This rich and sweet Indian dessert, Moong Dal Halwa or Moong Dal Ka Halwa needs to be on your list of Diwali recipes to make. This classic and melt in your mouth mithai recipe is made with split green gram lentils (yellow moong dal), ghee, sugar, topped with nuts and is made and served especially for festivals and weddings.

Moong dal halwa served in metal bowl garnished with slivered nuts



Homemade Halwa

Is there anything more comforting than homemade halwa? The simple pleasure of combining flour, ghee and sugar or jaggery is pure magic. No matter what, young or old, for Indians halwa is always precious. 

I and my family are no different. Halwa dishes are so dear to us and something that we have grown up on. Over the years, we have devoured so many different halwa whether homemade or prashad. 

We have plenty of various types of Halwa or halwa dessert recipes on our blog that I can vouch for and this Moong Dal Ka Halwa or Mag Ni Dal No Shiro/Sheero/sheera (in Gujarati) is a favourite amongst them. 

This north Indian sweet is also very popular in Rajasthan too during winters and weddings and comes together from basic pantry ingredients - mung lentils, clarified butter or ghee and sugar.

In this recipe, soaked coarsely ground yellow moong lentils or moong dal paste is cooked in lots of ghee, aromatic sugar syrup and milk or khoya until achieving a melt in your mouth texture. It is then garnished with rich nuts such as almonds, pistachio and cashews. 

Moong dal sheera is not only made for Indian festivals like Diwali, Holi, Rakshabandhan but served in weddings or special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. 

This halwa falls into the easy Indian desserts for dinner parties category. If you are hosting a dinner, any get-together or thanksgiving and want to impress your guest with a delicious gluten-free dessert, try making this rich Indian dessert. 

We love making this recipe for the festive season along with some other desserts like Soft Ras Malai, Almond butter Barfi Bars and Sugar-free Boondi, and serve after enjoying a spicy Indian meal. 


Originally moong dal halwa is made of three simple and protein rich ingredients such as everyday lentils-yellow moong dal lentils or skinless green moong dal lentils, sugar and ghee. 

However, these days  it is also made with whole green moong beans, ghee and sugar. You end up with a green colour halwa. 

This easy high protein dessert features simple ingredients that can be found in most Indian kitchens. For a great flavour twist you can also add a pinch of saffron strands, nutmeg or cardamom powder. 

Aromatic Moong dal halwa is exquisite, flaky and grainy yet has a melt in mouth texture and is truly unique. 

There are a variety of ways that one can make this halwa,whether it is made with milk, condensed milk, milk powder or khoya. We love to make it with the khoya or mawa for the most authentic and traditional finish. 


✔ Easy to make - although this recipe looks fancy it is surprisingly easy to make. There are not many complicated steps or procedure you need to follow for this recipe. 

It will only require patience, like all Indian sweets recipes do. This halwa recipe comes in the "easy yet continuously stirring dessert" category. 

✔  No fail recipe this is a foolproof moong dal halwa that comes out perfectly every single time. Just follow our recipe and you won't have any issues with the recipe. 

✔ Not your average halwa recipes! I love making this recipe when we crave for something sweet but don't want just classic halwa made with aata (flour), ghee and jaggery.

✔ Gluten-free this halwa is naturally gluten-free as it is based on lentils and dairy products. 

✔ Royal treat rich, loaded with ghee and nuts and spices that is mouth watering and packed with flavours, thus perfect for weddings, parties and big festivals such as Diwali, Holi and Raksha bandhan. 

✔ Winter favourite - nutritious and warm dish to combat the cold 

Delicious yellow colouredmoong dal ka halwa served on a banana leaf with a spoon


Halwa is an umbrella term for many sweets and confectionaries. 

The word halwa comes from the Arabic word "hulv" which translates as sweet confection. Halwa is thought to have entered India through Persia. 

