Moong Dal Halwa

By DK on Jan 15, 2010
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
This month's ICC-Challenge posed us with another interesting dish - esp. for me since I have never attempted to make it before. For a good reason, since I have no takers for sweets in my house. I knew about Moong Dal Halwa (Sweet Yellow Lentil Pudding) - the rich and creamy pudding recipe which is 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. Not only that, it also forms part of auspicious occasions be it festivals like Holi, Diwali etc but also during happy ceremonies like Weddings. I have heard that it is also famous in Pakistan.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Yes, agreed that it takes hell lot of patience (at least for a person as lazy as me!). The dal (lentil) has to be sauteed slowly in low heat for a long time - try to think of even the word 'multitasking' - you will have Madam 'Burn's visiting your kitchen. 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 whats happening. Yes! Its like magic! Coming from a sweet hater, you gotta accept the fact that I indeed must be serious and must have given it a long thought to write this one down...yes I did indeed!It could make even me slowly turn my loyalties to sweets (my weighing machine will never forgive me...) Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe Guess, now that you get what I am trying to put across (you did better, unless you want me chewing off your ears...No wait..shouldn't it be virtually chafing your eyes with all this reading..!! #@!#$ When did I become a deviant????!!!!!!), lets go to the recipe now shall we? Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe We were given 2 methodologies to follow, out of which we could choose one. The one with Khoya was obviously not used by me...(you ask why?? I couldn't get my lazy bum to travel all the way to the Indian stores!!! Isn't that obvious if you know me?). So the other one used ingredients which were waiting to be used in my 2nd method it was...I added few additional stuff to the recipe. Love Indian Sweets? Then check these out : Gulab Jamun, Badam Halwa (Almond Fudge), Rava Ladoo, Pink Diamonds (agar agar dessert), Puran Poli (Obattu), Sakkarai Pongal, Hyderabadi Double Ka Meeta, Pal Kova, Besan Ladoo, Kheer (Pal Payasam), Gajar Halwa
Basic Information
Prep Time: 8 hours to 1 day
Cook Time: 1 to 2 hours
Serves: 4 people
Yield: Makes around 4-6 servings
  • 1 cup - Split (Yellow) Moong dhal
  • 1/2 cup Ghee
  • 3/4 cups to 1 cup Sugar (as your sweet tooth demands)
  • 1/2 cup Milk (or water - I did something in the middle! Used Low fat milk! Its just little better than water)
  • Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • few strands of Saffron
* Saffron and cardamom powder are my additions. Can't imagine a sweet without these!
Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Note: You can optionally dry roast the lentils in a skillet until aromatic and lightly golden and then soak it in water. It helps to enhance the taste and fragrance of this dessert though it is optional.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Next morning, grind to a paste.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Take a heavy Kadai/ Non stick skillet. Heat 1-2 tsp of ghee and saute the cashews and raisins, until the raisins get all puffy and cashews are roasted.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup of ghee and warm it up.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Add the dhal paste and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky since the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe

Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.This is when your hands will become your enemies and hate you for making them work

(console them the way I did - 'we are building you up baby! Imagine how less flabby you will look?" - It works , believe me ;))

Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Add the rest of the ghee intermittently (I warmed the ghee before adding it) and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe

As far as the oozing word, I am assuming that they meant the shine part on the surface cos no ghee oozed out for me...mine became if your halwa starts glowing (or shining..) guess you can rest easy...Dont make the mistake I made, of taking your magnifying glass and inspecting for something oozing out from it (aaah!!! I just realized its sounding gross!)


Dear Medha informed me that the Ghee actually does ooze out of the halwa around the 2 hours mark. I don't think I cooked my halwa that long, hence I personally am not aware it. But if you are just trying this halwa and you are as patient as Medha - do give it a try :) Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. You can add the saffron and cardamom powder to this mixture. Otheriwise you can simply add them towards the end to the dish directly. Whatever works for you.

Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Keep the heat low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Cook until the ghee surfaces and halwah gets a shiny creamy texture.
Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
Garnish with cashews and raisins. I have tried my level best to capture the shine and the creaminess  in this Halwa via my photo. I wish I could transfer the picture captured by my eyes - it would have done these halwa more justice than the man made gizmo. Amazing dish! Moong Dal Ka Halwa (Yellow Lentil) Recipe
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55 Responses to “Moong Dal Halwa”
  1. Radhika

    Hi DK. The presentation looks stunning and so beautiful. Though I make awesome moong dal halwa, please let me know how did you mold the halwa in to small dumplings? I came to your website just to check your beautiful presentation.

