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
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Yields: 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!
1. Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight.
2. 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.
3. Next morning, grind to a paste.
4. 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.
5. In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup of ghee and warm it up.
6. 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.

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 ;))

8. 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.

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.

10. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
11. Keep the heat low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.
12. Cook until the ghee surfaces and halwah gets a shiny creamy texture.
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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11 Member Reviews

By Sachidananda on Apr 6, 2013

By I Play I learn on Jan 15, 2012

I always found chef in you recipes easy to make because of those lovely lively pictures and clear instructions. I have tried pooran poli, moong dal halwa, ven pongal and many other snacks. If you follow the measurements and instructions carefully , you make the dish better than you expect it tobe. Keep trying ............... make your family happy .......


Read All 11 Reviews →


By Pooja on Nov 4, 2014

very nice recipe

By Radhika on Oct 12, 2014

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.

By poorva on Aug 21, 2014

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.

By poorva on Aug 21, 2014

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

By Sujatha on Jun 3, 2014

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

By Aravind on May 9, 2014

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..

By aimen on Apr 28, 2014

can we khoya? if yes then at what step

By Disha on Apr 10, 2014

:-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.

By Alice on Jan 23, 2014

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

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

By Alice on Jan 22, 2014

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? Thanks!

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

By Moong Dal Halwa | Culinary Pins on Jan 1, 2014

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By shruthi on Jul 27, 2013

:wink: awesome dish

By shruthi on Jul 27, 2013


By fatima on May 26, 2013

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 :)

By Pallavi on Nov 15, 2012

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

By jehani on Nov 9, 2012

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

By Rajani on Jul 31, 2012

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.

By swapna on Jul 6, 2012

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.

By neelima on May 1, 2012

when i tried this didn't turn out to be as the last pic...any idea, where i went wrong?

By neelima on May 1, 2012

i tried this redipe...but didn't turned out to be like the last formed chunks?...any idea, where i went wrong?

By Kissoon Sarvesh on Jan 28, 2012

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.

By moong dal halwa | | indian4everindian4ever on Nov 10, 2011

[...] Moong Dal Ka Halwa Recipe | Indian Yellow Lentil Recipes | Chef In …Jan 15, 2010 … Creamy, moist & melt in the mouth are words used to describe this classic & traditional Rajastani dessert/Sweet. Decadent dish made during … [Read More] [...]

By Arathi on Feb 14, 2011

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..

By Neha Dhiman on Feb 11, 2011

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 :)

By Anil Aggarwal on Jan 14, 2011

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.

By Greshma on Oct 4, 2010

:twisted: I was truly inspired by the color and the presentation of your halwa. But my experience was exactly the opposite of that. Just like Alina, my halwa was a hard and lifeless lump (that too after so much of effort). After introspecting a lot on other websites, I got to know that the ingredients was probably a problem. I tried with equal proportions of ghee and dal; and the ratio of dal to milk of 1:1.5. And the halwa was perfect. For those of you, who would like to improve upon the recipe, please try the above mentioned constituency.

If you read the post throughly you will know that this is not my recipe. Indian sweets are considered tricky for a reason - not everyone gets it in their first try. For that I was surprised that I did manage to get this one - this recipe was tried by many ppl participating in a challenge called ICC and almost everyone did manage to achieve the consistency. So I would say that the recipe is not with fault per se. I guess the proportion you mentioned probably just worked out for you better than this one.

By swati on Aug 20, 2010

:( hey chef, have been trying to post a pic of the halwa i made last night but cant get thru to that page, it just asks me to register with fb/google etc. which ive already done. earlier i had no problem posting my pic of choco brownie fudge, is ur website facing techincal issues yet? tks. swati

By sam on Aug 8, 2010

wow i simply loved the way u have presented ur halwa..did u use a mould for this ?? cud u plz tell me how to give this look..thanks :o)

I just used a cup I had at home which I filled and unmoulded back into a plate. Its called a ramekin but you can use any cup to do this :)

By alina on Mar 28, 2010

Tried it enticed by the amazing results you have posted wonder i m not as great a cook as you....mine turned out to be dry, dull, lifeless lump...tasted sweet and nice, but very dry.....and after so much effort :( boohooo........

