Indian desserts(sweets) are known for their high-fat content, and they are characteristically loaded with all the rich ingredients like Ghee, saffron, nuts and raisins, full-fat milk, and sugar – all of which contribute in delivering a highly sought-after dessert that will linger on your taste buds for a long time! And this Moong Dal Halwa is no exception! I love sweets, and I remember how patiently my Mom used to make a huge batch of this Halwa and divide it into 3 equal parts, one for me, one for my brother, and the third one for Mom and Dad to share:) When it comes to sweets, “Enough” does not exist in my dictionary, but then, even someone who isn’t so fond of sweets couldn’t say no to this rich and delicious dessert.
[Recipe & photo courtesy of Dhivya from Chef in You]
If you thought Lentils were just to make Dals and Soups, then you have some learning to do! This decadent lentil dessert will deliver way more than a simple Dal recipe! Making Moong Dal Halwa requires time and patience, and is a great exercise for your arms, but the reward that you get at the end will even out all your efforts. So the next time you crave for a delicious Indian sweet, and have some time at hand, go for this Halwa recipe; be assured you will not be disappointed!
Moong Dal Halwa (Yellow Lentil Dessert)
1 cup – Split (Yellow) Moong dhal
1/2 cup Ghee
3/4 cups to 1 cup Sugar (as your sweet tooth demands)
1/2 cup Milk
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
few strands of Saffron
Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight.For a better flavor, you can dry roast the lentils in a skillet until aromatic and lightly golden and then soak it in water. It helps to enhance the taste and fragrance of this dessert. Next morning, grind to a smooth paste.
Take a heavy Kadai/ Non stick skillet. Heat 1-2 tsp of ghee and saute the cashews and raisins, until the raisins get all puffy and cashews are roasted.
In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup of ghee and warm it up. Add the dal paste and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky since the dal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dal becomes thick. Do not stop stirring as the dal can easily stick to the pan, and you’ll lose all your hard work! Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook for about another 30-40 minutes, until the ghee starts oozing out from the halwa.
Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. You can add the saffron and cardamom powder to this mixture. Otherwise you can simply add them towards the end to the dish directly. Whatever works for you. Add this slowly to the cooking dal. Keep the heat low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix. Cook until the ghee surfaces and halwa gets a shiny creamy texture.
Let it cool down just a little, then serve warm, garnished with nuts and raisins! Moong Dal Halwa is a very high-calorie dessert, and takes a lot of time and patience, but when you taste the end result, you’ll know that it was totally worth it!