Grainy & Moist Sooji Halwa recipe in 15 minutes
Sooji Halwa recipe is one of the simplest and easiest Indian desserts made using semolina, ghee, and sugar. With this detailed recipe and tips, learn to make authentic sooji halwa in 15 minutes.
Growing up, sooji halwa and rice kheer were the 2 desserts mom made very frequently.
What is Sooji Halwa?
Sooji Halwa is a North Indian semolina-based dessert. It is a traditional Indian pudding made with semolina, ghee, sugar, and dry fruits, and flavored with cardamom.
Halwa is a common Indian-style sweet dish made across the Indian subcontinent. Apart from Indian cuisine, halwa is also popular in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.
There are different types of halwa prepared using semolina/sooji, flour, lentils, seeds, and nuts. In recent times, there are many variations made using vegetables and fruits.
In most Indian homes, halwa is a quick fix for sweet cravings. The moist, soft, beautiful grainy texture and glaze of ghee make suji halwa a scrumptious dessert.
Sooji Halwa is made in all parts of India. While most of the ingredients are the same, the making process is slightly different in each region and also has different names. It is popularly called Sheera/Rava Sheera in Maharashtra, Sooji no Siro in Gujarat, Sujir halua in Bengal, Sajjige [pronounced suh-gee-gay, kannada] or Kesari bath in Karnataka, Rava Kesari in South India.
The differences between the regional halwa are the cooking technique, taste, consistency, and color of the halwa.
Suji Halwa is commonly prepared during special occasions, to celebrate good news, or Indian festivals like Holi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, and Navratri along with poori and kala channa.
It also holds a special significance during Satyanarayan Puja. The sheera is offered as naivedyam to Lord Vishnu and later is distributed as prasad. Hence also called Prasadacha Sheera or Satyanarayan Sheera.
This particular sheera is always made with milk, and not with only water. Also, a banana is added as it is believed that Lord Vishnu loves bananas. Holy Basil (Tulsipatra or Tulsi Patta ) is added as a garnish.
About Sooji Halwa recipe
Sooji Halwa recipe is one of the simplest and easiest Indian desserts. Sooji (semolina) is roasted in ghee (clarified butter), combined with water and sugar. Cardamom is added for aroma and flavor. The other ingredients are optional.
There are many various ways to make sooji ka jalwa. My sooji halwa recipe starts by dry roasting the rava till it’s aromatic before adding the ghee. This step is to get rid of the moisture and the raw taste of rava. I used water to cook the sooji. Also, I add sugar granules directly without preparing the syrup.
All you need is a little bit of patience while roasting the rava on low flame.
Made with minimal ingredients, the sooji halwa tastes simply divine.
The color of the halwa depends on the roasting time.
The reason for its popularity is that the sooji halwa recipe is straightforward and requires minimal ingredients.
Depending on the region, each household has its own unique way of making this delicious halwa. In today’s post, I’m sharing my own no-fail recipe.
With this sooji ka halwa recipe, the consistency of the halwa remains the same even as it cools down.
Reasons to make
Super easy to make and very indulgent.
Perfect granular and shiny halwa.
With this recipe impress everyone and flaunt your halwa skills.
Quick dish if you have guests at short notice.
Need minimal ingredients which are always present in the Indian pantry.
Does not need any advance preparation.
For babies and toddlers, it is a weight gain food.
The halwa will just melt in your mouth.
Perfect for potluck, parties, or family gatherings.
Instantly lightens up anyone’s mood.
Sooji Halwa Proportions
To make the best suji ka halwa that is fluffy, non-sticky, and grainy (danedar), you need to follow a specific ratio.
If you eyeball the quantity of the ingredients, it will take a minute to ruin the taste and texture of halwa. The taste can be too sweet or less, the texture can be too watery or dry and lumpy.
I’m saying this after a couple of trials with different proportions.
The ratio I follow of suji to ghee to sugar to water is 1:3/4:1:3 in a cup. However, I slightly deviate from this proportion and add reduce the ghee quantity. It mainly depends if it will be consumed on the same day or stored for a few days.
Use the same bowl/cup to measure semolina, sugar, ghee, and water.
Why use more fat to make halwa?
While water is added to cook the semolina, the moist factor in halwa comes from the fat.
If you are consuming halwa on the same day, you can add 3/4 or 1/2 cup for 1 cup of sooji. If you reduce it by 1/2 cup, the texture of sooji ka halwa will be dry as there is not enough fat to make it moist.
Also, as the halwa cools it will be lumpy instead of a smooth texture. Ghee not only adds taste and aroma but also ensures that the suji halwa does not clump together.
If you are making a large batch or want to store it for a few days, I recommend using 1 or at least 3/4 cup ghee for 1 cup of rava.
Do not be stingy on the ghee.
Use a heavy bottom pan to roast the suji. A lightweight pan is not an ideal choice. The rava may burn while roasting.
The key to best halwa is well-toasted sooji. So roast the sooji well on low flame till you can smell its roasted aroma. If the sooji is not roasted well, the halwa will have a paste texture and taste.
Stir the rava continuously for even roasting.
The color of the halwa will depend on the roasting time.
Add hot water or milk for a granular texture: normal water will result in a gooey texture.
Be careful while adding the hot water. As the pan is hot, adding hot water will result in bubbles and it will start steaming and sputtering. If your hand is too close to the pan, it can cause accidental steam burns.
After adding the water, stir constantly to avoid forming lumps.
Always add sugar after roasting the sooji or at the end. If you add sugar at the beginning, it will stop rava from cooking.
Do not cook the halwa till it is dry, the consistency has to be slightly gooey. The halwa will thicken as it cools.
