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Monday, 5 October 2020

Moong Dal Halwa


Moong Dal Halwa is a delectable dessert from the Indian state of Rajasthan. Traditionally prepared with split and skinned green lentil ( moong dal), loads of ghee and sugar, this classic dessert is rich in calories and typically prepared throughout Rajasthan during winter months as it provides warmth and protects the body from bitter cold. Moong dal halwa is known for its rich, melt-in-mouth taste and also for the work of labor it involves, as it calls for soaking  yellow lentil followed by grinding it to a coarse paste and then hours of roasting the lentil paste in ghee until it reaches the desired flavor and texture. Today, i am here with a comparatively easy and quick recipe of moong dal halwa using jaggery without compromising with the taste. A dry pre-mix for the halwa is made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, using which you can prepare the moong dal halwa for your guests and loved ones within 15 minutes before serving. Tempted? Check out the recipe.

What is Moong Dal Halwa?

Moong Dal Halwa needs no introduction in India. This winter delight is a classic Rajasthani dessert that is made with skinned, split green gram (yellow lentil / dhuli moong dal), loads of ghee, sugar and nuts. Flavored with cardamom, moong dal halwa is rich and has a melt-in-mouth texture. Typically made during special occasions and festivals like Holi and Diwali, this irresistible dessert is very popular in North India and a trendy dessert on the Indian wedding menu. Making moong dal halwa at home is time consuming and requires lots of patience and efforts. Yellow lentil is soaked overnight, coarsely ground and then continuously stirred in lots of ghee for hours until the raw smell and taste of the lentil is done and it separates and gets a melt-in-mouth texture. Sugar, nuts and cardamom is added to the cooked lentil to make the decadent moong dal halwa.


My Version of Moong Dal Halwa:
My version of moong dal halwa is a healthier dessert as it replaces refined sugar with jaggery. Next, best part about it is the time taken to make the dessert is comparitively less as we will use the pre-mix. Now what is a pre-mix ? Split and skinned yellow lentil is rinsed in water and allowed to drain completely in a mesh colander. This rinsed and drained moong dal is then dry roasted in a pan at low to medium heat until it is fragrant and turns pink in color. On cooling this roasted dal is transferred to a grinder jar and pulsed to get a coarse powder. This is the pre-mix of our Moong Dal Halwa. This pre-mix can be easily made and stored in a refrigerator for about 2-3 months. Whenever we intend to make the halwa, this pre-mix is stir-fried in ghee, milk and khoya is added and then halwa is sweetened with jaggery syrup and flavored with saffron and cardamom. Thus, since we are dividing the recipe into 2 parts, it takes  just 15 minutes to make this moong dal halwa with the pre-mix. Doesn't it sound cool ?


The ingredients:
  • Split skinned green gram / Yellow lentil : Moong dal or yellow lentil is the key ingredient of this moong dal halwa. Make sure you use good quality lentil.
  • Jaggery: Jaggery is the choice of sweetener in this recipe. Use good quality organic jaggery powder for best results.
  • Milk: I have used dairy milk but you may use almond milk or any other plant based milk for a vegan version.
  • Ghee: You cannot make a good moong dal halwa without ghee. Do not compromise on the quantity of ghee used if looking for authentic taste.
  • Saffron: Saffron adds a beautiful golden color to the dish and a lovely aroma and taste.
  • Cardamom powder: Moong dal halwa is flavored with cardamom powder which compliments very well with the jaggery.
  • Nuts: Moong dal halwa is rich and studded with nuts. I have used slivered almonds and pistachios. You may use any nut of your choice.
Related Event:

#LusciousLentils is the theme for 267th week on our Facebook gourmet group, Foodie Monday Bloghop, a group of like-minded passionate food bloggers who share their food creations every Monday depending upon a pre-decided theme. This week's theme was proposed by yours truly. Stay tuned on Facebook, as i will share the collage along with recipe links of all the recipes shared by my fellow bloggers on this theme. 

Lentils are high in protein and fiber and low in fat, which makes them a healthy substitute for meat. They are also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber.. Lentils are grouped with beans and peas as a part of the legume family because, like all legumes, they grow in pods.
Click on the highlighted words below for some lentil recipes.
  • Red Lentil Oats Muffins - delicious eggless bakes with goodness of oats and lentils.
  • Quinoa Vegetable Khichdi - a one-pot meal with quinoa, lentil and vegetables.
  • Gujarati Dal Dhokli - spiced dhokli (thick pasta of whole wheat flour) are boiled and simmered in a mildly sweet, tangy spiced dal (pigeon pea stew).
  • Dal Fry - a spicy Punjabi dal made generally from yellow pigeon peas
  • Dal Makhani - a spicy rich dish made with combination of  whole black lentil and red kidney beans.
  • Mysore rasam- a thin spiced rasam prepared using freshly ground rasam powder, cooked pigeon pea and coconut.
  • Vengaya Sambar - flavorful sambar made with toor dal, pearl onions and freshly ground sambar masala.
  • Adai Dosa - a healthy breakfast  made from a mixture of  different lentils and rice.
  • Medu Vada - a doughnut shaped deep fried urad dal ( split black lentil) fritter
  • Sakkarai Pongal - a South Indian sweet delicacy made from boiled rice, mung lentils and ghee flavored with cardamom, cashew nuts and raisins.
  • Urad Dal Kachori - delicious savory fried snack made with whole wheat outer covering and black gram stuffing.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 240 ml
  • 1/2 cup yellow lentil/ moong dal
  • 1/2 cup jaggery powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 2 tablespoon slivered nuts. ( i have used almonds and pistachios)
  • Few saffron strands
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

