Moong Dal Halwa ~ Indian Cooking Challenge for December!

>>  Friday, January 15, 2010

My tryst with Moong Dal Halwa started many years ago. I first tasted it on December 24th 1995 to be exact, for a breakfast. I remember so well because the trip was an unforgetable one, we were visiting Bombay, my first trip for a friends wedding. It was a punjabi wedding, an occasion we all enjoyed to every small bit. The food that we were treated to was the best one could ask of a punjabi khanna. Days may have passed without a hint, but memories still linger very heavily, unforgettably!


During my visit to Delhi in October this year, I was eager to taste Moong dal halwa but was most disappointed to learn that they don't make this halwa at that time as it is a winter special! I had previously attempted this halwa as hubby dear likes it a lot. Researching many sites and books and notes from North Indian friends, I finally made the halwa, it came out well. Hubby dear said it tasted great but not like the one he remembers from Delhi.

This was the story last year. Now just couple of weeks ago while I was chatting with Simran, we somehow got into discussing the next dish for us to work on for ICC, I remembered that her Mom must know how to make Moong Dhal Halwa. So with all eagerness asked if her mom has an authentic recipe for Moong Dal halwa. Yes came the answer and rest is history. She mailed me her mom's recipe, infact two versions of it.

And guess what, I requested Lataji to make this ahead of time to help us with notes. She was most kind enough and infact made both the versions and sent me her notes and exact steps to follow.

So thanks to Simran's Mom for the recipe and Lataji for giving us notes on the recipe. One recipe calls for using Khova, the other plain dal. I followed the one with just dal.

Moong Dal Halwa

Soaking Time : Overnight
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 30 - 45 mins

Recipe 1 with khoya

Ingredients Needed:

Split (Yellow) Moong dal - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup - 1 cup (depending on your preference)
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 1/2 cup
Khoya - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts and raisins for garnish

You can make any quantity with this as long as you keep this ratio constant : equal amounts of dal and sugar, half the ghee and khoya.

Method to prepare:

Lightly roast the 1 cup of moong dal, wash, soak overnight and be ground to a fine paste adding very little water.

Take a thick bottom pan, heat 1/2 cup ghee and fry the moong dal paste till it turns brownish and releases the ghee. Add sugar and khoya.

Stir fry until both the sugar and khoya are well absorbed. Turn off the heat, then mix in cashew nuts and raisins.

Recipe 2 with just the dal

Split (Yellow) Moong dhal - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk - 1/2 cup (Notes from Lataji - instead of water for the sugar, this gives the khoya added taste, Simran's recipe asked for water)
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.

Method to Prepare:

  1. Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.
  2. Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.
  3. Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
  4. Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.
  5. Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
  6. Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
  7. Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
  8. Cook until the ghee surfaces.
  9. Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Notes :

  • Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan
  • Don't leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
  • You aren't looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
  • Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
  • Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
  • In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture
  • Though original recipe didn't call for roasting the dhal before soaking, Lataji felt roasting it a bit gives more fragrance.
To all my ICC members, please link your Moong Dal Halwa to Mr. Linky.


BangaloreBaker January 15, 2010 at 10:25 PM  

I had fun making it. Now that I see Srivalli's halwa pictures, mine looks different. Curious to see other pictures as well.

lata raja January 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM  

Great looking halwa! I see many of them turning out with a nice texture that I feel I should try to get a better consistency.

renuka January 15, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

Sri's pic is perfect with the ghee oozing yummy,mine too looks different but tasted good

Asha January 15, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

Great looking Halwa, saw many today in many blogs, thanks to you! :))

Jayashree January 15, 2010 at 11:15 PM  

My post is up, Valli.....but it didn't take me anywhere close to 30 minutes to cook it. Mine got done really about 8-10 minutes. Maybe it's 'coz I ground all the ingredients together.

Swathi January 15, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

I love the taste, your halwa looks great.

Madhu January 15, 2010 at 11:32 PM  

Halwa was a very good choice, ineed. Very apt for the pongal festival. I very much enjoyed making them. Thanks Sri.

