This North Indian Style Sooji Halwa (Suji Ka Sheera, Indian Semolina Pudding) is a traditional Indian dessert made using semolina, ghee, and sugar. Make this semolina pudding using my simple and easy recipe (vegetarian).
Here are some more halwa recipes for you – Carrot Halwa, Bread Halwa, Beetroot Halwa, Aate Ka Halwa, Lauki Ka Halwa, Aloo Ka Halwa, Rajgira Halwa, and Rajasthani Moong Dal Halwa.
About Sooji Halwa
Sooji Halwa (Suji Ka Sheera, Indian Semolina Pudding) is one of the simplest Indian desserts made using fine semolina, ghee, and sugar.
Suji halwa is made in all parts of India but the process of making is slightly different in each region and it is also called by different names too. It’s called Sheera in Punjab, Rava Sheera in Maharashtra, Sajjige in Karnataka, and Rava Kesari or Kesari Bhath in South India.
While growing up, sooji halwa and kheer were two desserts that were made very frequently in my house. Be it someone getting good grades in their exams, someone in the family getting a promotion at work, festive occasions like Holi, Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, etc, or anything happy, this halwa and kheer were made in a jiffy to celebrate the occasion.
We also grew up eating sooji ka halwa as Ashtami prasad (8th Day of Navratri festival) along with Poori and Kala Chana. Whenever there was a Satyanarayan pooja at home, this halwa was served along with Panchamrit, Panjiri, and cut fruits to all the guests.
Not only dessert but this halwa is also served for breakfast in Indian households. Bread Pakora, Sooji Halwa, and Masala Chai are popular combinations in my mom’s house.
The reason for its popularity is that it requires very few basic ingredients that are mostly available at home and it comes together quickly on short notice.
Each household has its own way of making this delicious sooji ka halwa and in this post, I am sharing my mom’s recipe to make north Indian style sooji ka halwa. Not bragging or anything, but my mom’s recipe has always been a hit among our family and friends.
This sooji ka halwa recipe is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes. It is sweet and nutty in taste and has a soft and fluffy texture.
You can easily double or triple the recipe if making it for a crowd. This recipe is vegetarian and can also be made vegan.
Sooji – Sooji (Suji, Semolina) is the star ingredient of this recipe. Make sure to use a fine variety of sooji (semolina) and not the coarse one to make the halwa.
Sugar – You can also use powdered jaggery, organic brown sugar, coconut sugar, or cane sugar instead of granulated white sugar to make this halwa healthier.
Ghee – This dessert tastes best when made with a good amount of ghee. Do not make it in oil or butter.
Nuts & Dried Fruits – Add in some crushed nuts and dried fruits like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and raisins for a lovely crunch.
Ground Cardamom – Flavor the halwa with ground cardamom (green cardamom powder).
Water – I like to make my sooji halwa recipe in water but to make it richer, you can replace water with whole milk (full-fat milk).
You can also flavor the semolina halwa with 15-20 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tablespoon milk.
How To Make Sooji Halwa
Heat ½ cup ghee in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
When the ghee is hot, add ½ cup fine semolina (sooji) and fry till it turns light golden brown (10-12 minutes). Stir frequently to avoid the semolina from burning at the bottom of the pan.
Add 5-6 chopped cashew nuts, 5-6 chopped almonds, and 10-12 raisins.
Note – Add the nuts and dried fruits only when the semolina is half roasted. If you add them earlier, they will burn by the time semolina is fully roasted.
Fry until semolina turns nicely golden brown in color (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
Note – The color of the halwa will depend on how deeply you have roasted the semolina. If you like light-colored halwa, roast it less, and if you like dark-colored halwa, roast the semolina more. I like it towards the darker side as it becomes nuttier and more flavorful when the semolina is roasted well.
Add 2 cups of water (or milk) and cook until all the water is absorbed and the semolina has softened (3-4 minutes). Stir continuously while cooking.
Add ½ cup of granulated white sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is melted and the ghee starts to ooze out from the sides of the pan (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently.
Note – Do not add the sugar until the semolina has softened well. Once you add the sugar, it will stop softening.
Add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and mix well.
Remove the pan from the heat. At this stage, halwa will be of dropping porridge-like consistency but within 5-10 minutes, it will become firm and grainy in texture.
Transfer the halwa to a serving bowl and garnish with slivered dry nuts and dried rose petals.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
Note – The semolina will keep absorbing the liquid and the halwa will thicken in 10-15 minutes. It will become firm and fluffy.