  1. To prepare the moong dal premix, rinse the split and skinned green gram in water and allow it to drain completely on a mesh colander. Take 2 tablespoon warm milk in a small bowl and add saffron strands to it. Keep aside until use. Next, heat a pan on medium heat. Transfer the lentil to it and dry roast on medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the lentil turns aromatic and pink in color.                                                                                                                                                


  2.  Remove the roasted lentil on to a plate and allow it to cool down completely before transferring it to a grinder jar. Pulse the lentil 3-4 times to get a coarse powder. Our pre-mix for moong dal halwa is ready. Store it in an air-tight container in a refrigerator and use as per need.



3. To make moong dal halwa from the pre-mix, heat a thick bottom wok and add 2 tablespoon ghee to it. Add the pre-mix to it and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes on low to medium flame.             


  4. Once you feel the lentil powder-ghee mix has turned light while stirring, add another 1 tablespoon of ghee and stir-fry again for 1-2 minutes. While our lentil is getting fried,transfer the jaggery powder to another sauce pan with 1/4 cup water and heat. The jaggery will melt in water. Strain the jaggery syrup to remove all the impurities if any.



5.   Add hot milk to our roasted moong dal mix. Be careful at this stage, as the mix starts spluttering. Cook the mix until all the milk has been absorbed.



6.  Next, add the warm jaggery syrup and blend it well. Cook the halwa while stirring continuously. Next, add the saffron milk and blend the mix until the desired consistency is reached. We can see ghee oozing out from a well cooked moong dal halwa. The halwa should look separated and not sticky, and has a melt-in-mouth texture. Now, add the remaining 1 tablespoon ghee to the halwa and stir well.





  7.   Our moong dal halwa is ready. Add cardamom powder and slivered nuts and give it a good mix. Put off the flame. Spoon out the halwa into individual serving bowls and serve immediately. You may garnish the halwa with more slivered nuts and dry rose petals if you wish. Enjoy the delectable moong dal halwa with your loved ones!



Would Love To Hear From You !

 I hope you would love this Moong dal halwa with jaggery as much as we do. If you give it a try, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments below this post. 

All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciations means a lot to me. It gives me the inspiration and motivation to keep doing my work and give my best each time.

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See you soon with yet another healthy and delicious creation from my Kitchen. Till then take care and eat right !

Happy Cooking !


Poonam Bachhav

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  1. I love moong dhall halwa but donot make it because of the continuous stirring it needs. This recipe of yours is absolutely a keeper and very very handy. I am surely going to try this and give you the feedback.

    1. Thank you Priya. I am sure you will love the ease of this recipe. Happy cooking !

  2. Poonam I love moong dal halwa and you've is just too tempting. I tried making it once but it did not turn out so good. I now have your step by step recipe to follow and with the upcoming festivities definitely its a must try out recipe.

    1. Thank you di. Do give it a try and share your feedback with us.

  3. I love moong dal Halwa, and yours looks just perfect. The colour is brilliant! I can almost feel the fragrance of your gorgeous Halwa. :)

    1. Thanks Priya ! This moong dal halwa is indeed very aromatic and flavorful.

  4. Your halwa reminds me of mom made moong dal halwa. One of my most favourite dessert. Loved the use of jaggery and saffron. Halwa looks delectable. I can imagine the divine taste.

    1. That's a huge compliment. Thank you di. Glad you could relate my post with your mom's halwa.

  5. Moong dal halwa looks scrumptious. I love this halwa and make it at home to satisfy sudden sweet cravings. Fabulous color of the halwa makes it even more tempting.

  6. Such a delicious and irresistible halwa with beautiful pics Poonam, as it is prepared with jaggery can have more without guilt. If pre mix is ready, we can prepare it more easily, will try this.

    1. Ypu are right Aruna. With this premix, making this moong dal halwa is a breeze.

  7. A must try recipe ..wud definitely try by making a premix n adding jaggery in it ..

    1. Thank you so much. Would look forward to your feedback once you try it. Happy Cooking !

  8. Moong dal halwa looks really scrumptious Poonam !
    The fabulous color of the halwa is to die for and all the sweet lovers must be drooling over these clicks ;)

  9. Color of the halwa is too tempting and beautiful clicks. Moong dal halwa is one of my favorites and this looks so so inviting Poonam.