Potato & Sweet Potato Halwa

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A classic halwa recipe that turns out perfect every single time! Made with unusual ingredients like potato & sweet potato, this classic Indian dessert can brighten up any festive day in just a few minutes!

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What is Halwa?

There are many Indian sweets that have gained cult status over the years. Gulab Jamun, Jalebi, Ladoo, Rasgulla, Kheer, and Halwa are just some names that you must have tasted or heard of.

However, Halwa is hands down one of the most popular Indian desserts ever! 

Interestingly, Halwa was first introduced in the Mughal period. In Arabic, the word “halwa” means “sweet”. There are many varieties of halwa one can make.

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The basic halwa recipe is like a pudding made with semolina, dry fruits, saffron, ghee, milk, and of course sugar.

The texture could either be smooth and creamy or crumbly.  It is soft or semi-soft to touch. A well-made halwa should just melt in your mouth. 

It is served on all happy and festive occasions. It is also served as offerings to gods. This is one sweet dish that is fondly eaten by people of all ages.

Vegetables in a dessert!

While there are many varieties of halwa recipes, there are some that have a special place. For example – Carrot Halwa is one of the most delicious halwa you will ever eat.

The natural sweetness of grated carrots does wonders to this dish. Adding vegetables like carrots to desserts may sound like a novel idea, but there are many other vegetables that are used to make desserts like these. 

I often make Beetroot Halwa which tastes great plus has an appetizing color to it. Pumpkin and Bottle Gourd Halwas are also very popular.

However today I am sharing with you a very unique halwa recipe made with potatoes and sweet potatoes! 

This is my Holi Special Recipe!

What is Holi? It is a festival of colors fondly celebrated all over India. It is similar to the Color Run but is celebrated on a much larger scale.

I have always enjoyed this colorful festival since childhood. Ever since I moved to the US, we decided to host a Holi party for our friends here. I am a sucker for making and preserving memories. 

Each year, we celebrate the day in all grandeur. We play Holi in our backyard and even set up an inflated pool. Kids play in it at first and then it gets occupied by all the drunk uncle and aunties!

There is color, water balloons, water guns and of course lots of food! I have a new menu every year and all our friends look forward to it!

This year’s menu has Potato & Sweet Potato Halwa on it because it’s new, different, and yum!

Check out this post for a dessert special Holi roundup! It features my other current favorite – Instant Sweet Paneer Gujiya Shells!

Here’s how to make it

  1. The first step is to boil potatoes and sweet potatoes in water. 
  2. Once done, peel and mash them.
  3. Meanwhile, fry cashews, raisins, and pistachios in ghee for 30-45 seconds. Take it out onto a plate and keep that aside for now. (This step not shown in the image below)
    • In the same pan, transfer this mashed mixture to a pan with ghee in it. Saute the mixture till it all comes together and forms a creamy smooth texture.
    • The color will also turn golden. Then add milk, sugar, and cardamom powder. Mix and cook it till it becomes smooth and creamy. There should not be any lumps.
    • This could take 5-7 minutes on medium flame. The halwa will not stick to the pan anymore and that is your cue that it’s done. 
  4. Lastly add the fried nuts over it, few strands of saffron, and serve warm or chilled. 

Do try this halwa this Holi and make this colorful festival even more enjoyable and memorable! You will not realize that you are eating a dessert made with potatoes.

Tips to make the best halwa

You can prepare this halwa using only potatoes if you don’t have sweet potatoes at hand. I have tried both versions and they taste great.

Choose higher starch potatoes (like Russets or Yukon golds) for the fluffiest and smoothest mash. 

Don’t add salt while boiling the potatoes and sweet potatoes.

To keep the recipe vegan, use vegan oil or butter instead of ghee.

If using ghee, use a good quality one and use it generously.

Garnished it with some edible flowers and Vark. For those who don’t know, vark is a super fine filigree foil sheet of pure metals, typically silver but sometimes gold.

It’s used to decorate South Asian sweets and food to make those look more appetizing. The silver and gold are edible, though flavorless.

You can use unsweetened almond milk if vegan or regular whole fat milk if not. 

You can sweetener like cane sugar, brown sugar, regular sugar, or even jaggery in this recipe.

The halwa will not stick to the pan anymore and that is your cue that it’s done. 

If you’ve tried this Instant Sweet Paneer Gujiya Shells Recipe or any other recipe on the blog please let me know how it went by commenting below, I love hearing from you!

You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes and what I’m getting up to.

Potato & Sweet Potato Halwa

A classic halwa recipe that turns out perfect every single time! Made with unusual ingredients like potato & sweet potato, this classic Indian dessert can brighten up any festive day in just few minutes!

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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 240.28kcal
Author: Priya Lakshminarayan

Ingredients 

  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp ghee or use vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts
  • 3 tbsp ghee Or use vegan butter or oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or use unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder
  • 1 tsp saffron
  • vark sheet as required
  • 2 tbsp edible flowers optional

Instructions

  • The first step is to boil potatoes and sweet potatoes in water.
  • Once done, peel and mash them.
  • Meanwhile, fry cashews, raisins and pistachios in ghee for 30-45 seconds. Take it out onto a plate and keep that aside for now.
  • In the same pan, transfer this mashed mixture to a pan with ghee in it.
  • Saute the mixture till it all comes together and forms a creamy smooth texture. The color will also turn golden.
  • Then add milk, sugar and cardamon powder. Mix and cook it till it becomes smooth and creamy. There should not be any lumps. This could take 5-7 minutes on medium flame. The halwa will not stick to the pan anymore and that is your cue that its done.
  • Lastly add the fried nuts over it, few strands of saffron and serve warm or chilled.

Notes

  • You can prepare this halwa using only potatoes if you don’t have sweet potatoes at hand. I have tried both versions and they taste great.
  • Choose higher starch potatoes (like Russets or Yukon golds) for the fluffiest and smoothest mash.
  • Don’t add salt while boiling the potatoes and sweet potatoes.
  • To keep the recipe vegan, use vegan oil or butter instead of ghee.
  • Garnished it with some edible flowers and Vark. For those who don’t know, vark is super fine filigree foil sheet of pure metals, typically silver but sometimes gold, used to decorate South Asian sweets and food to make those look more appetizing. The silver and gold are edible, though flavorless.
  • You can use unsweetened almond milk if vegan or regular whole fat milk if not.
  • You can sweetener like cane sugar, brown sugar, regular sugar or even jaggery in this recipe.
  • The halwa will not stick to the pan anymore and that is your cue that its done. 
  • If using ghee, use a good quality one and use it generously.

Nutrition

Calories: 240.28kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.2g | Protein: 3.96g | Fat: 13.81g | Saturated Fat: 7.01g | Cholesterol: 27.63mg | Sodium: 29.12mg | Potassium: 437.43mg | Fiber: 3.06g | Sugar: 13.02g | Vitamin A: 3202.76IU | Vitamin C: 9.99mg | Calcium: 56.9mg | Iron: 2.73mg
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