Moong Dal Halwa
A festive gluten-free Indian confection of split moong lentils, ghee, milk, sugar, cardamom, saffron and nuts, usually made during the winter.
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8servings 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 6hours
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8servings 30minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1.5 hours 6hours
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Wash and soak the skinned split moong dal/ lentils for 5 to 6 hours. You can soak them overnight too (for about 8 hours max). Drain the lentils well. Grind the drained lentils in a processor or mixer-grinder, without addition of water, to a thick coarse paste. It should be coarse with very small bits, just short of a smooth paste.
  2. Soak the saffron strands in the 2 tbsp warm milk in a small bowl. Keep aside.
  3. Heat 3/4 cup ghee in a heavy bottom/ walled pan over low to medium heat. Put the thick, coarse paste into the ghee and start stirring it. Keep stirring it frequently so the lentil paste cooks. Initially it will a bit pasty but with a little time it should start looking crumbly and become a light golden brown. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. At this point, turn the heat down. Add the milk to the pan. Be careful as the mixture will splutter and spit. You can take the pan off the stove top temporarily to do this, if you prefer. Turn the heat up to medium and stir well so there are no lumps. Keep stirring frequently for about 10 minutes allowing the lentils to cook a little more. The mixture will thicken.
  5. Add the sugar to the pan and stir it in. The mixture will loosen a little but will thicken as you keep stirring and it cooks. When the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan, as you keep stirring it, stir in a couple of tablespoons of the left over ghee. You can add all of it if you feel the halwa looks very dry and needs it. Also stir in the powdered cardamom and the saffron-milk mixture.
  6. Take the pan off the stove. Let it cool a bit. Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with the chopped almonds and pistachios. Serve warm.