  2. poorva

    I for got to mention two things.. 1. There wont be slightest change in the end product. It will be as delicious as ever.. 2. I use around 3/4 cup of ghee for 1cup daal and add entire amount of the to the paste. All the best.

  3. poorva

    Here is a grt timesaver tip.. Then your hands will love u too.. After u have ground the moong daal, mix the heated ghee with raw moong daal paste and pressure cook the mixture for 3 whistles plus 10 more minutes on low heat. While the mixture is still warm (this is important), break down the lumps with your hand/ potato masher. Now put this mixture into a heavy bottom pan and start roasting till you get the desired color. The roasting takes considerably lesser time.

    Awesome tip. Will def. keep this in mind next time around. Thank you. –DK

  4. Thanks for sharing dis halwa mam….I ll try n give surprise to my in laws

  5. Nice described everything in detail with step by step photos :) so that i got a clear picture of the preparation of this dish..anyway thanks for the great recipe..

  6. aimen

    can we khoya? if yes then at what step

  7. Disha

    :-P Lady, by oozing out she meant that the halwa starts to leave the pan. You can see the grease on the sides of the pan. For example its like indian gravy leaving sides of the pan when the raw smell is off..
    If it tasted good that’s really nice..
    but cooking till it leaves the sides takes off the rawness from the halwa.

  8. Alice

    Have you ever tried making the pudding using red lentils? What are your thoughts on this substitution?


    I have tried the pudding with Toor Dal (Indian pigeon peas) which is quite common in India. Many households swap pigeon peas with red lentils in their day to day cooking given that it works equally well in the recipes that ask for the former. So by that logic, I am assuming that a sweet pudding with red lentils might work as well. But I havent tried it as yet. –DK

  9. Alice

    Hi there,
    Can coconut oil be used instead of Ghee?
    Or maybe a mixture of coconut oil and butter?

    Can yoghurt be used instead of milk?

    Instead of sugar, can maple syrup or honey or jam be used?


    Yes, but I am afraid you might not end up with the Indian version of the sweet. –DK

  10. shruthi
  11. fatima

    hi, ur website is amazing, the details in the recipes are always o helpful. iam from pak, although im not a big fan of desi sweets but im a complete sucker for this halwa! gonna make it soon! x thanks :)

  12. Pallavi

    I have lots of store bought moong dal powder , wondering if that can be used to make halwa.

  13. jehani

    Nice recipe. My mom likes to do all these
    Last time she made rava ladoo it was awesome

  14. i made this halwa…n it came out damn good….loved it….thanku sooo much this wonderful recipe….although i used to make this earlier also…but knowing exact proportion and making after looking at those wonderful pics…for the first time it came out sooo tasty.thanks.

  15. swapna

    hi , i tried making halwa today , but somehow when i had put the daalpaste in the ghee, it had formed lumps, and i had to throw everything.

  16. neelima

    when i tried this recipe…it didn’t turn out to be as the last pic…any idea, where i went wrong?

  17. neelima

    i tried this redipe…but somehow…it didn’t turned out to be like the last picture…it formed chunks?…any idea, where i went wrong?

  18. Kissoon Sarvesh

    Hi dear, a wonderful recipe. I tried it today for Vasant Panchami Puja and it came really well. :wink: In fact, I used lesser ghee like Neha Dhiman and it was a bit dry and stiff at first. However after some time of tedious cooking, it became moist and shiny. Thanks for this recipe.

  19. i made this today!! for my valentine :)
    it has come out the way u have described it! im saing this bcz i havnt tasted it yet!:(
    but my halva was done withinin 45mins!! i wanted to share this! thank u so very much for the recipe..

  20. Neha Dhiman

    hiii… I tried making this halwa, but did not want to add 1/2 cup ghee being health conscious.. The result was, that the mixture became very very thick in the beginning and almost impossible to stir, it used to get separated into 2 or 3 huge lumps whenever I used to stir. But gradually it started parting and was dry, so instead of the Halwa, I got Moong dal Panjeeri!!! and it also turned out soooo damn tasty!! but it took more than 3 hours and my arms were half dead after stirring the mixture for so long… anyways, it was worth the effort! so thanks to your recipe and my imagination!!

    Yes, it does take a hell lot of time and ghee to get to that perfect consistency! Sometimes gud stuff do make us work harder, dont they? But I am glad your creativity churned out an equally yummy and what more a not so calorie dense dessert…Yay to you too :)

  21. Thanks for the recipe. I modified it a little to suit my taste and it came out REALLY good. Very moist. Please check on my Facebook page. The whole process photos and modified recipe is posted.

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