Badam halwa recipe (almond halwa)
Badam halwa is an Indian sweet made with almonds or almond meal, sugar, ghee and cardamoms. Make this delicious festive dessert under 30 mins, the traditional way using whole almonds or the quick way using store bought meal. You can cook this in a saucepan or in the instant pot with my recipe. Halwa is a go-to-dessert for a lot of Indians and you will find so many kinds of halwas being made across India. We make halwa with semolina, flour, lentils, veggies and even with fruits & nuts.
You will find some or the other kind of halwa being made for every occasion – festivals, celebrations and even for a simple meal.
About badam halwa
Badam halwa is a traditional pudding like dessert where the whole almonds are soaked, peeled, ground and cooked with ghee, milk or water & sugar. It is flavoured with cardamoms and saffron. “Badam” is the Hindi word for “almonds” hence the name.
Badam halwa is a rich and delicious dessert more popular in South Indian sweet shops and tiffin centres serving Karnataka foods.
If you attend lavish South Indian celebrations like weddings, baby showers, naming ceremonies, house warming ceremonies etc you are more likely to be gifted with a few packs of badam halwa.
Badam halwa is a classic but still it is not made often in the households because it is time consuming and requires patience.
If you love halwa, you may love these
Moong dal halwa
In this post I share with you 2 ways to make the badam halwa – 1. Using whole almonds. 2. With store bought almond meal. For years I have made the traditional way with whole almonds until I found a few years ago that making it with the store bought meal is much easier as you don’t need to soak, peel and grind the almonds.
Apart from almonds or meal, you will need pure ghee, cardamoms, saffron strands and water or milk to make this delicious and rich halwa.
In Sweets shops and restaurants, badam hawla is made with food color but since I don’t use artificial colors I have used saffron. You may look for organic natural food color if you don’t saffron flavour. You are also free to skip it.
Edible camphor is also used in a lot of tiffin centres and sweet shops for a unique festive flavour.
More Indian recipes using almonds
Indian Badam milk
Related recipes: Diwali Sweets Recipes and Diwali Snacks
How to make badam halwa (stepwise photos)
1. Soak almonds for about 3 to 4 hours. To quicken the process, you can also boil 2 cups of water. Then add almonds to it. Leave for 2 mins and drain the water. Then soak in fresh water for 30 to 40 mins.
2. Peel off the skin and rinse them. Its easy to peel the skin if they are soaked well.But do not over soak them, the halwa turns sticky if soaked for very long.
3. Add almonds, water or milk, skinned cardamoms and saffron to the blender jar. I also added sugar at this stage as it helps to blend the almonds easily and prevents the badam halwa from turning lumpy.
4. Make a slightly coarse paste like rava. Badam halwa is usually of a fine rava texture.
Making badam halwa
5. Heat a heavy bottom pan or preferably nonstick pan. Add ghee.
6. Pour the ground almond paste.
7. Constantly stir and cook.
8. Very soon the badam will begin to leave the sides. Add the sugar at this stage if you have not added while blending.
9. If you have used saffron, you will begin to see the halwa getting better color as it is cooking and blending well with sugar.It got a better color now after cooking for about 8 minutes. When it thickens, add little more ghee and stir. Add ghee in intervals twice or thrice. You should not stop stirring to prevent burning.
10. Keep cooking until badam halwa leaves the sides of the pan. Then turn off the stove. The halwa thickens when it cools down.
Badam halwa is ready. Garnish with sliced cashews.
Badam halwa with almond flour
1. I have used instant pot here. You can use a regular heavy bottom pot. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons ghee to the pot and heat it.
2. When the ghee melts add 1 cup almond flour.
3. Saute this for 2 minutes stirring often. If using instant pot, press cancel.
4. Add half cup sugar.
5. Pour 1 cup water if making in pot. If making in instant pot, add 1¼ water. Add 1 pinch saffron (kesar), this is optional.
6. Give a good mix until the sugar dissolves. Cook on a low heat, covering the pot partially as it begins to splatter a bit.
7. If cooking in instant pot, secure the lid and pressure cook for 0 minutes.
8. When the Ip beeps, press cancel and release the pressure manually.
9. Stir and continue to cook until the badam halwa leaves the sides of the pot. Add more another 2 to 4 tbsps ghee and ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well. If you prefer you can add a pinch of edible camphor or rose water too.
- Almonds: Choose fresh sweet almonds and avoid bitter almonds. Please taste test before using. Do not use rancid tasting nuts. If using almond meal look out for blanched almond flour or meal. Please taste test first and use. I use Bob’s red mill flour.
- Ghee: Use fresh ghee or homemade if possible. It is freshness and quality of ghee that imparts a great flavour to any halwa. Traditional badam halwa is made with 1:1 ratio of almond:ghee which helps to retain the loose consistency for longer. But I have not used so much here.
- To make the recipe vegan, you may use any neutral or flavorless oil like coconut oil.
- Saffron: You can skip the saffron and add a large pinch of turmeric or organic food color. Do not add a lot for a deep color as it may alter the flavour of the halwa.
