low heat and dry roast it until it changes color.
Remember to stir the suji constantly to prevent it from burning.
If you prefer, you can also buy pre-roasted suji from a store to save time. If you make it at home,
be careful the roasted rava or sooji doesn’t burn.
Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and add suji to it. Mix well the sooji halwa.
Meanwhile, boil two cups of water.
Add raisins, jaggery, cardamoms, roasted cashews, and chopped almonds to the sooji halwa. Then, pour hot water and mix everything well on low heat till you attain the desired consistency.
Serve sooji halwa as an evening snack. The delicious taste of crunchy nuts makes it the best after-meal dessert.
Exciting Facts About Cardamom Powder
Cardamom powder is a popular spice used in food recipes for its sweetness and aroma. In addition to its culinary uses, it also has numerous health benefits that everyone should be aware of.
Cardamom powder helps with low blood pressure levels, acting like medication for hypertension patients. It is also a powerful antioxidant that efficiently cleanses the body of toxins.
Moreover, its anti-bacterial quality makes it a great immune booster that can help with colds and coughs. Furthermore, cardamom powder’s germicide properties kill bacteria in the mouth and work as a breath freshener. It is also efficient with respiratory issues such as bronchitis, asthma, or wheezing. For those concerned about their cardiovascular health, cardamom powder acts as an antioxidant that keeps hearts strong and healthy.
Gajar ka Halwa Recipe
Gajar ka Halwa is an Indian sweet dish from India made with grated carrots, milk, sugar, ghee, and a touch of cardamom powder.
Gajar ka halwa is typically prepared in the winter season using the red carrots that are readily available during this time. Carrot halwa is a commonly selected dish for many Indian weddings and other special events.
Gajar Halwa Preparation
This original recipe perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors with a mouthwatering aroma.
Begin by heating half a cup of ghee in a large pan over medium heat. After that, add in one kilogram of grated carrots and stir for about five to seven minutes until the carrots become soft.
After the carrots have become soft, gradually add one liter of whole milk while continuously stirring. Let the mixture cook over medium heat for around 20-25 minutes, occasionally stirring until the milk thickens and gets absorbed.
The recipe calls for one cup of sugar and one teaspoon of cardamom powder. Keep stirring the mixture constantly until the sugar dissolves completely. Keep cooking for 10-15 minutes until the mixture turns golden brown and comes off from the pan’s sides.
Add chopped nuts like almonds or pistachios to complete the dish as a garnish. Serve the Gajar ka Halwa warm and savor it.
This recipe yields a generous amount that you can customize to your liking. You can enjoy gajar halwa guilt-free because it doesn’t require a lot of butter or ghee and doesn’t involve frying.
Additionally, you can prepare carrot halwa and store it in the refrigerator for over a week.
Moong Dal Halwa Recipe
This recipe provides a simple and delicious way to make a traditional Indian dessert called Moong Dal Halwa, which has various versions.
To make this dessert, you will need 250 grams of moong dal without skin, 250 grams of ghee (ghee should always be the same amount or more, but never less), 250 grams of sugar, 250 grams of milk, 1/2 tablespoon elaichi powder, and roasted dry fruits/nuts.
To prepare this recipe, skip the step of soaking the dal. Instead, use a pan or kadhai to roast the dal over a low-medium flame until it develops a fragrant and roasted brown color. After removing it from the heat, allow it to cool and coarsely powder it. Heat the ghee in the same pan or kadhai you used before, then add the powdered dal and mix it until the ghee separates. This may take some time, so patience is essential. After cooking the dal, add sugar according to your taste. While fine powder sugar is recommended, you can use any sugar you prefer.
After the sugar has melted, gradually pour the warm milk into the mixture while stirring vigorously to achieve a smooth and thick consistency for the halwa. Lastly, add cardamom and dried fruits before serving the dessert while it is still warm.
Indian Halwa is a traditional sweet treat passed down through generations. It is made from various ingredients, including wheat semolina, nuts, vegetables, and fruits. Sooji ka halwa is the most common type, made with wheat semolina and clarified butter (ghee).
There are many more delicious recipes here you can try at home with essential ingredients. Share them with friends and family on special occasions, or enjoy a cozy evening at home with a bowl of homemade halwa.