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Moong Dal Halwa
Moong dal halwa is basically a classic Rajasthani sweet dessert usually prepared during the winter months. It is served during wedding ceremonies and also during auspicious occasions and festivals like Diwali and Holi. Soaked yellow moong dal is ground to make a coarse paste and then halwa is prepared by cooking the paste with lots of ghee and then cooking with milk, water and sugar. Making this halwa at home is not easy like Sooji Halwa; it requires lots of effort, patience and long cooking time. The main effort is required in constantly stirring the mixture of dal and ghee for a longer time. Since it tastes delicious and can be preserved for a few days in the refrigerator, so it is worth trying to make it. Follow the below given recipe of moong dal ka halwa with detailed directions and step by step photos to make it at home.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes + (4 hours soaking time)
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4 cups (16 servings)
1 cup Yellow Moong dal (yellow lentils)
3/4 cup Ghee (clarified butter)
1½ cups Milk (warm)
1 cup Water (warm)
1 cup Sugar (or 1¼ cup as per your taste)
1/2 teaspoon Green Cardamom Powder (elaychi ka powder)
A few Saffron Strands (kesar), optional
2 tablespoons Mixed Dry Fruits(almonds, cashew nuts, pistachios), for garnishing
  1. Take 1 cup yellow moong dal in a colander or a large sieve and wash it under running water for 3-4 times. Soak it in the water for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain excess water from the dal and transfer it to the jar of a mixer grinder. If you are using a small jar, grind the dal into two batches.
  3. Grind it until medium coarse paste without adding any water. Scrape the sides with a spatula to grind it easily. If required, add only a few teaspoons of water.
  4. Dissolve a few saffron strands (10-12) in 1 tablespoon warm milk. Keep aside until required.
  5. Heat 3/4 cup ghee in a non-stick pan or a heavy based pan over medium flame. I recommend using a non-stick pan to prevent sticking.
  6. Add moong dal paste.
  7. Stir and cook the mixture over low-medium flame. At first, the mixture is sticky and hard to stir (requires more effort while stirring); After 10 minutes of cooking, it has a lumpy texture; And after 20-25 minutes of cooking, it is easy to stir and starts to separate and turns crumbly.
  8. After 10 minutes, you can see the mixture is lumpy (as shown in the photo).
  9. It will take approx. 15-20 minutes to reach this stage (as shown in the photo). Stir continuously to prevent sticking.
  10. Keep stirring and cook until dal is separated and has a granular consistency. At this stage, it turns light golden brown and releases nice aroma and you feel easy to stir the mixture (requires less effort in stirring).
  11. Add 1½ cups warm milk and 1 cup warm water.
  12. Stir and cook until almost moisture is absorbed and ghee starts separating (releasing from the sides).
  13. Finally, add 1 cup sugar.
  14. Stir and cook until it dissolves completely and mixed well. Cook until mixture turns into a large lump, it will take approx. 5 minutes. Add cardamom powder and saffron milk.
  15. Mix well and cook for a minute. Add chopped nuts.
  16. Mix well and turn off the flame. Moong dal ka halwa is now ready for serving. When it cools down completely, store it in an airtight container. It stays good for a week in the refrigerator.
Tips and Variations:
  • You can halve or double the recipe as per the requirement.
  • If you are NOT using a non-stick pan, add more ghee to prevent sticking.
  • Stir continuously to cook the mixture evenly and prevent it from sticking.
  • Do not add water while grinding the dal(yellow lentils). If required, just add minimum water to make a coarse paste.
  • Don’t reduce the amount of ghee, as it’s a must ingredient to get the rich flavor.
  • If you want to make it sweeter, increase the amount of sugar to 2-4 tablespoons.
Taste: sweet
Serving Ideas: Moong dal halwa can be served as a dessert after dinner or it can replace any sweet dish to be offered to God during festivals.

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