Moong Dal Halwa
Updated: Sep 8
Nutty, warm, melt-in-mouth... the best! Moong Dal Halwa is a time consuming yet super simple recipe to make.
My recipe of Moong Dal Halwa is slightly low on ghee - I have used half the quantity of that called for in traditional recipes of Moong Dal Halwa - adjust the quantities of ghee and sugar as per your taste / preference.
Moong Dal Halwa cooked as per the traditional recipe is loaded with ghee and has a toffee-like texture. Yes, that's how much Moong Dal Halwa is cooked, to an almost caramelised texture, yet you should still be able to bite in to the grainy moong dal.
Now traditionally, Moong Dal Halwa is made with yellow moong dal (dhuli moong dal). Though I now see a lot of places serve Moong Dal Halwa made with Moong Chilka (split green moong dal), which tastes equally good.
Serves: 6 - 8
Prep: 2 hours (soaking time)
Cooking: 1 hour
Ingredients to make Moong Dal Halwa
2 cups moong dal (the yellow one)
2 tbsp rava / suji (semolina)
1 cup ghee
1 cup water
1 cup milk
2 cups sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp mawa (khoya / khoa)
5 – 6 cardamom pods - powdered
6 – 8 almonds – chopped / sliced
6 – 8 cashewnuts – chopped / sliced
Method of making Moong Dal Halwa
Soak moong dal for 4 – 6 hours. Strain and grind moong dal to a fine texture which is still grainy – add a little water if necessary. We need the texture to be ever-so-slightly grainy as that will lend a bite to the cooked Moong Dal Halwa.
Heat ghee in a thick bottom pan / kadhai. Add rava and cook on low heat for a minute. Add the ground moong dal. Increase heat to medium high. The mixture will be lumpy at first because of the water content, will dry out once it starts to cook.
Keep stirring till the mixture turns grainy, has a nutty aroma and the ghee starts to separate.
The stirring will have to be quite consistent in the beginning as the moong dal tends to stick to the pan and could burn if not moved around frequently in the pan.
At this point, the moong dal mixture would have turned a light / pinkish brown shade.
Meanwhile, mix water, milk, sugar and salt in another pan and bring to a boil. Keep warm.
Once the moong dal is a nice toasted brown* (not burnt brown!), reduce the heat and slowly add the sugar syrup to the moong dal.
* You will know that the moong dal is cooked well when it gives out a nutty aroma and does not have any flavour of raw moong dal. You don't want raw moong dal flavours in the halwa, so complete cooking is an important step here! Also note that this is the only stage where the moong dal is being cooked; the dal will not cook further once the sugar syrup is added, it will only soak in water and go soft and mushy.
Be cautious, the moong dal mix will splutter once the sugar syrup is added.
Because the moong dal has been almost "fried" (if you add ghee as per traditional Moong Dal Halwa recipes) and is now completely dry, it will quickly soak up all the liquid from the sugar syrup. Keep stirring continuously.
Once the moong dal is almost dry again, add cardamom powder and mawa and continue to stir till the moong dal halwa is cooked well and the ghee starts to separate.
Add chopped / sliced nuts and your Moong Dal Halwa is ready to serve!
Moong dal halwa tastes best served warm with vanilla ice cream or homemade kulfi!
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