Sooji Halwa

sooji halwa 02

I have a long list of favorite Indian breakfast and Sooji Halwa tops the list especially if served with some Khasta Ajwain Poori (recipe coming soon). Sooji Halwa is also referred to as sheera and is a famous Indian pudding prepared withsemolina. Sooji is semolina and Halwa is sweet porridge or pudding. It’s prepared all over India and has several different names. Rava Halwa, Kesari Bhath, Sajjige and Shujir Payeshare few of those names I am familiar with.

What is Semolina or Sooji

Semolina is flour made from durum wheat and it’s either slightly fine or course. It is used to prepare pudding, sweet or savory porridge and even delicious cakes.

Sooji Halwa is popularly prepared during festive season; Navratri and Durga Puja as an offering to Goddess Durga. I love Sooji Halwa so much, that I can go for it any day either plain or with poori. I do like to load it with raisins and cashew for the crunchy bites in between.

Sooji Halwa | #sooji #semolina #indiandessert #festivefood #pudding #foodphotography #foodstyling

Toasting the Semolina/Sooji:

This step is extremely crucial as it not only adds flavor but also avoid the final texture of the halwa turning into muggy and at times even tasting raw.

I prefer to dry toast the sooji in a medium hot pan until brown in color and then add it separately to the ghee.

You could also just toast the semolina straight away in the ghee while preparing the halwa.

Sooji Halwa needs water or milk?

This is common question people ask when preparing this for the first time. You could use either or both. I like to add both in equal portion as milk makes it creamier.

Adding the sweetener

Typically, Sugar is dissolved in water, milk or a mix of both by simmering it for a while. It is then poured on the toasted semolina to prepare the halwa.

Simultaneously you could add sugar later too after pouring the milk to the toasted semolina.

Sooji Halwa is prepared with ghee

It is the ghee that brings out flavor and richness of the sooji halwa. You cannot substitute it with oil. Equal portion of ghee and semolina makes the best halwa. But I avoid adding so much ghee. I also don’t like over the top sweet, so I cut down sugar too. I do add more water and milk because I like halwa creamy and soft. Don’t even mind if it’s a little runny.

So, definitely adjust the quantity of the ingredients accordingly as per you liking and taste bud.

Sooji Halwa | #sooji #semolina #indiandessert #festivefood #pudding #foodphotography #foodstyling

What you need for Sooji Halwa

  • Semolina
  • Bay leaf (this is not typically added, but my Bengali taste bud loves bay leafs in any pudding )
  • Few green cardamoms
  • Ghee
  • Sugar
  • Milk or water or a mix of both
  • Mix of cashew, almonds and raisins.

How to prepare Sooji Halwa

Dry roast the sooji until it’s golden brown in color. I like to roast it dark as it gives a darker shade to the pudding too. It’s extremely important to roast the semolina or else the texture will turn out muggy and flavor will not be there.

Mix water with milk, if using both and add the sugar. Simmer for a while for the sugar to dissolve. Keep in mind you are not making any syrup here.

Then cook the roasted sooji in ghee along with the cardamoms and bay leaf. Pour the warm water and milk and keep stirring until the semolina is cooked through.

KEYNOTE: Keep in mind that based on the kind of semolina you are using; you might have to add more water to get the right consistency of the pudding. Also, as the pudding sets and cools down, it keeps absorbing moisture and the texture can get very thick. I always prefer to leave it little runny so as it cools down, it’s still has enough moisture left in it.

sooji halwa 01

Sooji Halwa


  • 1 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. In a pan pour the water and milk along with the sugar and simmer it for a while to dissolve the sugar.
  2. In a separate pan stir fry the semolina in medium heat until it’s fragrant. I like it dark brown, so I toast it for a little longer. Keep stirring constantly as it can get burnt easily. Then take it off to a bowl.
  3. To the same pan pour the ghee along with the bay leaf and the cardamoms. Allow the cardamoms to sizzle for few seconds then add the toasted semolina and stir it around for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour the sweetened water and milk mixture to the pan (careful as it will sizzle and splatter), along with the assorted nuts and raisins. Then stir it around. Let it simmer as you stir it around and continue cooking until the water is almost absorbed. Give a taste and if you feel it’s not sweet enough or the semolina still has a bite, then add water and sprinkle little sugar. Continue cooking until the water is almost absorbed.
  5. Serve it warm with some nuts garnished on top.
Semolina Pudding | #sooji #semolina #indiandessert #festivefood #pudding #foodphotography #foodstyling

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