Moong Dal Halwa

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Moong Dal Halwa is a popular Indian dessert made with skinless split green gram (mung lentils) and ghee (clarified butter). It’s very rich and sweet with loads of ghee and dry fruits and is made especially for festivals or weddings.

If you are someone like me, who can eat Halwa any time of the say, then these Halwa recipes are for you – Bread Halwa, Lauki Ka Halwa, Rajgira Halwa, Carrot Halwa, Sooji Ka Halwa, Besan Halwa, and Aate Ka Halwa.

About This Recipe

Moong Dal Halwa is a rich Indian dessert that is made for festivals like Holi, Diwali, Rakshabandhan, etc, special occasions and weddings. It is made using mung lentils and ghee or clarified butter. Very popular in Rajasthan, in fact whole of North India, it is specially made during winters.

Rajasthan, the state of royal culture and heritage has a repertoire of many wonderful recipes and since my dad is from the state, I got lucky to taste many of them in their unadulterated form. From Ghevar to Balushahi to Mawa Kachori, there are numerous desserts that simply have no match in terms of taste and richness.

One such Rajasthani delicacy is this Moong Dal Halwa, which is prepared using our everyday lentil, yellow moong dal, or skinless split green gram.

My mom still makes Moong Dal Halwa recipe every year on Diwali, Holi, and any other special occasion, and just like our childhood days we still love to relish this sweet for days as it remains fresh for 8-10 days when kept in the refrigerator.

Making Moong Dal ka Halwa is a labor-intensive process that requires a lot of stirring while cooking. But over the years of making it, I have also perfected the recipe to cook it in an Instant Pot.

In truly Millennial fashion, I cook this halwa in an Instant Pot. This process requires no grinding, minimal stirring and the result is quite close to the traditional halwa. So if you are feeling like cooking smart, then do try the Instant Pot method too.

This Dal Halwa is,

  • Mouthwatering
  • Gluten-Free
  • Full of Flavour
  • Perfect for weddings, special occasions & festivals
  • A Winter favorite

Ingredients 

Yellow Moong Dal – I am sure you will have this husked and split yellow moong lentil stored in your pantry. If not, you will easily get it at your nearby Indian store or online.

Cardamom Powder and Saffron – The cardamom powder and saffron add a delectable aroma with the flavor to this halwa. Saffron also adds a tinge of saffron color to the halwa, making it look even more appealing. Adding saffron is optional though.

Sugar – I have used sugar, but you can also make this halwa using jaggery. Use jaggery powder or crush the jaggery before using.

Khoya – I like the soft texture and richness khoya adds to the halwa. But you can always avoid adding. You can add some milk powder to make this halwa richer without using khoya.

Milk – Use whole milk for the best results. It will give halwa a nice creamy and soft texture.

Dry Fruits – I have added almonds and cashew nuts to prepare this halwa, but you can add in other dry fruits too such as unsalted pistachios, raisins, etc. 

How to make Moong Dal Halwa?

Wash and soak 1 cup dry yellow moong dal in 5-6 cups of water for 5-6 hours. This step is important to make sure the nutrients in lentils are easily absorbed by the body and they don’t trouble the stomach.

Once the dal is soaked, drain the water completely. Add the soaked dal to the medium jar of a high-speed blender and grind the dal to make a coarse paste without any water. Be careful to not grind the dal to a smooth paste. Keep scraping the sides of the grinder while grinding.

Heat 1 cup ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Make sure to use a non stick pan to make the halwa. It makes the process much easier as compared to a regular pan. Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee. This halwa will not turn out good if the quantity of ghee is reduced.

When the ghee is slightly hot, add the ground dal to the pan.

Fry the dal on medium heat till it turns light golden brown. Initially, the lentils will be pasty, then after a few minutes they will become lumpy and after a few more minutes of frying, they will become granular. It will take at least 15-20 minutes to fry the lentils to the desired color. Do not fry it on high heat otherwise, it will not cook properly. Keep stirring frequently.

