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Aate ka Halwa with Mawa (must try!)

Aate ka Halwa is a popular Indian sweet that is made with wheat flour, ghee and sugar. We have added mawa/khoya in this wheat flour halwa for an extra luxurious Shahi touch. Just 4 main ingredients and 20 minutes are required to make this delicious halwa with a divine khasta and melt-in-the-mouth texture.

Close up front side shot of Aate ka Halwa with mawa in one metal bowl

Wheat flour sheera/Ghao no Siro

Ghao no Siro/Atta Halwa/Aate Ka Halwa/Wheat Flour Halwa/Gehun ka Halwa/Godhumai Halwa/Atta ka Sheera

Wheat flour halwa is a homely Indian sweet that can be made for special occasions such religious festivals or simply enjoyed after a meal. It is a no-frills mithai making it the perfect recipe to make last-minute as a warming treat.

This unique recipe is made with rich khoya and an abundance of mixed nuts to make it a Royal or Shahi halwa.

Aate ka Halwa is known as Ghao no Siro in Gujarati.

I can eat these super delicious Gujarati sweet Sukhdi and Almond Gor Papdi any time, which is also made with wheat flour.

Gurudwara style Aate ka Halwa – Kada Prasad

Kada Prasad is the name given to Aate ka Halwa that is served in Gurudwaras. Gurudwara (Sikh temple) translates as the door to the guru.

Kada prashad or karah prasad is served to worshippers as one cannot come back empty handed after visiting the temple.

Kada prashad is made with four ingredients, similar to aate ka halwa though the proportion and method of cooking is slightly different. A proportion of 1:1:1:3 of whole wheat flour, ghee, sugar and water is required. In some recipes, a few tablespoons of semolina or sooji is also added.

This particular recipe is a little different from Gurudwara style halwa because it also contains mawa and nuts. It also has a more danedar texture or grainy texture than the kada prashad that I have tried.

Why add khoya/mawa?

Mawa (or khoya) is dried evaporated milk solids that can be used in Indian desserts or curries. It is traditionally made by simmering whole milk in a kadai until the moisture evaporates leaving behind milk solids.

The addition of mawa to Indian sweets provides a richness, nuttiness and grainy (danedar) texture to the dish. The khoya is usually crumbled or grated and folded into the mixture of the sweet.

Normal recipes of aate ka halwa are usually smooth and stickier but the addition of khoya adds a graininess which makes it so much better to eat. The halwa becomes melt-in-the-mouth and also has a slight creaminess and milky flavour.

How to select the best Mawa/Khoya from the store

If you are purchasing mawa from the shops, here are some tips to help you choose the freshest and best mawa for your recipe.

  1. Choose mawa that is pale white in colour, avoid if the surface has any other colours
  2. It should be firm to touch
  3. Avoid if it has a sour smell
A close up shot of halwa served in a vintage metal bowl topped with slivered nuts.

Why you should make this recipe

Just 4 main ingredients + flavourings

Can be ready in 20 minutes – this halwa comes together in 20 minutes and no preparation is required prior to cooking.

Does not require much skill – anyone can make this halwa as long as you follow this recipe to T and all the tips given in this post.

Can be made ahead of time and stored for later – the best thing about this recipe is that it can be made in advance or a day before any big occasions. Reheat later on the stove or in the microwave.

Easy to scale the recipe up or down – you can please a crowd with this recipe or serve a family of four. So easy to whip up, put on the table and let everyone dig in.

You do not need weighing scales, simply use a bowl and use that for the ratio of your measurements.

You do not need to make a sugar syrup – the thought of having to make a sugat syrup can put many off but in this recipe, simply add the water and sugar seprately. Why overcomplicate things?

Benefits of Aate ka Halwa

Aate ka Halwa has many benefits thanks to the wheat flour and ghee

Wholewheat flour is made by grinding entire wheat kernels into a powder whereas plain flour (white flour) removes the bran and germ which are the most nutritious parts.

It’s a good source of protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

This halwa is

  • High in fibre
  • Warming
  • Energising
  • Better than sweets made with plan flour/maida

When to serve Aate ka Halwa

Aate ka Sheera is often served during Indian festivals and Religious occasions such as Raksha Bandhan, Asthami and Navmi feast during Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi and Bhaidooj.

