15 March 2011

Typically Punjabi Atta Halwa (or Wheat Flour Halwa)

One of my all-time favourite halwas. And one of the easiest to make with the minimum number of ingredients - uses just three- and requires just about 15 minutes to prepare. My kids love it and this is probably the dessert I make most often.
This halwa goes very well with chana-puri as a meal...just skip the chopped nuts as the garnish.
It is the traditional halwa which is served as 'prasad' (called 'karaah parsaad') at all gurudwaras (a place of worship for the Sikhs).

3/4th - 1 cup                   ghee (clarified butter)
1 cup                              atta (whole wheat flour-the one used for chapattis)
3/4th - 1 cup                   sugar 
2  1/2  cups                    water
1/2 cup                           chopped nuts to garnish -almonds, cashews.(optional)
As a rule this is made from equal measures of flour, ghee and sugar and almost three measures of water.
I like to use a little less sugar, but an equal amount of ghee and flour. 
When poured into the wok this might seem like a lot of ghee, but this makes it easier to roast/fry the flour faster. Start by adding half the required amount of ghee, if you like,  and then add more if you find the ghee-flour mixture too dry. Once done the extra ghee just separates from the halwa- as you see in the top picture-  which you can drain off. ( This ghee can be reused as it won't absorb the flavours).

In a pan heat the water and  sugar together till sugar dissolved. Let the mix stay on a low flame.
In a wok/kadaai add ghee and let melt. 
Add the flour and stir well so no lumps remain. 
Keep stirring on a medium flame till the flour becomes a darker brown and "you can smell the ghee-atta mix in the other room" - this is how I check for doneness!!!
Pour the sugar syrup into the wok. Stir vigourously so it becomes a smooth mixture with no lumps. Now this step requires some care. If you like you can turn off the flame for a minute as you add the syrup, but put it back on the flame soon to avoid lumps which are really tough to get rid of.
You need to step back a little when adding the syrup as this creates a lot of steam
Once you have a smooth mix, keep stirring till all the water is incorporated. 
Once it is done you'll notice the pan goes absolutely clean with nothing sticking to the sides-last picture. This means your halwa is done!!! 
At this stage I fry it for another minute or so to give it added flavour.
Garnish with chopped nuts, if you like, and serve it hot.
Great on its own, ideal with a meal of chana-puri.
Points to remember:
-Try not to skimp on the ghee and sugar. 
-Be sure to stir all the time as this mixture burns easily.
-Try not to count the calories for this one.
-When adding the sugar syrup stand away from pan and use a long handled spoon.
-Once sugar is added stir well to avoid lumps in the mix.



  1. Haven't eaten this in a long long time. It looks so yummy. Can jaggery be used instead of sugar? Will try this soon. Thanks for the recipe, Rupi.

  2. Thanks, Suma. I've never tried it with jaggery. Will definitely give it a different taste, though.

  3. Must try this one Rupi, Looks yummy


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