Although many sweets can be called "halwa" and indeed sweet makers are often called "halwais", the classic halwa that most people know is Gajar ka Halwa, and Sooji ka Halwa (safed halwa)

Just to give you an idea of the different halwa you can have, here is a list: 

Dudhi/Lauki Halwa

Makhandi Halwa

Badam/Almond Halwa (suitable for gluten-free diet)

Almond, Coconut and Pineapple Halwa (vegan)

Coconut Halwa

Masoor Dal Halwa

If you are looking for farali halwa recipe try Rajgira Halwa/Siro or Vegan Rajgira Halwa 

Being a millennial, I use the Instant Pot to make halwa too! Have a look at my Instant Pot Dudhi Halwa 


● Moong dal - we will need yellow moong dal known as Dhuli Moong Ki Dal or husked yellow moong split lentils that is easily available from Indian green grocers or any other super market. 

● Gram flour - also known as besan. Only a small amount is required for the recipe. However it is optional. Gram flour helps bring out the texture.

● Semolina - called sooji as well. You can use coarse or fine variety. Adding sooji and gram flour prevents the moong dal paste from sticking to the pan once it is added

● Ghee - we will need dairy ghee or desi ghee for this recipe. We have used homemade ghee, but store bought works fine too. If making for vegans skip ghee and use vegan butter or vegetable ghee which is vegan.

● Milk or cream - for rich and creamy texture and flavours use whole milk or combine milk and cream for even richer taste. 

● Sugar - we will be needing regular granulated sugar for this recipe. You also can add Jaggery instead of sugar and make moong dal halwa with Jaggery. 

● Khoya - not only does khoya add beautiful texture to this dish but also lends lots of richness and enhances the taste. You can make instant mawa at home using ricotta cheese or Milk Powder

If khoya is not available, use dry milk powder. 

● Saffron - to make moong dal halwa rich, aromatic and delectable, good quality saffron is must. It also gives beautiful colour to the halwa too. 

● Cardamom powder - not only does cardamom add warm and delicious flavours but it helps to digest this rich halwa. 

● Nuts - Indian sweets/mithais are incomplete without rich and nutty nuts. They make sweets more attractive, gives royal touch and adds extra texture to the dish. 

Moong ki dal ka halwa served in a bowl next to lit up diwali diya


Dhuli moong dal or dhuli moong ki dal is basically yellow split moong beans. These lentils are derived from the whole moong/mung green beans, which when green skin is removed and it is split, appears yellow. 

Gujaratis often make whole moong curry or mag nu saak on Wednesday although I have no clue why particularly on Wednesday!  As much as we enjoy this curry, we can't get enough of Sprouted Moong dishes too. 

Dhuli is a Hindi word for cleaned/washed, which means the skin has been removed. This lentils are yellow in colour and appears to be flat and small. They cook quite quickly and are very easy on stomach too. 

In Indian cuisine, dhuli moong dal used in making sweet and savoury dishes. One of the most popular recipes you must be familiar is this North Indian Dhaba style dal fry 

One of our most popular and loved recipe by our readers is Garlicky Moong-Masoor Dal with carrot greens which made using yellow split moong dal. 

Gujarati style Dry Moong dal or Chutti dal, Dal Methi Paratha, Moong dal tadka, Healthy lentil soup are all popular dal recipes in Indian homes and restaurants. There are so many easy and simple recipes to try it out. 

One of my favourite vegan and gluten-free breakfast recipe is Yellow Dal and Spinach Pancakes (pudla) 

Yellow moong dal is great for desserts too, since they has neutral flavours and can be easily included in making Moong Dal Ladoo as well as Moong Dal Halwa and south Indian dessert Sweet Pongal 


Dhuli moong dal and Green moong dal are both derived from whole moong beans. 

Dhuli moong dal known as yellow moong dal or split yellow lentils, Green moong dal known as split green gram, split moong beans or hari moond dal. Hari means green colour. 

Dhuli moong dal is yellow with skin removed, whereas Green moong dal is split but the green colour skin is not removed. 

Just like yellow moong dal, green moong dal can be used in various dishes such as Gujarat Na Dal Vada or this healthy Dudhi Khichdi

For a healthy breakfast option, protein packed Moong dal dosa or crepe are ideal.

Chilke wali Moong Dal is another delicious dal can be prepared for lunch or dinner. 


Clean and remove any debris such as stones or small stones from the dal before soaking in the water

Always bring mawa and milk to room temperature before adding them to moong dal mixture. 

