A Sweet Semolina Saffron Pudding (Sooji Halva)

By • February 23, 2011 9 Comments

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Author Notes: Sooji Halva is a very popular Indian dessert. It is often made for special occasions or celebrations, and is also often used as an offering to the Gods (called a prasad).

It does not have to be a special occasion for us to make it though! We often just crave the rich yet subtle flavors, and contrasting textures of the soft semolina and crunchy nuts. Making it a uniquely rich comfort food!
elizabeth c

Makes  about 4 cups

  • 1 stick of butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 10 green cardamom pods (crushed and muddled, discard the shells, use the seeds)*
  • 15 pistachios (crushed)*
  • 15 raw almonds (slivered)*
  • *save some of each to use as a garnish
  1. In a medium/large saucepan, on low heat, slowly melt together the butter and semolina. Stir occasionally and mix well, until the mixture is golden/dark brown. (This should take about 20 minutes).
  2. At the same time, in a separate small/medium sized saucepan, on medium/low, heat the sugar, water, saffron and cardamom seeds. Heat well, so the sugar dissolves (boiling is okay but not necessary).
  3. When the sugar has dissolved and the semolina is brown, carefully add the sugar water to the semolina (it may bubble a lot, turn the heat down if necessary). Stir well.
  4. Stir in most of the almonds and pistachios (reserving some to use as a garnish). Keep stirring and cooking on low for about 7-10 minutes, (until all of the water is absorbed and the surface areas that have contact with the pan get smooth).
  5. Enjoy served warm and topped with the remaining crushed pistachios, slivered almonds and crushed cardamom seeds.

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Comments (9) Questions (0)


over 4 years ago gingerroot

I'm not sure how I missed this...I love halva and this sounds amazing. Saving and look forward to trying soon.


over 4 years ago Naureen

Sooji Ka Halwa is yum and easy to make. It's delicious with Puri (Fried Indian/Pakistani flatbred).


over 4 years ago elizabeth c

I couldn't agree more!


over 4 years ago Sagegreen

Love semolina and butter, but with saffron, cardamom and almonds, even better!


over 4 years ago elizabeth c

Indeed, they are a unique combination! Congratulations on your win with your Variegated Spiced Latkes, I have the recipe saved and look forward to trying them soon!


over 4 years ago Jessica Tom

I love this. The ingredient list on its own transports me!


over 4 years ago elizabeth c

Thanks! I think I'd have to agree and love your perspective!


over 4 years ago elizabeth c

Thanks! Yeah I made it yesterday (so I could take a photograph) and my husband and I enjoyed it last night... it's a perfect dessert for Midwest winters!


over 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Excellent recipe! Yes, that sure looks like comfort food to me. I've been wanting to make a semolina pudding forever. Thanks for posting this!! ;o)