Dear Alina, dont be hard on yourself. Traditional Indian desserts can give even great chefs a complex!! Having said that, a normal cook like me gets jitters every time I even think of making sweets. No wonder u dont see many classic ones in my site ;) Takes hell lot pf patience though these sweets make all that effort worthwhile. The only reason I can think for the dryness is not enough Ghee! If you can afford to forget "calories" from your dictionary for a while, then keep like 1 cup ghee by the side and add them as and when u find the paste getting too dry. if you see the original ones in the shops, you will see them practically glisten! That's the amount they add. Here this version is a like Nun at a church - v conservative - but will never be sold at shops ;) --DK

By sheelu on Feb 3, 2010

awesome.....I'm dying to try it out!!!

By Divya Vikram on Jan 17, 2010


By Lata Raja on Jan 17, 2010

Yes the bathroom scales may whine! But if you give someone this halwa so beautifully shaped and perfected...throw the scales out of the window!

By AshaLAtha R K Prasad on Jan 16, 2010

WOW!!!!! Yummy!!! In its true sense..... Loved every detailing involved.... The feel, the texture.... everything was so enthralling..... An experience just going through it...& to have relished it, must be very divine.... I am your new fan..... U excel not pnly the art of preparing those goodies, but excel in presenting & capturing them too.... I still see it through your eyes.... Kudos to you.... Ash.... (

By Jayashree on Jan 16, 2010

Love the colour of your halwa.....mine got done really fast.....maybe coz I ground all the ingredients together.

By Asha on Jan 16, 2010

YUM. Love the texture and the color, enjoy.

By notyet100 on Jan 16, 2010

i m droolin here..;;-)

By CurryLeaf on Jan 16, 2010

:-P Mouthwatering.I MUST do it. :-P :-P

By Madhuram on Jan 16, 2010

I have never tried this. It looks very mouth watering Dhivi.

By Champa on Jan 16, 2010

What a beautiful presentation you have.

By sheba on Jan 16, 2010

lovely colour and presentation...I guess i too waited for the oozing moment that never came with mine..not even the shining one! maybe thats why mine looked pretty dryish..

By bergamot on Jan 16, 2010

Your presentation is wonderful. The halva looks really scrumptious.

By shyamala on Jan 15, 2010

How many spoonfuls of water can be safely added to grind the moong dal to get the desired consistency? I like the way you have presented the sweet.

By ranjit virdee on Jan 15, 2010

:wink: i will try cooking it this sunday.

By Uma on Jan 15, 2010

Who cares about gaining pounds, if you serve me like this. Looks absolutely tempting and delicious Dhivya. :)

By Sheetal on Jan 15, 2010

I love your step-by-step ... I so wish I had this when I was making mine. Love the pretty presentation, the halwa is truly shining :)

By Desi Soccer Mom on Jan 15, 2010

As some who grew up eating this halwa in the winters, not in Rajasthan but MP where it is also very popular, I have to say I am impressed so many ICC enthusiasts tried this, including you DK. I have never made it at home myself and will not attempt to make it either because as you said it, it takes a lot of elbow grease and ghee. The ones I grew up on have a one inch layer of ghee floating on top, so if you thought this is sinful, wait till you get to witness the halwai version! :lol: I am surprised the original recipe did not call for cardamom since that is an essential ingredient of any Indian dessert, especially this one. But I am glad you added it. Makes it that much more authentic. :-P

By Jyothivalaboju on Jan 15, 2010

Hmmm. Halwa looks yummy. looks fantastic...

By Padma on Jan 15, 2010

Looks superb and enjoyed reading your post and step by step pics.

By Srivalli on Jan 15, 2010

Looks great Dhivi...

By Chakh...le...Re!!! on Jan 15, 2010

hey DK...I am always amazed at your presentation skills and explaining skills. Halwa looks very yummy!!

By Medhaa on Jan 15, 2010

hey, love your pictures. The ghee oozez out after about 2 hrs off cooking and it turns brown, I was so thrilled when I was at that stage.

By Sumi on Jan 15, 2010

Nice colour and great effort with the shots, that too with the halwa in the stove :-P . Its amazing to see such bright colour, without adding artificial colours.I missed ICC this month.But Planning to make this sweet anyways.

Thanks Sumi - I had help with the coloring though - We know it by the name Saffron ;) --DK

By mridhu on Jan 15, 2010

This is pure torture... to look at this delicious looking halwa staring at my face!!! :). The pictures look great!.

By Priya on Jan 15, 2010

Delicious halwa...looks fantastic..Enjoyed making them..

By Madhu on Jan 15, 2010

Looks lovely, it was fun making them.