Sooji Halwa

5 from 64 votes

Indian dessert made with semolina, ghee and sugar. Sooji halwa is one of the most common Indian desserts made in every household.

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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!

sooji halwa served in a small copper bowl with one more bowl in the background

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.

sooji halwa served in a black plate with a spoon scooping a bite from the halwa

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.

Method

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.

step by step picture collage of making sooji halwa

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.

step by step picture collage of making sooji halwa

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.

step by step picture collage of making sooji halwa

Garnish with more cashews and serve sooji halwa warm!

sooji halwa served in a small copper bowl with one more bowl and spoons in the background

If you’ve tried this Sooji Halwa Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Sooji Halwa

5 from 64 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Indian dessert made with semolina, ghee and sugar. Sooji halwa is one of the most common Indian desserts made in every household.

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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!

Notes

  1. You can add raisins and almonds to the halwa.
  2. 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.
  3. This halwa is lightly sweetened. For a sweeter halwa, use 1/2 cup sugar.
  4. You can add saffron for color and flavor. Add it to the liquids while heating them up.
  5. If you prefer a more roasted halwa, simply roast the sooji for additional 1 to 2 minutes for darker color halwa.

Nutrition

Calories: 373kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 24mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 45IU, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
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Hi, I’m Manali!

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Recipe Rating




133 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    fantastic! turned out really well – I made this vegan using oat milk and vegan butter; not sure any of my dinner guests noticed! lovely, thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi I’m from Fiji Islands. I love Sooji Halwa and have been trying to get an easy recipe to try making it myself. Thank you so much for this recipe. I loved it.

  3. 5 stars
    I tried your Sooji Halwa recipe and liked it very much! I left out the milk, nuts and cardamom powder, but added the raisins and it was still delicious! Thank you very much!

      1. Been wanting to try! Finally made it! Used half the sugar with brown sugar (: used bruised ardamom pods as didn’t really want an overwhelming flavor (:

  4. 5 stars
    I had this pudding for the first time the other day and had the chef tell me what was in it-your recipe matches perfectly. My son and I both love Indian cuisine!

  5. 5 stars
    Do you have a recipe for mango pudding? I have had it with apples and bananas and yesterday I had it with fruit cocktail added.

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Manali,

    Absolutely love this recipe! I have made this a few times, it’s foolproof and super delicious.
    How long can you store this in the fridge for?

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe. I finally know how to make it. The last time I had this was when I was in the orphanage in Kolkata. Thanks to the internet and people like you I am learning to cook Indian food. Thank you again

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is wonderful!! I add just a bit more sugar and cardamom to my taste and it comes out great each time! I have used this recipe often and have a question, can I use regular unsalted butter instead of the ghee ? Thanks so much for all your great recipes !

  9. 5 stars
    Maybe this is a cultural thing, but i founx this recipe to be quite bland – texture was pleasant, but not particularly flavourful I found

    1. Hi Ben, yeah this is how we make in India. Usual sooji halwa is just ghee, sugar and sooji. Rest of the things like nuts, and spices like cardamom, saffron etc. are optional. My mom actually never added any of these when she made them at home. Thanks for trying

  10. 5 stars
    Love how easy this is. Made it for myself after coming out of surgery and feeling absolutely miserable. I can only say it tastes just like a warm hug feels.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Manali
    Loved the recipe. Simply perfect. So easy, quick and delish.
    Love Samantha Duerschinger

  12. 5 stars
    Thank you Manali, this recipe produces a wonderfully addictive Halva – I just add a bit more Cardamom – Yum!
    However, I do have friends who are totally vegan and I thought to substitute Coconut milk for this recipe, any advice… whether 100% or just use 505/50 % ?

    1. Yeah go with coconut milk or cashew milk! Coconut milk makes everything very coconut-y which I am personally not a fan. But if your friends love it then sure add 100% coconut milk! Else cashew or oat milk are also good options.

    2. 5 stars
      Hi Petals ! I too add a bit more cardamom because I love the flavor so much. Your idea of using coconut milk sounds delicious, did you ever try it that way? I think I will make an attempt at that myself. I always make rice pudding using coconut milk and I love it. I’ll see if it’s a good addition here to Manali’s excellent recipe😊 Thanks