Make Ahead

A Sweet Semolina Saffron Pudding (Sooji Halva)

February 23, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes about 4 cups
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

What You'll Need
  • 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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9 Reviews

gingerroot March 1, 2011
I'm not sure how I missed this...I love halva and this sounds amazing. Saving and look forward to trying soon.
Naureen February 27, 2011
Sooji Ka Halwa is yum and easy to make. It's delicious with Puri (Fried Indian/Pakistani flatbred).
elizabeth C. February 27, 2011
I couldn't agree more!
Sagegreen February 25, 2011
Love semolina and butter, but with saffron, cardamom and almonds, even better!
elizabeth C. February 25, 2011
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!
Jessica T. February 23, 2011
I love this. The ingredient list on its own transports me!
elizabeth C. February 24, 2011
Thanks! I think I'd have to agree and love your perspective!
elizabeth C. February 23, 2011
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!
AntoniaJames February 23, 2011
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)