Badam halwa recipe with video & step by step photos. Badam halwa is a classic Indian sweet made with ground almonds, sugar, ghee, cardamoms & saffron. It is extremely rich, delicious & colorful. Badam halwa is quite popular in South Indian tiffin centers and sweet stalls. It is considered to be a very special dessert & is prepared during special occasions. It is also given as a return gift during wedding & religious ceremonies.
Badam is the Indian name for almonds and halwa refers to a pudding. Traditionally it was made by soaking almonds in water, then peeled & later ground to a paste. This is then cooked with ghee & sugar. Lastly flavored with cardamoms and saffron.
Making badam halwa following the traditional method needs a lot of patience as almond skin needs to be peeled before blending. So an easier way is to use store bought blanched almonds or almond flour/meal.
Pure ghee, cardamoms and saffron are the key ingredients that make this dessert the best. In sweet stalls & tiffin centers saffron is replaced with food color. Some places also use edible camphor to flavor the dessert. Here are some details that may help you:
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.
How to make 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.
Almonds: This recipe can be made with either whole almonds or with almond flour. For years I have made badam halwa by soaking, peeling and then blending the almonds. In the recent times I have been making this with store bought blanched almond flour.
Follow my step wise photo guide if using whole almonds. Check the video if you are using almond flour. This time I made it in an Instant pot using store bought flour but you can also make it on stovetop using a regular pot.
Ghee: Usually badam halwa is made to a thick pouring consistency which is possible only with the use of lots of ghee. Traditional recipe mostly uses ghee and almonds in 1:1 ratio which is the key to get that consistency. But I haven’t used so much here. More details in the recipe notes.
To make the recipe vegan replace the ghee with 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 change the flavor.
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.
Badam halwa recipe
Ingredients (1 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 tsp 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)
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- 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.
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