Often it is prepared in the Winter months for breakfast or chilly evenings as a warming and energy providing sweet.

It can be eaten after a meal or as a treat at anytime in the day.

I love to eat this halwa warm whilst the ghee is still melted!

A bowl of aate ka halwa placed on a blue table .

Aate ka Halwa Ingredients

The measurements or ratio of wheat flour, ghee, sugar and water that I have used is 1:1:0.75:3

Main ingredients

Wheat flour – Wheat flour is the base of this particular halwa. You need to use chapati atta, the same type used for round and soft Gujarati rotlis.

I have used wholewheat flour for this recipe which has an even higher nutritional profile and tastes awesome!

For the best tasting halwa, do not use multigrain flours.

Do not use all-purpose flour or plain white flour.

Ghee – use desi ghee also known as pure butter ghee for this recipe. I like to use homemade desi ghee for the best flavour. Ghee is easily available in most supermarkets and definitely within South Asian grocery stores.

Note that products called vegetable ghee are vegan as they are made from hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Ensure the ghee is in liquid state or melted prior to measuring. If its cold, often ghee solidifies but leads to inaccurate measurements

Sugar – use white sugar for this recipe as the sweetener. Granulated sugar is fine. This halwa can be made with jaggery or gur though this has a different flavour.

Khoya or Mawa – the star ingredient of this recipe. You can either make your own homemade khoya from milk powder or buy it from the store. It is very easy to make homemade khoya.

You can leave out khoya if you want but you miss out on a unique aate sheera recipe.

Flavourings

Cardamom powder – a little pinch of ground cardamom powder goes a long way and is a staple flavouring in so many Indian sweets.

Nutmeg powder – I love the flavour of nutmeg in both Indian and Western recipes. Either use nutmeg powder or grate a little fresh nutmeg.

Mixed nuts – cashew, almond, pistachio are all brilliant in this halwa and give it a royal touch. You want to finely chop the nuts into slivers but you could leave them whole if you wish but they will taste raw.

If you keep the whole, fry the nuts in a little ghee prior to adding.

You can also add Charoli which I have added into this recipe. Charoli are also called chironji seeds or almondettes and are added to sweet and savoury Indian foods in a similar way to nuts. They are found in South Asian or Indian stores.

Leave out the nuts for an allergy-friendly version.

Optional:

Edible flower petals – petals such as rose give a pop of colour!

Aate ka Halwa with Banana

You can make aate sheera and garnish with chopped fresh banana for variation.

Gluten-free Aate Ka Halwa

Aate ka Halwa is made from wheat flour which contains gluten so it is not gluten-free therefore it isn’t appropriate for people with coeliac disease or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.

However a similar recipe can be made using Rajgiro flour to make Rajgiro Halwa which is gluten-free and can also be eaten during fasts.

Aate ka Halwa with Gur/Jaggery

A popular version is Atta Halwa with Gur where the sugar is directly replaced with jaggery. This halwa is even more nutritious as jaggery has a superior nutrition profile compared with white refined sugar.

The flavour of this halwa is slightly different though texture is similar but both are definitely just as delicious!

Aate ka Halwa for Prasad

If serving this halwa as prasad, garnish with some holy basil leaves also known as tulsi patta. Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), a flowering plant of the mint family, is native to the Indian subcontinent and grows throughout Southeast Asia.

Note – It is different to Italian Basil.

The holy basil plant is revered in Hinduism as a manifestation of the goddess Lakshmi (Tulsi) and the leaves are often using for garnishing in prashad.

For Satyanarayana Katha, we serve Sooji no Siro with Banana.

Aate ka Halwa for babies or toddlers

Aate ka Halwa can be safe for babies over 6 months and young children but leave out the nuts as they can be a choking hazard. You could also leave out the khoya.

It is easy to separate out the halwa for kids and adults as the khoya and nuts are added into the halwa once it is cooked.

You can also make the halwa looser or runnier by adding more water to make it easier to swallow.

It is an ideal sweet for kids as it is soft and moist without strong flavours.