Pro Tips By Neha
Make sure to follow the measurements correctly. I have used standard cups and spoon measures to measure the ingredients.
Do not skimp on ghee. Suji ka halwa recipe will not taste good when made with less ghee.
Roasting semolina takes time and this step is very important to make a great halwa. Be patient.
You can reduce the amount of sugar as per your taste. You can also add powdered jaggery for a healthy alternative.
I never make sugar syrup or boil the water. There is no need for those extra steps to make a great halwa.
This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can replace water with milk to make a richer halwa, however, the shelf life of halwa will be reduced. Keep in consideration that the halwa will be lighter in color and smoother in texture if made using milk. You can also use half water and half milk to make the halwa.
To make a vegan version of this halwa, replace ghee with coconut oil or avocado oil.
Add pineapple juice and pineapple chunks to this halwa to make Pineapple Sooji Halwa.
You can also add mashed bananas to this halwa.
Try adding strawberry puree or mango puree for a fruity version.
Add a pinch of saffron soaked in 1 tablespoon milk for a richer taste.
Replace half of the semolina with almond flour for a protein-rich version of this halwa.
Sooji Halwa will last in the fridge for about 4 to 5 days when stored in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or pan until nice and warm before serving.
The best way to reheat sooji halwa is in a microwave. Just sprinkle some water on it and cover and heat for 1 minute. Then mix well. If it still requires some more heating, micro it again for 30-40 seconds.
In case you don’t have a microwave, just bring the halwa to room temperature. Mix it well, sprinkle some water on it, and heat on low heat in a pan. Keep mixing while heating the halwa and add more water if needed.
You can also freeze suji ka halwa for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat.
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Sooji Halwa Recipe (Suji Ka Sheera, Indian Semolina Pudding)
- ½ cup ghee
- ½ cup fine semolina (sooji)
- 5-6 cashew nuts (chopped)
- 5-6 almonds (chopped)
- 10-12 raisins
- 2 cups water (or whole milk (full-fat milk))
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- Heat ghee in a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat.
- When the ghee is hot, add semolina and fry till it turns light golden brown (10-12 minutes). Stir frequently to avoid the semolina from burning at the bottom of the pan.
- Add cashew nuts, almonds, and raisins.
- Note – Add the nuts and dried fruits only when the semolina is half roasted. If you add them earlier, they will burn by the time semolina is fully roasted.
- Fry until semolina turns nicely golden brown in color (10-12 minutes), stirring frequently.
- Note – The color of the halwa will depend on how deeply you have roasted the semolina. If you like light-colored halwa, roast it less, and if you like dark-colored halwa, roast the semolina more. I like it towards the darker side as it becomes nuttier and more flavorful when the semolina is roasted well.
- Add water (or milk) and cook until all the water is absorbed and the semolina has softened (3-4 minutes). Stir continuously while cooking.
- Add sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is melted and the ghee starts to ooze out from the sides of the pan (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently.
- Note – Do not add the sugar until the semolina has softened well. Once you add the sugar, it will stop softening.
- Add cardamom powder and mix well.
- Remove the pan from the heat. At this stage, halwa will be of dropping porridge-like consistency but within 5-10 minutes, it will become firm and grainy in texture.
- Transfer the halwa to a serving bowl and garnish with slivered dry nuts and dried rose petals.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
- Note – The semolina will keep absorbing the liquid and the halwa will thicken in 10-15 minutes. It will become firm and fluffy.
Your recipes are just awesome and tasty….I really wait for your new recipes…please post few more non vegetarian recipes…this sooji halwa came out perfect…can we use milk instead of water in this recipe…if yes…please mention the quantity…thank you…take care…
Thnx Ankita. Yes you can use Milk in this recipe. Use same amount as water , but only use warm milk not cold.
What a delightful presentation..Halwa looks too good.
Sorry if this seems like a strange question but how can I ensure accurate measurements? Should I use a cup meaure or convert this into gms? I’m a first time cook!
For baking, I always suggest weighing the ingredients but for cooking, I use standard cup and spoon measures and they work out perfectly fine.
kadhi pakora recipe
great recipe, Thank you for sharing with us, the presentation is too good.
Tried this recipe, it taste great thank you! Nonetheless, is there anyway I can troubleshoot should I happen to have a quite dry texture, I’ve always preferred it wet. Is there anything I can do to the made halwa to make it slightly wet, would adding ghee or water help whilst heating it over the fire again?
Thnx for trying Shafinah. This recipe requires a lot of ghee to keep it moist. I hope you have followed the measurements. If it’s still dry, splash some milk while reheating.