Once the dal is golden brown in color, add 3 cups of whole milk and cook till all the milk is absorbed by the dal. It will take 8-10 minutes.

Crumble 200 g of khoya and add it to the pan. Mix well. Skip this process if not using khoya. You can add milk powder in place of khoya if you wish to.

Add 10-12 chopped almonds and 10-12 chopped cashew nuts and mix again. Adding dry fruits at this stage makes sure they also get fried during the process and becomes even more flavorful.

Now add 1 and ½ cup sugar, 2 teaspoon cardamom powder, and 1 pinch saffron. You can use crumbled jaggery in place of sugar. Using saffron is optional.

Cook on low heat till the halwa turns brown and starts to leave ghee from sides. Keep stirring continuously during this process. This step will take 20-30 minutes. Cover the pan if the halwa is spluttering too much. Or else, fry the halwa in the microwave as my mom do. I have mentioned the process in the tips below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make it in microwave?

To make it in the microwave, grind the dal, and transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl along with ghee. Micro at high for 5 minutes.

Stir the mixture and keep on cooking for 5 minutes slots, until all the water is evaporated and the dal turns brown.

Add milk and micro for 5 minutes. Add khoya and micro for another 5 minutes.

Now add sugar and cardamom powder and micro in batches of 5 minutes until the halwa turns brown and the ghee starts to separate. Garnish with almonds and pistachios and serve.

How to make it in an Instant Pot?

To make the halwa in an instant pot, soak 1 cup of yellow lentils for 2-3 hours.
Now drain the water. Press SAUTE and add the lentils to the Instant Pot.
Saute for 10-12 minutes until they turn slightly brown.
Add 2 cups of milk and close the lid of the pot.
Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 20 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
Whisk the lentil using a whisk until slightly smooth. Do not over-mix.
Add 1 cup ghee, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup crumbled khoya, ¼ cup slivered dry fruits, and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well.
Press SAUTE and cook for 10-12 minutes until halwa is nicely browned. Keep stirring continuously.
Remove the steel insert from the Instant Pot to avoid burning the halwa.
Garnish with more dry fruits and serve hot.

Pro Tips by Neha

This recipe is a labor of love, so repeat after me “there is no shortcut to making this recipe”. Or maybe there is, try the Instant Pot version for a quick, smart way to make this halwa in less time and effort.

Many recipes suggest to not soak the lentils and use them directly to make the halwa. Although this process saves some time but eating non-soaked lentils is really not good for the tummy and none of their nutrients are absorbed by the body. So I suggest taking some extra time and soak the lentils before making the halwa.

Roast the dal in ghee on medium heat until it turns golden brown in color. This step takes 15-20 minutes but trusts me it makes or breaks the halwa.

Use a non-stick pan to make the halwa. It is much much easier than making it in a regular pan.

This recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.

My mom roasts the halwa after adding the sugar to a microwave. It reduces some of her muscle work. You can also try the method. Follow the process until adding sugar. Then transfer the halwa to a microwave-safe pan and micro for 10-15 minutes, stopping the microwave every 5 minutes and stirring the halwa. Do this until halwa becomes brown and ghee starts to ooze out from the sides.

Add more or less sugar according to your taste. The amount I have mentioned suits us perfectly.

The lentils WILL NOT cook once the sugar is added. So make sure to add the sugar only once the lentils are nicely softened.

Storage Suggestions

Moong Dal ka Halwa will last in the fridge for about 8 to 10 days when stored in an airtight container. If you are making it in a bigger quantity, just make sure that you reheat only the amount you want to serve. Reheating the Halwa, again and again, can decrease its shelf life.

To reheat the halwa, the best is using a microwave, but you can reheat it in a pan over the stovetop. Sprinkle a tablespoon of milk or water while heating.

Serving Suggestions

I personally prefer to serve this delectable Moong Dal ka Halwa to my guests during festivals such as Diwali, Holi, etc along with some snacks. But sometimes I even make it for an Indian dessert treat after my elaborate North Indian weekend meals.