Aata halwa without ghee

I’ve heard from my Mum that my great great grandfather (my grandmother’s grandfather) used to make Aate Ka Halwa using sesame oil and jaggery during winter times.

He would make the halwa at 4 am, eat himself and feed his grandchildren whilst they are still half a sleep, then go for a 3-4 mile walk everyday.

He lived till 106!

We have not tried this recipe, however my mum has experimented in the past and used olive oil. It tasted good but you can’t beat halwa with ghee.

How to make Aate ka Halwa/Wheat flour halwa

Aate ka Halwa is made by roasting wheat flour in an abundance of ghee until the flour is aromatic and lightly browned. Hot water is then added followed by sugar and the mixture is cooked for a few minutes. Crumbled khoya is then folded in and flavourings such as spice powders and nuts are added.

Step by step recipe instructions with video:

Roasting the flour

Take a heavy bottomed pan or kadai either with or without a non-stick coating

Keep the flame on low, add the ghee

As it melts, tip in the flour/atta. Mix this well and continue to mix on a low-medium heat

Take your time with this step as the best halwa is made by slow roasting the flour until it is aromatic and nutty. Keep the heat low-medium as high heat will cause the flour to burn and not cook. The flour will discolour and still taste raw.

You will see that the ghee begins to bubble and the colour of the ghee may lighten initially, this is normal. Keep going.

It will take around 5 – 10 minutes then you will see that the flour and ghee mixture darkens and will begin to smell roasted. The flour and ghee may separate and this is also an indication that the flour is well cooked.

Do not over-cook else the flour will become bitter.

Add water and sugar

As the flour is roasting, have hot water ready either by warming on the stove or in the kettle. As the water is poured into the flour, the grains of flour will absorb the water and swell. Keep stirring, the water will appear to dry out and the mixture will very quickly thicken.

As the water dries, add the sugar and continue to stir until it dissolves. Cook a further 2-3 minutes. The halwa will begin to leave the sides of the pan and small amounts of ghee will glisten at the edges.

Take the halwa off the heat at this point to add the remaining ingredients.

Add khoya & flavourings

Add the khoya and mix well. The khoya will not totally disappear but you will see small white flecks between the grains of the halwa. This is fine, you do not need to mix further.

Add the spice powders and slivered nuts and mix.

Aate Halwa should be served warm.

Brown coloured aate ka sheera in a bowl next to purple kitchen towel

Tips for the best aate ka sheera

For aate ka sheera that is perfectly cooked without a sticky texture, follow these steps.

  • Use ghee generously – use good quality ghee whether it is shop bought or homemade. The ghee should be melted before it is measured – in the UK ghee is often solid due to the cooler weather but 1 cup of solid ghee is not the same as 1 cup melted ghee. Therefore use melted ghee to measure.
  • Slow roast the flour in the ghee to ensure it is well cooked and looses its raw taste.
  • Roast the flour until the colour changes – roasting too quick at high heat will cause the flour to burn
  • Use a heavy bottomed pan or kadai to prevent burning and have greater control during cooking. You could also use a non stick pan for this. If using non-stick, your utensils should be silicon to prevent damage to the non-stick coating.
  • Keep stirring the halwa continuously to ensure it is well cooked all over.
  • Have your ingredients prepared and ready before you start cooking – this prevents mistakes and burning!
  • Use the same cup/bowl for your measurements for the perfect ratio.
  • Top tip for those in cold countries! – For perfect texture and flavour when serving up seconds, warm the halwa slightly either in the pan or in the microwave to melt the ghee. This way, the sheera will still feel melt-in-the-mouth, warm and rich.

How to store Aate ka Halwa

Aate ka Halwa can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 2-3 days. If it dries up, add a spoon of water if required and reheat on the stove or microwave.

You can also freeze the halwa in a freezer-proof container. Defrost by leaving out the container at room temperature. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until the ghee is released.

What to serve with Aate Ka Halwa

This halwa is a delicious and comforting Indian sweet or pudding that can be made and enjoyed any day.

Prasad – If holding/hosting a religious ceremony offer as a Prasad and distribute after the occasion has finished. A tablespoon of Prasad can be directly given into peoples right hand and they can consume there and then.