Serve the halwa hot or warm to enjoy the moist and fully puffed semolina grains. Cold halwa too tastes good but the texture is dry.
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
Sooji or Semolina: Also known as rawa, rava, bombay rava or upma rava. It is a coarsely ground version of wheat.
In this recipe, I’m using regular sooji. You can use a fine variety, also known as chirotti rava.
Ghee or Clarified butter: Use good quality ghee as it is a key ingredient for the rich taste and flavor of sheera. If you are making it to offer to God, use cow ghee.
Sugar: I generally use regular granulated sugar.
For 1 cup of rawa, I always add 1 cup of sugar. However, you can reduce or increase the sugar as per your taste.
Cashews and Raisins: These are the most widely used nuts. Other options are almonds, chironji/charoli, and pistachios. You can add nuts according to your preference.
Elaichi or Green Cardamom: It adds aroma and subtle flavor. In this recipe, I have added the whole cardamom. If you have cardamom powder, add it at the end to retain its aroma.
Liquid: I made this halwa entirely with water. While making halwa for prasad, I add hot milk instead of water. Milk gives the rawa halwa a rich and creamy taste. You can make the halwa with a combination of milk and water in equal quantities. Adding milk will lighten the halwa color.
How to make Sooji Halwa
1. First dry roast the rawa. Place a pan on the heat and add rava. Stir frequently and roast on low flame for 5-7 minutes or until you start getting a pleasant aroma from the pan.
2. Simultaneously in another vessel/saucepan, add water (3 times of sooji) and let it heat on medium flame.
3 & 4. Add the ghee to the roasted rava and mix well. Stir frequently and continue to roast for 3-5 minutes till it turns light golden color. If you want a darker color halwa, roast a couple more minutes.
5, 6, 7, & 8. Next, add crushed green cardamom, cashews, and raisins. Stir and roast until the raisins puff up.
9 & 10. Now carefully pour the hot water with one hand and keep stirring with the other hand to avoid lumps. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
11. Uncover, the rava has absorbed all the water, and halwa looks soft and luscious.
12. Add sugar and mix well. The sugar melts and the mixture will start becoming wet again.
13, 14, 15, & 16. Continue to cook until the mixture absorbs all the sweet liquid and looks like soft dough. The halwa is ready when it stops sticking to the pan and the ghee separates on the side of the pan. It hardly takes 2-3 minutes. Let the halwa be dropping consistency. Turn off the heat.
Cover with a lid and rest for 5-10 minutes. As it cools, the halwa will thicken and the semolina grains will separate.
Soft fluffy and moist Sooji Halwa is ready. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Can serve it as a dessert after lunch or dinner, an evening snack along with hot chai.
You can also serve sooji halwa for breakfast or brunch along with puris and chole masala or aloo curry.
Instead of serving halwa in a bowl, you can serve it in different shapes. Spread the warm halwa on a greased plate in a thick layer. Allow it cool. With a knife, cut it into a square or diamond shape.
My 5-year kid likes to use a cookie cutter to give the halwa fun shapes.
Another option is to set halwa in small silicon muffin cups, they will be like cute little cupcakes.
As the halwa is made with water, this version has a longer shelf life. You can refrigerate sooji halwa for about 5-7 days when stored in an airtight container.
Before serving, reheat the halwa in a microwave or in a pan. If there are lumps, break them with a ladle. Once heated, it will become just as freshly made.
Microwave: Transfer the halwa to a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle little water on it, and heat for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and mix the halwa well. Heat again for 30 seconds or until warm.
Stovetop: Add the halwa to a pan and heat on low flame. Keep stirring while heating the halwa until it is evenly warm. You can add little water or milk if the halwa has become too thick.
You can also store the halwa in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost and reheat it by following the instructions mentioned above.
With this recipe, you make many variations.
Fruity version: You can add fruits like banana, apple, pineapple, papaya, or seasonal fruits like mango, strawberry, and custard apple.
Add the fruits (chopped or puree) after roasting the suji well. If you add it at the beginning, it will stop rava from cooking.
Use less sugar than what is usually added to halwa. The quantity of sugar will depend on the sweetness of the fruit.
Temple style: Add a pinch of edible camphor.
If you’ve tried this Sooji Halwa recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.
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Sooji Halwa recipe
- 1 cup Semolina (Sooji)
- 3/4 cup Clarified butter (Ghee)
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3 cups Hot Water
- 6-8 Cashews (kaju)
- 10-12 Raisins (kishmish)
- 3-4 small Green Cardamom (choti elaichi)
- First dry roast the rawa. Place a pan on the heat and add rava. Stir frequently and roast on low flame for 5-7 minutes or until you start getting a pleasant aroma from the pan.
- Simultaneously in another vessel/saucepan, add water (3 times of sooji) and let it heat on medium flame.
- Add the ghee to the roasted rava and mix well. Stir frequently and continue to roast for 3-5 minutes till it turns light golden color. If you want darker color halwa, roast a couple more minutes.
- Next, add crushed green cardamom, cashews, and raisins. Stir and roast until raisins puff up.
- Now carefully pour the hot water with one hand and keep stirring with the other hand to avoid lumps. Cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Uncover, the rava has absorbed all the water, and halwa looks soft and luscious.
- Add sugar and mix well. The sugar melts and the mixture will start becoming wet again.
- Continue to cook until the mixture absorbs all the sweet liquid and looks like soft dough.
- The halwa is ready when it stops sticking to the pan and ghee separating on the side of the pan. It hardly takes 2-3 minutes. Let the halwa be dropping consistency. Turn off the heat.
- Cover with lid and rest for 5-10 minutes. As it cools, the halwa will thicken and the semolina grains will separate.
- Soft fluffy and moist Sooji Halwa is ready. Serve warm or at room temperature.