Moong Dal Halwa

60 mins
Serves 6 people
Author: Rajni Ram
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Moong dal Halwa is an Indian dessert made from yellow lentils. It is basically a fudge and is very rich because of the amount ghee/ clarified butter added to it. Though I make many sweet varieties and desserts, I’m not generally the one who will stay until dessert. I’m immensely intuitive while I create sweet dishes, but I don’t crave sweets much. But this halwa is very close to my heart because it probably is the first sweet dish I ever liked. Thanks to our stint in Delhi, I have got to taste the best ones.

Infact, I liked this sweet dish so much that I have attempted to make it in the past, failed miserably and had given up on ever trying it again. But last year during the pandemic lockdown I was craving it badly, and as you know “ when you want something very badly, the universe conspires to make it happen” . So I had a viola moment during Diwali,  while I was documenting the sweets and savoury prepared by me, when a simple method to make this halwa struck me.

If you have attempted making this halwa any time or have searched the net for the recipe, all of them will tell you it takes 3 to 4 hours to get this sweet dish done. The actual recipe asks to soak and grind the lentils and them cook it in milk/ water and then add the sweetening agent. As I have claimed here on the blog before, I will take a short cut as long as it does not alter the taste, flavour and texture of the dish. And I took a short cut to this recipe and I don’t regret it because the outcome was just like the original.

If you follow the procedure as given here by me without altering I’m sure it’s a no fail recipe. And why stand by the stove for hours when you can get the same taste and flavour in an hour’s time? Having failed at this recipe many times, and knowing what went wrong each time, this time the recipe was made with so much conviction of technique that it turned out wonderfully.

While you are here do check out other dessert recipes like Carrot kheer, Strawberry and Lemon loaf, Red Poha Ladoo, Shrikhand, Malpua with Gulab Jamun mix, Akkaravadisal, Sweet Poha, and more…

Here is the recipe of Moong Dal Halwa

Ingredients

Ingredients

  1. Moong dal split ( yellow lentils) 1 cup
  2. Milk 1 cup
  3. Water 2 cups
  4. Sugar 1 cup
  5. Saffron strands a few (optional)
  6. Yellow food colour/turmeric powder for colour 2 pinches
  7. Ghee 100 GM approx
  8. Cardamom/ Elaichi powder 1/4 tsp
  9. Almonds and Pistachio chopped a few
  1. First out a pan/ kadai on flame and warm it. Now put the dal and start the roasting procedure by stirring constantly. This step can be done ahead. Cool the roasted dal and grind it in a blender. For a smooth texture of halwa grind it finely, for a grainy texture grind it coarse.
  2. Now put this ground dal powder in a pan, add one cup milk, followed by 2 cups water, and stir to make it lump free. Now put the pan on the flame, add the food colour/turmeric powder, and start cooking the mixture on medium flame.
  3. Slowly the mixture will start thickening. Keep stirring gently, scraping the sides of the pan from time to time. If adding saffron strands, add now. Once the mixture thickens, check if there is any rawness in the smell. That is, if the dal smell/ taste is still coming. If yes, add another ladle of milk and continue to stir again. If your mixture has thickened and there is no raw smell or taste, add the sugar gently and start stirring again.
  4. As the sugar melts the dal mixture will liquefy. Don’t worry and continue to stir. The mixture will start thickening again. Now is the time to start pouring the ghee. Pour one ladle at a time and stir until the ghee is absorbed. Continue this process until no more ghee gets absorbed, but remains on the halwa.

  5. You will also notice that at this stage your mixture/ halwa no longer sticks to the pan/ kadai bottom, but comes out clean while stirring. Another way to tell the Halwa is done, is when you take a little of it in your fingers and try to form a ball, you should be able to do it. Add the cardamom powder and nuts and transfer the halwa to a container. The delicious Moong dal halwa is ready to relish.

The foremost and important step is dry roasting the dal to a light brown colour. This has to be done patiently on low heat. On this depends the entire recipe. First put a pan/ kadai on flame and warm it. Now put the dal and start the roasting procedure by stirring constantly. This step can be done ahead. Cool the roasted dal and grind it in a blender. For a smooth texture of halwa grind it finely, for a grainy texture grind it coarse. Whole dal should not be visible. Now put this ground dal powder in a pan, add one cup milk, followed by 2 cups water, and stir to make it lump free. Now put the pan on the flame, add the food colour/turmeric powder, and start cooking the mixture on medium flame. Slowly the mixture will start thickening. If adding saffron strands, add now. Keep stirring gently, scraping the sides of the pan from time to time. Once the mixture thickens, check if there is any rawness in the smell. That is, if the dal smell/ taste is still coming. If yes, add another ladle of milk and continue to stir again. If your mixture has thickened and there is no raw smell or taste, add the sugar gently and start stirring again. As the sugar melts the dal mixture will liquefy. Don’t worry and continue to stir. The mixture will start thickening again. Now is the time to start pouring the ghee. Pour one ladle at a time and stir until the ghee is absorbed. Continue this process until no more ghee gets absorbed, but remains on the halwa. You will also notice that at this stage your mixture/ halwa no longer sticks to the pan/ kadai bottom, but comes out clean while stirring. Another way to tell the Halwa is done, is when you take a little of it in your fingers and try to form a ball, you should be able to do it. Add the cardamom powder and nuts and transfer the halwa to a container.  The delicious Moong dal halwa is ready to relish .

Notes:

  1. The foremost and important step is dry roasting the dal to a light brown colour. This has to be done patiently on low heat. On this depends the entire recipe.
  2. Ensure the Kadai is warm before you put in the dal for roasting. This way the Dal will get roasted evenly and quickly.
  3. I like a grainy texture, so while grinding, I stopped just before super fine.
  4. Adding more ghee than required will subdue the taste of the dal. When the dal mixture no longer takes in the ghee, as soon as poured and stirred, stop adding any more ghee.
  5. I used a non stick pan for making the Halwa and recommend the same for now. I will soon be trying in a regular kadai and shall update the recipe then.
  6. I have kept my Halwa colour yellow, by frying it to a light brown and then adding turmeric powder(which is a natural colour). If you prefer a browner version, roast the dal to a deeper brown and proceed with the recipe.
  7. I have used turmeric powder instead of food colour, as it is natural and two pinches of it do not make a difference to the taste of the halwa.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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