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.
About This Recipe
Sooji Halwa (Suji Ka Sheera, Indian Semolina Pudding) is one of the simplest North Indian Indian desserts made using fine semolina, ghee, and sugar. It is super easy to make and comes together in under 30 minutes. Suji halwa is sweet and nutty in taste and has a soft and fluffy texture.
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.
So many memories attached to this humble dessert.
The reason for its popularity is because it requires very few basic ingredients that are mostly available at home and it comes together quickly on short notice.
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.
Each household has its own way of making this delicious sooji ka halwa and in today’s post, I am sharing my mom’s recipe to make it. Not bragging or anything, but my mom’s recipe has always been a hit among our family and friends.
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 to make the halwa.
Sugar – I generally use raw sugar in my kitchen but you can use any sugar that you have at hand. You can also use powdered jaggery instead of sugar to make this halwa healthier.
Ghee – This dessert tastes best when made in 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.
Others – You can also flavor the halwa with ground cardamom and saffron.
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 (10-12 minutes).
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 a 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 and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed and the semolina has softened (3-4 minutes).
Add ½ cup sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is melted and the halwa is slightly brown in color (3-4 minutes). Stir frequently.
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.
Note – Do not add the sugar until the semolina has softened well. Once you add the sugar, it will stop softening.
Tip – Add ½ teaspoon of cardamom powder along with sugar for a delicious flavor.
Garnish with slivered dry nuts and 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 spoons measures to measure out 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 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 in 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
- ½ cup sugar
- Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan over medium heat.
- When the ghee is hot, add 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 cashew nuts, 5-6 almonds, and raisins.
- Fry until semolina turns nicely golden brown (10-12 minutes).
- Add water and cook on low heat until all the water is absorbed and the semolina has softened (3-4 minutes).
- Add sugar and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is melted and the halwa is slightly brown in color (3-4 minutes). 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.
- Garnish with slivered dry nuts and serve hot or at room temperature.