Mom’s Soul Recipe: Sooji Halwa

Halva (also halvah, halwa, and other spellings) is any of various dense, sweet confections made in the Middle East, Central and South Asia.The first known written halvah recipe appeared in the early 13th century Arabic Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of Dishes). In global, popular usage it means “desserts” or “sweet”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Growing up, I recall my mom often making this halwa recipe as weekend breakfasts. Unlike many of my mom’s recipes that kept changing over the years, this one somehow always remained consistently delicious. As I grew older and performed my own cooking experiments, I discovered the secret sauce that differentiates a good cook from a great one.

Consistency. This is what creates nostalgia. This is what makes people go back to eat the same recipe year after year. This is what makes mom’s cooking so special.

So now that I am a mom myself (and secretly hoping to achieve greatness in my own culinary skills), I turned to my mom to learn the most consistently delicious recipe that still brings back memories of my childhood. Hope this becomes a family favorite in your household as much as it is in mine!

Ingredients
  • 1 c. Sooji (granulated wheat)
  • 1/2 c. Besan (gram flour)
  • 3/4 c. Sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Butter/Ghee
  • 1 tbsp. each of Cashews, Almonds and Raisins
  • A pinch of Kesar (saffron)
  • 1 tsp. of ground cardamom
  • 3 cups water
METHOD
  1. Take 3 cups of water in a small pan and add sugar.
  2. Add saffron and ground cardamom to it and bring to boil.
  3. In another pan, add butter. On low flame, add the sooji and besan and sauté constantly until it turns slightly brownish and fragrant. IMPORTANT: Make sure to stir constantly on low flame to avoid burning!
  4. In another thick bottomed pan, add some ghee and sauté the dry fruits until crispy.
  5. Add the sautéd dry fruits to the browned sooji-besan mix and stir.
  6. Now slowly add the boiled sugared water to the mix while stirring constantly to avoid any lumps. Keep stirring until you achieve a smooth dry paste-like consistency.
  7. Turn off heat. Garnish with some dry fruits and a mint leaf and serve hot!

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