Medhaa January 16, 2010 at 12:13 AM  

Thanks Srivalli this was a great choice for this. tasted lovely. Everyone seems to keep it yellow, we are used to the brown one.

prasu January 16, 2010 at 12:31 AM  

I really enjoyed making and eating this halwa dear...........

Pavani January 16, 2010 at 2:41 AM  

Halwa turned out fantastic Valli. Check out my version of it when you get a chance.

Divya Vikram January 16, 2010 at 3:46 AM  

It was great making this Halwa. Thanks for the challenge Valli

s January 16, 2010 at 6:02 AM  

just LOVED this months challenge....yours looks oh so pretty!

Sheetal Kiran January 16, 2010 at 7:20 AM  

After my last disaster making moon dal halwa, this was absolutely perfect Srivalli! Loved the taste, texture, color ... just perfect. But, I love the color and texture on your halwa even more!! Looks absolutely lovely!! Thanks for having me on board :D

Ann January 16, 2010 at 7:52 AM  

My first ICC challenge! Thanks for the detailed recipe Srivalli, Lata and Simran. I'm not sure if I got it right (I've never seen or tasted this halwa before). I think mine lacked as much as ghee as some of the other entries. All in all, FUN! And a new experience. Yipppeeee!!!

shoba January 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM  

Thanks for the recipe, Srivalli. Your halwa looks perfect;

PJ January 16, 2010 at 11:26 AM  

Loved this challenge Srivalli.Yours looks so delish!!Thanks for selecting this one for ICC.Looking forward to the next one.

Jyothi January 16, 2010 at 12:41 PM  


had fun making this halwa. thought it had little strain but the result was simply delicious..

Madhurya January 16, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

I've posted my URL. This is my first challenge. It tasted really good. Enjoyed it... Thx srivalli. Waiting for the next interesting recipe.

Rekha shoban January 16, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

hi wonderful halwa...nice click dear

notyet100 January 16, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

yummy theme for icc,..:-)

RV January 16, 2010 at 9:24 PM  

Thanks for choosing this recipe Srivalli, It was really a delicious halwa. Want to make it again :)

Mallugirl January 17, 2010 at 4:46 AM  

i have never tasted this sri and now u have the whole blogosphere making it. i am left behind!!:0 will have to try a batch now.

Chatterbox January 17, 2010 at 5:17 AM  

Wow! what a wonderful idea to have a group of friends sharing their recipes and pictures of a selected yummy treat each month.

It's my first visit to your blog and I am loving ever bit of it.

Keep up the wonderful work :)


Archana January 17, 2010 at 10:16 AM  

Thanks Valli, It was very easy to make. It actually did not take 25-30 minutes. It was done very fast. It was tasting awesome too.

ruchikacooks January 18, 2010 at 1:37 AM  

Finally Srivalli, I linked it.

The halwa tasted so good, thanks for choosing this recipe.

Monika January 18, 2010 at 7:17 PM  

i really like this idea and next month I am game for this... i dont have a food blog but post recpies every friday on my blog :) count me in

Deepa G Joshi January 18, 2010 at 8:16 PM  

wow..this looks so good..great job..

Preethi Rajeev January 19, 2010 at 2:01 AM  

That looks like one great halwa, drooling here. Following u

jayasree January 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

Valli, yours have come out very well. Looks perfect to me. This is the texture I had in mind though I haven't ate it before. Mine didnot come anywhere closer to this.

rujuta January 20, 2010 at 2:33 PM  

Wanted to know how do I join in ICC

Srivalli January 20, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

Thank you everybody, Will surely check all your lovely creations as soon as I can...

Monika & Rujuta Please let me know your email ids, I have said that in the announcement post. Without email id I won't be able to send in the invite. Thanks!

Rujuta January 20, 2010 at 11:17 PM  


My e-mail id is


Monika January 24, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

thanks I have sent u an email

Meena January 27, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

Hi Srivalli,

I have not yet uploaded pics...but will do so, soon!!

Love this recipe

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