Sep 28, 2019, Updated Oct 21, 2019
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Traditional Indian dessert, Sooji Halwa is a pudding made from semolina (sooji).
Ghee, sugar and sooji are the three main ingredients required to make this easy dessert!
I have realized that I haven’t shared some very basic Indian recipes on the blog.
Like so far, I had not shared the recipe for Sooji Halwa (Suji Halwa)! I mean can there be any simpler (and easier) Indian dessert?
Growing up, there were 2 desserts that mom made on a regular basis- one was halwa and the other was kheer.
While halwa is a broad term used for pudding like desserts in India, the most common halwa that mom made were sooji halwa and aate ka halwa (made from wheat flour).
Sooji ka halwa was made in home whenever we wanted to have something sweet. It was an easy dessert which mom could whip up in 15 minutes and hence it was her go to dessert for sweet cravings.
The halwa was also made as prasad (offering) for various festivals. I remember eating bowls of sooji halwa during Navratri!
What is Sooji Halwa
It’s a pudding made with sooji (semolina), ghee (clarified butter) , sugar and water.
Everything else is optional.
Like, I have added some milk but you can very well use 100% water.
Milk makes the halwa more creamy and so I prefer using 50% milk and 50% water.
I have slightly flavored the halwa with cardamom and nuts.
Again you can skip both if you want, totally optional.
My mom’s everyday sooji halwa (or suji halwa) never had nuts in it. She didn’t even add cardamom powder.
How to Make Best Sooji Halwa
It’s just a simple dessert but here are few things you need to keep in mind while making sooji halwa.
Getting the ratio right: back home, I have often heard this from people that for making the best sooji halwa, use same amount of ghee, sugar and sooji and double the water.
Now that might seem like a lot of ghee but it does really make the best halwa.
For this recipe, I do use same amount (1/2 cup) of ghee and sooji. I slightly cut down on the sugar and use 1/3 cup.
You can very well 1/2 cup so then it will be 1/2 cup of each ingredient.
I use 3 times the water since I like my halwa more on the softer side. And I don’t do 100% water but rather 50% milk and 50% water for a creamier halwa.
Roast the sooji until fragrant: the most important step! If you don’t roast the sooji properly, the halwa will have raw taste.
I don’t like to brown my sooji for the halwa. So I roast it on low heat, stirring continuously until it’s nice and fragrant.
It takes around 8 to 9 minutes for it to roast on low heat.
Be careful while adding the liquid: when you add hot liquid (water and milk in this case) to the hot pan of roasted sooji, it bubbles up like crazy. So be very careful!
Add slowly and carefully else you will burn yourself.
It’s also a good idea to use a pan with a long handle to heat up the milk, sugar and water mixture.
That makes it easier to pour the hot liquids into the sooji.
Stir constantly to avoid forming lumps: to make sure your halwa is smooth, stir continuously as you add the liquids.
If you don’t do that, it will form lumps and won’t have the creamy texture.
This sooji halwa is lightly sweetened. Increase the quantity of sugar for a sweeter halwa.
1- To a pan, add sugar, water and milk. Stir and let it heat up on medium heat. You don’t want to boil it but mixture should be heated through and sugar should be dissolved.
2- While the milk-water heats up, put a pan on medium heat and add ghee to it. Let the ghee melt.
3- Then add sooji to the pan and stir.
4- Add in the broken cashews and stir.
5 – Stirring continuously, roast the sooji on low-medium heat
6- Add cardamom powder and continue to stir.
7- Stir for around 8 to 9 minutes on low-medium heat. As soon as sooji is fragrant and beginning to change color, that it the time to add the liquid.
I don’t like to brown my sooji, if you want darker color halwa, roast couple more minutes.
8- Add the heated milk-water-sugar-mixture into the pan. It will bubble a lot as you add the liquids into the pan so be careful and add slowly.
9- Whisk the sooji continuously as you add the liquids.
10- Add the liquids in 2-3 parts, whisking continuously with one hand.
11- Keep stirring, sooji will begin to absorb the liquid and thicken up.
12- Stir for 2 minutes more until the halwa thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.
Garnish with more cashews and serve sooji halwa warm!
- 1/3 cup sugar 75 grams, or use 1/2 cup (100 grams) for a sweeter halwa
- 3/4 cup water 6 oz/180 ml
- 3/4 cup milk 6 oz/ 180 ml
- 1/3 cup ghee 75 grams, in semi-solid state, use 1/4 cup ghee if you prefer less ghee in your halwa
- 1/2 cup sooji (semolina) 90 grams, use fine sooji
- 10 whole cashew nuts broken into small pieces
- 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder
- To a pan, add sugar, water and milk. Stir and let it heat up on medium heat. You don't want to boil it but mixture should be heated through and sugar should be dissolved.
- While the milk-water heats up, put a pan on medium heat and add ghee to it. Let the ghee melt. Then add sooji to the pan and stir. Add in the broken cashews and stir.
- Stirring continuously, roast the sooji on low-medium heat. Add cardamom powder and continue to stir.
- Stir for around 8 to 9 minutes on low-medium heat. As soon as sooji is fragrant and beginning to change color, that it the time to add the liquid.I don't like to brown my sooji, if you want darker color halwa, roast couple more minutes.
- Add the heated milk-water-sugar-mixture into the pan. It will bubble a lot as you add the liquids into the pan so be careful and add slowly.
- Whisk the sooji continuously as you add the liquids. Add the liquids in 2-3 parts, whisking continuously with one hand.
- Keep stirring, sooji will begin to absorb the liquid and thicken up.Stir for 2 minutes more until the halwa thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.
- Garnish with more cashews and serve sooji halwa warm!
- You can add raisins and almonds to the halwa.
- If you think that's a lot of ghee, you can cut it down to 1/3 cup. I would not recommend going below that.
- This halwa is lightly sweetened. For a sweeter halwa, use 1/2 cup sugar.
- You can add saffron for color and flavor. Add it to the liquids while heating them up.
- If you prefer a more roasted halwa, simply roast the sooji for additional 1 to 2 minutes for darker color halwa.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.