Or can be filled small amount in a small zip lock bag or eco friendly bowl and given to each person.

Family meal – In our family, we love to have aate ka halwa for Sunday brunch with any protein packed curry such as Chickpea and coconut curry or Kala Chana Nu Saak (black chickpea curry without onion garlic) and Poori. A must try combination for your next Sunday Brunch!

Breakfast – Sometimes mum would make for me and my brother for a breakfast along with Kesar badam milk before we go to school to cope with a hectic and busy day.

Dinner Party – Don’t under estimate the power of Aate Ka Halwa, this is just not a homely dessert and food for only religious purpose . This well made royal treat can be served at a dinner party too.

Serve piping hot in a beautiful vintage style tray or bowl with a serving spoon. Garnish it with perfectly cut nuts and edible flower petals, you may use some edible silver/gold foil too.

If hosting a big get-together or a dinner party at home, finish off your menu with our best party starters like Air fryer tandoori paneer tart or Methi corn bhajiya. Pair these starters with virgin Cardamom mojito or Caramel Lassi that you can mix up in a flash.

Spoil your friends and family with our main vegetarian curry Punjabi Saag paneer and Sultani dal and pair them with Peshwari naan or Masala Lachha paratha.

Aate ka Halwa nutrition

Aate ka Halwa is rich in carbohydrates and fats as it is made from flour, sugar and ghee.

The addition of khoya further adds to its fat content and increases the total calories.

FAQs

Is aate ka halwa healthy?

No, aate ka halwa is not healthy because it is made with sugar and ghee. Aate ka Halwa is high in carbohydrates and fat and low in protein.

It has some nutritional benefits as it is high in fibre and contains some vitamins and minerals from the whole wheat flour.

How can I make healthy Aate ka Halwa?

You make make Atta Halwa healthier by using wholemeal chapatti atta as we have done in this recipe. The flavour will remain unchanged but you can reap the benefits of the wholemeal flour.

You can make this halwa sugar-free by using a natural sweetener such as stevia and erythritol sugar replacement. However there will still be carbohydrates from the flour.

You could eat aate ka halwa after a high protein meal to balance it out. It is best eaten earlier in the day rather than at night to give the body time to use the sugar.

Can I use butter instead of ghee?

You can use unsalted butter instead of ghee however the taste will not be the same. It does not take long to make ghee from unsalted butter.

Can I make aate ka halwa with milk?

You can replace the water directly with milk either whole or skimmed. You can leave out the khoya if you use milk. The more common recipe however is to use water.

How many calories are in Aate ka Halwa?

550 calories per serving

(taken from automatic calculator and may not represent true values)

Can I use ghao no jado lot/ghehu ka mota aata?

You can use jado lot/mota aata for this recipe.

Can babies or toddlers eat Aate ka Halwa?

Yes, babies over than 6 months and toddlers can eat aate ka halwa that is made without nuts.

Halwa in a bowl with a spoon on blue table

The best Halwa recipes:

Makhandi Halwa

Doodh Halwa

Masoor Dal Halwa

Coconut Halwa

As always if you make this recipe, rate it below and tag me on Instagram at @jcookingodyssey. I love seeing all of your photos of my recipe recreations. Don’t forget to follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube also. I’d love to keep in touch!

Aate ka halwa with mawa in a metal bowl next to a serving spoon

Aate Ka Halwa with Mawa

Hayley Dhanecha
Aate ka Halwa is a popular Indian sweet that is made with wheat flour, ghee and sugar. We have added mawa/khoya in this wheat flour halwa for an extra luxurious Shahi touch. Just 4 main ingredients and 20 minutes are required to make this delicious halwa with a divine khasta and melt-in-the-mouth texture.
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast, Desserts, Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6
Calories 550 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Thick based kadai/ I have used non-stick heavy based pan
  • 1 Milk pan/Sauce pan
  • 1 Spatula

Ingredients
  

Aate Ka Halwa

  • 1 cup whole Wheat flour I used wholemeal chapatti Flour
  • 1 cup ghee
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup khoya or mawa
  • 3 cup water