- Cardamoms: Most Indian desserts are flavored with cardamom powder. However you can also use a tsp of edible rose water or kewra water for the fragrance.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¾ cup badam / almonds (or 1 cup blanched almond flour)
- ½ cup sugar (1 tbsp more for sweeter halwa)
- 1 pinch saffron or kesar (optional) or natural food color
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder or ealichi
- ¾ cup water or milk (1¼ cup for Instant pot)
- ¼ to ½ cup ghee or 2 to 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon rose water optional
- You can skip this section if using almond flour. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a pot. Add badam and leave them for 2 to 3 minutes. Then drain the water and soak them in fresh water for 30 to 40 mins. Peel off the skin.
- Add badam to a mixer jar. Blend badam, cardamoms, sugar, saffron with milk or water to a slightly coarse paste. Usually badam halwa is slightly of fine rava texture.
How to make badam halwa
- Heat a nonstick pan or heavy bottom pan with 3 tbsp of the ghee.
- Add the ground badam paste & cook stirring consistently till the halwa thickens.
- Next add the rest of the ghee & keep stirring nonstop. The mixture will begin to leave the sides of the pan.
- Switch off when it is of pouring consistency yet thick. It will thicken further upon cooling. Lastly add a spoon of ghee.
Instant pot badam halwa
- Press SAUTE button on the Instant pot and pour ghee to the steel insert.
- Then add the almond flour & saute for 2 mins. Press CANCEL button & add sugar, water/ milk & saffron.
- Whisk it well to break any lumps & to dissolve the sugar.
- Secure the Instant pot with the lid & position the steam release vent to sealing.
- Press PRESSURE COOK button & set the timer to 0 mins (ZERO).
- The IP beeps when it is done. Gently do a quick release by moving the steam release vent to venting from sealing.
- Add the cardamom powder & Press SAUTE button. Saute until the badam halwa thickens slightly. Do not leave it unattended. If needed switch to low saute by pressing the saute button again.
- Next add the rest of the ghee & saute. The halwa will begin to release the sides of the pot.
- Press CANCEL button when it reaches a thick yet of pouring consistency. (refer video)
- If you have blanched almonds soak them for about 2 hours & blend.
- To get the same runny consistency as sold in South Indian sweet stalls & tiffin centers, you will need to use upto 3/4 cup ghee.
- Lesser ghee in the halwa makes it too dense.
- I doubled the recipe when I made the video.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Badam Halwa recipe first published in October 2014. Updated and republished in October 2021.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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I made a vegan one with coconut oil. Also used very nice clean golden jaggery from Organic India – it’s more costly but all sweets are coming out so good. My husband loved the halwa, he was smiling and happy. Takes a long time to peel almonds but worth it! I must make this for my mum, she will love this. I want to try with chocolate flavour 🙂 could it work?
Thanks for sharing about the jaggery. Yes it does take time to peel. Last year I made badam choco katli & it turned out good. I don’t remember the exact amount of cocoa but 3 tbsps should work for this recipe.
came out great…thanks!!
Shall I experiment with itraw sugar (browny) ..how much sugar it requires to do .if so.???
I haven’t tried. It should work with the same amount
I love all your recipes that I have tried so far. Planning to make this for Ganesh Chathurthi. I have natural almond four (not blanched). Can I use that?
Thank you! Yes it should be fine. If making in instant pot, it may need more water. Hope you enjoy it.
Absolutely phenomenal outcome! Thank you so much, Swathi!!!
You are welcome
Glad to know! Thank you
I love these recipes and they keep my love of Indian food easily available to me an easy to follow and make. I always look forward to seeing this in my inbox. Thankyou so much
Hi Anne Jackson
You are welcome! So glad to know! Thank you so much!
Love this recipe. Thanks a lot for posting easy to make recipes. Are there any recipes using panakarkandu? Or can I use it as substitute for sugar or anything? I have huge stock since hubby brought them by mistake instead of something else I had asked
You are welcome. You can use it to make any recipe just like sugar or jaggery. It has a very long shelf life. Keep it in a air tight steel box.
Looks Delicious. Can I add some cashews for blending?
Yes you can add a handful. You may need to add more sugar. Thanks for rating
Yummy ?. Love this. Will be trying this soon.
Thank you so much it came out good
Nice recipe. ..I tried .but it is slight sticky..pls tell me what goes wrong
Hi Rani devi,
Do you mean sticky from the sugar? May be it got overcooked. Just add some hot water and ghee. Mix and heat it.
Hai it’s toooo yammy mouth watering. I should try dis
Can we use palm sugar instead of white sugar? Will we get the same result?
It doesn’t turn out good with jaggery or palm sugar. You can try this badam burfi with palm sugar
Loved your collection of recipes. All are simple… Thank you so much!
Thanks a lot
Hii..can i use jaggery instead of sugar ..?
Delicious turned out great
tasty, yummy, thank you
Do u have any coaching class.. Now a days I am more interested to learn fine traditional way of cooking.. Could u please help me swasthi
blogging is a way i relax myself, not a profession as such for me. I only share recipes, no plans to train.
Sorry to ask as I am new to your recipes but I like it alother may I know whether u got any book or app for ur recipes please
As of now nothing as such. Planning for a ebook soon. Subscribe to my recipes on the side bar, you will know when i share my ebook. Iam glad you like my recipes.Thanks a lot
Halwa looks so so delicious…
Thank you Rumana
There is no flour used in the recipe, then wonder how you got the flour taste. Looks like you have not cooked it enough. Add little more ghee and continue to cook further until the ghee sepeartes
Thank you..so..much…..I…have…a….dessert…day ..in.college…hope…it…helps