Moong Dal Halwa is a classic Indian Sweet Dish made with moong lentils, sugar, ghee and cardamom powder. Moong Dal Halwa tastes not only delicious but is also aromatic and makes for a great celebration dessert. The mouth melting texture, unique aroma and taste is what makes this so special.
Moong Dal Halwa is one that is not made often but sure is a festive & celebration dessert.
About Moong Dal Halwa
Moong Dal Halwa is a traditional Indian dessert where ground lentils are fried in ghee until aromatic and golden. It is then cooked with milk and sweetened with sugar. Moong dal halwa is flavored with cardamoms & saffron. Lastly garnished with chopped nuts.
The resulting halwa is simply delicious, aromatic with a melt-in-the-mouth texture and tastes divine.
I had shared this recipe on the blog in 2013. My kids keep asking me for this halwa as they love it so much. I made this sometime ago for a festive meal & thought of resharing it with a video.
Making some kinds of Indian desserts need lot of patience but the end results are worth it. This moong dal halwa is no exception, you need to fry the moong dal until golden and aromatic just like the way we fry the besan for the Besan ladoo.
I have made this halwa so many times and learnt the simpler way to make it without compromising on the taste. The trick is to not soak the lentils so it saves a lot of time.
Though you can make this moong dal halwa with flour (ground lentils) where you roast and powder the lentils. I follow this method of rinsing and grinding because I prefer to wash my lentils well before using.
How To Make Moong Dal Halwa (Stepwise Photos)
1. Rinse half cup moong dal thrice.
2. Drain the water completely and add it to a blender jar. Blend it to a not so smooth but very slightly coarse texture. If you blend it too coarse, you will feel the texture in the halwa. So it must be very slightly coarse. If needed you may sprinkle little water if your grinder gets jammed.
3. Heat 6 tbsps ghee in a wide pan. When the ghee turns hot, add semolina and fry until it turns aromatic.
4. Add the ground moong dal and regulate the flame to medium. Keep stirring and incorporate the ghee into the moong dal mixture.
5. Constantly keep stirring and fry till the moisture evaporates. Then reduce the flame to low and keep breaking the lumps and fry until the dal turns deep golden and aromatic.
6. When the moong dal is done, it resembles a sand like texture. Be patient at this stage and do not hasten to go to the next step.
7. Pour the liquid stirring the dal mixture. Note I use milk and water at room temperature. I also added the saffron at this stage.
8. Keep stirring continuously and cook on a medium flame.
9. When the entire liquid is absorbed, add sugar.
10. The moong dal halwa will become runny at this stage and then turns thick within few minutes. Since I used a cast iron pan and not a non-stick, mine was super hard to stir and fry at this stage. So I added 2 tbsps more ghee here. You can also skip it if using a non stick. Add cardamom powder.
11. Saute the mixture until the halwa leaves the pan. An addition of even little ghee helps a lot in easy sauteing.
Here are my tips to make the best moong dal halwa.
Soaking: Do not soak the dal. With soaked dal it is harder to fry the dal mixture until golden. This also doubles the cook time.
Frying: The ground moong dal has to be fried or roasted in ghee until deep golden. This has to be done on a low to medium heat stirring constantly for even cooking. This is the key step to make the best moong dal halwa.
Ghee: Using good quality ghee is very important. The ratio of dal:ghee is the key factor. The minimum dal: ghee ratio is 1: ¾. Moong dal halwa can be made even with lesser ghee but frying the dal becomes much difficult with lesser ghee. You can reduce the ghee if using a nonstick pan.
Water or Milk?: You can use either. I make this most often with water as we don’t prefer milk with lentils. To make it rich this time I have used half milk & half water.
Mawa or khoya: I haven’t used it here just to reduce the cook time. Mawa makes the halwa more rich and delicious. You can add about 3 tbsps mawa towards the end.
Flavoring: Cardamom powder is good enough to flavor the dish. A few strands of saffron will enhance the color. But does not add much flavor.
Sugar: You can adjust the amount of sugar in this recipe to suit your taste.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup moong dal (yellow dal)
- 6 tablespoons ghee (+ 2 tbsps optional – refer notes)
- ½ tablespoon suji (fine semolina or rava) (optional)
- ½ cup water (room temperature)
- ½ cup milk or water (room temperature)
- 1 pinch saffron strands optional (kesar)
- 6 to 8 tablespoons sugar ( I used 8 tbsps or ½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder or ½ tsp rose water
- 6 almonds (chop finely)
- 6 pistachios (chop finely)
- Rinse moong dal at least thrice and drain the water completely. Add it to a grinder jar.
- Blend it to a almost smooth but very slightly coarse texture. Scrape the sides and blend. If needed you may sprinkle little water if your grinder gets jammed.
- To a heavy bottom nonstick pan, add 6 tbsps ghee and heat it.
- Add semolina and fry for about a minute until it gets roasted well.
- Next transfer the ground moong dal and begin to incorporate it into the ghee stirring constantly.
- Keep the flame to medium. Continue stirring & frying.
- After 10 to 15 mins the dal mixture will turn crumbly and may have small lumps.
- Begin to break down the lumps and continue to fry on a low flame.
- When the moong dal is done frying, you will begin to smell it good and it turns to deep golden color.
How To Make Moong Dal Halwa
- Pour milk & water (both at room temperature) slowly stirring the dal. Also add the saffron.
- Cook stirring and ensure there are no lumps.
- The entire liquid will be absorbed soon.
- When the mixture turns thick add sugar and continue. The mixture turns gooey and then turns thick like a mass.
- Add 2 tbsps ghee and cardamom powder or rose water. Adding ghee at this stage makes sauteing the halwa easier. You may skip if you are able to do it.
- Mix and cook till the moong dal halwa begins to leave the sides of the pan.
- Toast the nuts until crunchy in a different pan. Garnish the halwa with the nuts.
- Serve moong dal halwa hot or warm.
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)
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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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