You can also serve it with vanilla ice cream. The combination of hot and cold works really well.

You might also like

  • Panjiri
  • Shahi Tukda
  • Sweet Samosa (Mawa Samosa)
  • Gulgule (Pue)

Recipe Card

Moong Dal Halwa Recipe

Moong Dal Halwa is an Indian dessert made with skinless split green gram. It's a very rich sweet with loads of ghee and dry fruits.
4.54 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 903kcal
Author: Neha Mathur

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup yellow moong lentil
  • 1 cup ghee
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 200 grams khoya (crumbled)
  • 1 and ½ cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 10-12 almonds (chopped)
  • 10-12 cashew nuts (chopped)

Instructions

  • Wash and soak 1 cup dry yellow moong dal in 5-6 cups of water for 5-6 hours. This step is important to make sure the nutrients in lentils are easily absorbed by the body and they don’t trouble the stomach.
  • Once the dal is soaked, drain the water completely. Add the soaked dal to the medium jar of a high-speed blender and grind the dal to make a coarse paste without any water. Be careful to not grind the dal to a smooth paste. Keep scraping the sides of the grinder while grinding.
  • Heat 1 cup ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Make sure to use a non stick pan to make the halwa. It makes the process much easier as compared to a regular pan. Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee. This halwa will not turn out good if the quantity of ghee is reduced.
  • When the ghee is slightly hot, add the ground dal to the pan.
  • Fry the dal on medium heat till it turns light golden brown. Initially, the lentils will be pasty, then after a few minutes they will become lumpy and after a few more minutes of frying, they will become granular. It will take at least 15-20 minutes to fry the lentils to the desired color. Do not fry it on high heat otherwise, it will not cook properly. Keep stirring frequently.
  • Once the dal is golden brown in color, add 3 cups of whole milk and cook till all the milk is absorbed by the dal. It will take 8-10 minutes.
  • Crumble 200 g of khoya and add it to the pan. Mix well. Skip this process if not using khoya.
  • Add 10-12 chopped almonds and 10-12 chopped cashew nuts and mix again. Adding dry fruits at this stage makes sure they also get fried during the process and becomes even more flavorful.
  • Now add 1 and ½ cup sugar, 2 teaspoon cardamom powder, and 1 pinch saffron. You can use crumbled jaggery in place of sugar. Using saffron is optional.
  • Cook on low heat till the halwa turns brown and starts to leave ghee from sides. Keep stirring continuously during this process. This step will take 20-30 minutes. Cover the pan if the halwa is spluttering too much. Or else, fry the halwa in the microwave as my mom do. I have mentioned the process in the tips below.

Notes

This recipe is a labor of love, so repeat after me “there is no shortcut to making this recipe”. Or maybe there is, try the Instant Pot version for a quick, smart way to make this halwa in less time and effort.
Many recipes suggest to not soak the lentils and use them directly to make the halwa. Although this process saves some time but eating non-soaked lentils is really not good for the tummy and none of their nutrients are absorbed by the body. So I suggest taking some extra time and soak the lentils before making the halwa.
Roast the dal in ghee on medium heat until it turns golden brown in color. This step takes 15-20 minutes but trusts me it makes or breaks the halwa.
Use a non-stick pan to make the halwa. It is much much easier than making it in a regular pan.
This recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.
My mom roasts the halwa after adding the sugar in a microwave. It reduces some of her muscle work. You can also try the method. Follow the process until adding sugar. Then transfer the halwa to a microwave-safe pan and micro for 10-15 minutes, stopping the microwave every 5 minutes and stirring the halwa. Do this until halwa becomes brown and ghee starts to ooze out from the sides.
Add more or less sugar according to your taste. The amount I have mentioned suits us perfectly.
The lentils WILL NOT cook once the sugar is added. So make sure to add the sugar only once the lentils are nicely softened.

Nutrition

Calories: 903kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 66g | Saturated Fat: 39g | Cholesterol: 143mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 545IU | Vitamin C: 2.9mg | Calcium: 586mg | Iron: 4.2mg
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