Moong Dal Halwa/Burfi

With Dipawali approaching fast, cleaning and decorating the house has begun and from today onwards my sweet preparations will take a front runner till “the day”. I started with the most time consuming mithai moong dal burfi, rich and creamy, enjoyed and cherished throughout Rajasthan where it is believed to be made during the winter due to the fact that this dessert keeps the body warm. It takes a lot of patience as the dal (lentil) has to be sautéed slowly in low heat for a long time. If you are anti-calorie in your house – then forgive me for posting this and tempting you…ghee is revered in this dish and shines (and I mean it literally!) through this dish. If you know how velvet feels, then you will know how the texture of this halvah should be. Velvety smooth with a creamy texture where one spoonful simply vanishes in your mouth before you even realize what’s happening.

Moong Dal Halwa
Preparation and cooking time: 2-2½ hrs


1½ cup Moong Dal, soaked overnight
¾ cup Mawa/Khoya
1 cup Sugar
1 cup water
1½ liter Milk
½ tsp Saffron, soaked in a little milk
5 Cardamoms, powdered
6 tbsp Ghee
Blanched almonds


Grind the Moong dal coarsely without any water. Heat the ghee and fry the dal on very slow heat till it turns golden brown.

Add the milk and cook till it has been absorbed. Add mawa and cook on a low fire, stirring continuously till the dal and the mawa are well blended. Remove from the heat and keep aside. Make sugar syrup of one thread consistency and add saffron and cardamom powder to it.

Add the fried dal to the syrup and stir quickly till it mixes well. Add thin slivers of blanched almonds and raisins.

For burfi, simply grease a plate/baking sheet and spread the halwa evenly and let it set for a couple of hours. Cut into squares and serve.

Some Tips:

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 thickens as it cools.