Keep lentils paste as dry and thick as possible. The more water content in there, the longer time it will take to cook/roast

Also remember to use heavy bottom wide pan/kadai or non-stick kadai to make moong dal halwa with khoya recipe. 

Keep stirring continuously to prevent burning or sticking. 

This recipe is a labour of love, there are no shortcut if you want authentic Moong dal halwa that is rich and delicious. So, give yourself enough time. Unless, you have an Instant pot, then let Instant pot do the hard work for you. 

You must roast dal paste in ghee on low-medium heat for at least 15-20 minutes to achieve perfect texture and taste.

You may add nuts when you add khoya or mawa. 

You can adjust sugar in this recipe according to your preference. 

Also, add the sugar once lentils cooked properly or nicely softened. If you'll add sugar early, the lentils won't cook. 


Can I make Instant Moong Dal Halwa?

Yes, you can. Use Moong dal flour to make this version. 

Can I make Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa?

I am a millennial baby, and I love Instant pot desserts. If you own one, use it. In this process you don't have to grind lentils, minimal stirring is required and the taste of the halwa is quite similar to traditional ones. 

So if you don't have much time on hand, then do try the Instant pot method too. 

Soak 1 cup yellow lentils in water for at least 4-5 hours.
Drain the water and add in the inner pot of instant pot.
Press SAUTE button and saute/roast the lentils for 10-12minutes or until light brown.
Add 2 cup whole milk and deglaze the pot, close the lid.
High pressure for 20 minutes. Once done 10 minutes NPR then realse the rest of the pressure manually.
Using egg whisker whisk lentil until mashed.
Add 1 cup ghee, 3/4 cup sugar, saffron threads and 1/2 cup crumbled khoya and mix well.
Saute this mixture for another 8-10 minutes, keep stirring until nice and light brown and ghee starts seperating.
Add cardamom powder and nuts, mix well.
Turn off the saute button, keep striing for few minutes to prevent burning or sticking halwa.
SErve halwa. 

When to serve Moong Dal Halwa?

Like I mentioned above, Moong Dal Halwa is made and served during weddings, parties and on big Indian festivals such as Diwali, Holi or Raksha Bandhan. 

We serve this luscious Moong dal ka halwa with some savoury snacks or as an Indian dessert treat after our elobrate spicy Indian meal when we host parties. 

Or just sometimes enjoy a bowlful of warm halwa on it's own whilst binge watching Netflix. My aunt's family in India like to enjoy hot halwa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream too. 

Halwa Cold or warm?

I personally like Moong dal halwa warm which is oozes with ghee. 

How to store/ How long for Moong Dal Halwa stay good? 

Moong dal ka halwa stays good for up to 6-8 days. Once it is totally cooled down at room temperature store it in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. 

Reheat in the microwave for few seconds, if it goes dry add 1 tablespoon of milk or water.

Can I freeze Moong dal ka halwa?

This halwa stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can thaw in the refrigerator or kitchen worktop then reheat in the microwave. 

Can I double the recipe?

This recipe can halved, doubled or tripled. Adjust cooking time accordingly. 


There are three main steps to making Moong Dal Ka Halwa

1. Soak and make paste of yellow moong lentls
2. Toasting the moong dal paste and make sugar syrup
3. Combining toasted moong dal paste, khoya and sugar syrup. 

1. Clean, wash and soak yellow lentils for at least 4-5 hours or overnight. Mix saffron in warm milk. Make sugar syrup by mixing sugar and water in a pan. We don't need any threads or taar in this syrup. Simply dissolve sugar in the water, heat it and leave it aside.
2. Drain all the water from the soaked lentils.
3. Grind in the grinder using minimal water until coarse paste.
4. Heat half of the ghee in kadai, first roast rava and besan, add paste and fry until light brown.
5.Add whole milk and cook until all the milk evoparates, add remaining ghee and cook further 5 minutes. 
6. Now add crumbled khoya, you may add nuts at this time.
7. Add sugar syrup and cook further until ghee starts leaving the pan.
8. Add cardamom powder and half of the slivered nuts.
9. Mix well, turn off the heat. 
10. Serve hot. 

Overhead shot of Moong dal halwa

IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE might also like our other Indian sweets recipes

Do you like to read our blog? then don't forget to sign up for email updates to get new recipes delivered right to your inbox. you can find us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, Pinterest, and Youtube Channel.