Garnish/Topping

  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 4 tablespoon nuts almond, pistachio, cashews – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rose petals dried or fresh

Instructions
 

  • Heat melted ghee in a kadai/pan and add flour.
  • Saute the flour on a low to medium heat for good 12-15 minutes or until flour turns light brown, ghee separates from the flour and your kitchen fills up with incredible roasting aroma.
  • Once ghee separates from the flour that indicates that your flour is well roasted and it is ready for the next step.
  • Meanwhile, boil 3 cup water on the other stove or microwave and leave it aside.
  • Gently and slowly pour boiling water into roasted flour, keep stirring same time.
  • Once all the water dries up, add sugar and keep mixing for a couple of minutes.
  • Add khoya, and mix well until you see Halwa separates ghee once again.
  • Add cardamom and nutmeg powder and mix well.
  • Garnish it with the finely chopped nuts and edible flowers and serve.
  • If you are offering as a prasad, don’t forget to put holy basil ( Tulsi Patta ) on top of the Atta Ka Halwa prasad.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Tips for the best aate ka sheera
  • Use ghee generously – use good quality ghee whether it is shop bought or homemade. The ghee should be melted before it is measured – in the UK ghee is often solid due to the cooler weather but 1 cup of solid ghee is not the same as 1 cup melted ghee. Therefore use melted ghee to measure.
  • Slow roast the flour in the ghee to ensure it is well cooked and looses its raw taste.
  • Roast the flour until the colour changes – roasting too quick at high heat will cause the flour to burn
  • Use a heavy bottomed pan or kadai to prevent burning and have greater control during cooking. You could also use a non stick pan for this. If using non-stick, your utensils should be silicon to prevent damage to the non-stick coating.
  • Keep stirring the halwa continuously to ensure it is well cooked all over.
  • Have your ingredients prepared and ready before you start cooking – this prevents mistakes and burning!
  • Use the same cup/bowl for your measurements for the perfect ratio.
  • Top tip for those in cold countries! – For perfect texture and flavour when serving up seconds, warm the halwa slightly either in the pan or in the microwave to melt the ghee. This way, the sheera will still feel melt-in-the-mouth, warm and rich.
  • If using fresh flower petals, ensure they are washed and pat dried to remove any dirt or small insects.
  • To avoid sticky or lumpy halwa, make sure you do not skimp on ghee. Take your time to roast the flour on a low heat, and the water is boiling hot. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Aate Ka Halwa with Mawa
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
550
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
39
g
60
%
Saturated Fat
 
22
g
138
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
12
g
Cholesterol
 
81
mg
27
%
Sodium
 
61
mg
3
%
Potassium
 
115
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
48
g
16
%
Fiber
 
3
g
13
%
Sugar
 
27
g
30
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin A
 
93
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
151
mg
15
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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

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Note – This recipe has been updated from our recipe archives with new images and content, but the recipe remains the same. First time published in August 2016.

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Recipe Rating




safira

Friday 12th of August 2016

I am sure I would love this as thus is my kind of dish! Also awesome photos! My fave photos on the blog :)

Holly

Sunday 7th of August 2016

Hi Jagruti, I have not heard of Shahi Atte Ka Halwa but would love to try it! With the roasted wholewheat, cardamom, nutmeg and mixed nuts it sounds so delicious!

Anonymous

Saturday 6th of August 2016

A new recipe for me as well! Your photo's are beautiful!

jcookingodyssey

Saturday 6th of August 2016

Thank you laughingspatula for the lovely words.

Unknown

Saturday 6th of August 2016

What an interesting recipe! I've never had this, but it looks like something I'd love to try. I can only imagine how fragrant the whole wheat flour is as it's toasting!

jcookingodyssey

Saturday 6th of August 2016

Thanks Amanda for the lovely comment. Oh boy ! the aroma of toasting flour is incredible :)

Unknown

Saturday 6th of August 2016

Very interesting seeing recipes from other cultures! Where do you get the Indian spices from?

jcookingodyssey

Saturday 6th of August 2016

Thanks Lisa for lovely comment. I reside in the UK and we get all the Indian spices here everywhere, even you can buy them in British supermarket too.