If by any way this post came of use to you or you enjoyed this recipe do follow us, share this post on any social media, or if you have tried this recipe don't forget to rate the recipe! No cost to you, but it is very important to me. Thank you very much!
moong dal halwa, moong dal ka halwa, mung ki dal ka halwa, mithai, indian desserts, vegetarian gluten free desserts
dessert, snack
Indian, Rajasthani
Yield: 8-10 servings
Author: Hayley Dhanecha


Rich, delicious and nutty Moong Dal Halwa is a Rajasthani winter delicasy. This famous Indian dessert is made using yellow moong lentils, sugar and ghee. A special aromatic dessert is flavoured with cardamom and saffron, and also served on occasions such as Diwali, Holi, Raksha Bandhan and weddings.
Prep time: 10 HourCook time: 1 H & 15 MInactive time: 30 MinTotal time: 11 H & 45 M


  • 1 cup yellow moong dal lentils
  • 2 cup ghee desi
  • 2 tablespoon semolina
  • 2 tablespoon besan/gram flour/chickpea flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk warm
  • 1 cup khoya
  • Big pinch of saffron/kesar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts such as almonds, pistachio and cashews
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Garnish - Optional
  • 2 tablespoon slivered nuts of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon dried rose petals 


  1. Clean, wash and soak moong dal in clean cold water at least 5 hours or overnight.
  2. Discard the soaked water and once again clean the lentils with fresh water.
  3. Grind soaked lentils with just 2-3 tablespoons clean water until you get coarse paste. ( we do not need fine paste)
  4. In warm milk add saffron and leave it aside to infuse.
  5. Heat half the amount of ghee in a wide heavy bottom pan or kadai on low heat.
  6. Add semolina and besan, fry for a couple of minutes.
  7. Then add moong dal paste.
  8. Fry this paste for at least 20-25 minutes on low heat or until it turns light pink in colour and aromatic. Mixture will ne nice and fluffy.
  9. Make sure you keep stirring this mixture all the time.
  10. Whilst frying lentils, make sugar syrup on another stove. Take sugar in a pan, add water (just the amount cover the sugar) and mix well.
  11. Cook syrup jsut for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Leave it aside for later use.
  12. Now add saffron infused milk, and mix everything. Cook this mixture till all the milk dries up.
  13. Add remaing ghee and fry the mixture another 20-25 minutes. The halwa mixture will turn light brown and it will be aromatic.
  14. You'll be able to see ghee seperating from the pan.
  15. Add khoya mix well then add nuts at this time.
  16. Mix and cook the mixture 10-15 minutes.
  17. Add sugar syrup and quickly mix, add cardamom powder and cook the halwa till syrup incorprate well with the halwa mixture and dries up.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Serve hot mung dal halwa in a serving bowl or plate, garnish it with slivered nuts and rose petals.


Use heavy based pan for this recipe.

You may use milk powder if khoya is not available.

Keep stirring the mixture all the time.

Skip nuts for a nut-free dessert.

Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)


The nutritional information provided is an approximation calculated by an online calculator. Please consult a professional dietitian for nutritional advice.

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @jcookingodyssey on instagram and hashtag it #jcookingodyssey

Note - This Moong Dal Halwa recipe has been updated from our recipe archives with new images and content. First time published on 21st of August 2013. 


  1. Amazing post for raksha bandhan. Halwa looks very tempting..

  2. Lovely pics dear- hope you enjoyed your day :)

  3. Awesome pics of the halwa and a happy belated rakshabandhan to you and and your family.

  4. moong dal halwa looks wonderful...each and every click is wonderful

  5. What a beautiful celebration - and what a beautiful pudding to celebrate with! The color is stunning and it must be very tasty. I love the sound of the saffron with cardamom and pistachios...

  6. halwa looks so tempting .. very nice pics.

  7. halwa looks so very inviting and truely droolicious :)


Thank you very much for visiting JCO, We really appreciate your comments and suggestions. The new GDPR law states that whatever comments you leave on our blog will be viewed by everyone who visits JCO and your consent is given to the visitor to view your profile.

We hope to see you again soon, have a great day!