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Sadia Hussain

Jun 8, 2019

Semolina Halwa Recipe

This Pakistani dessert was one of my favorites as a child. Semolina cooked in ghee and sugar syrup is so quick and easy to prepare that it is still one of my favorites.

Semolina halwa is traditionally eaten with deep fried puris, which you can find on my blog. It's a comforting, no-frills dessert that can be fancied up with nuts and raisins or enjoyed on it's own. This is one of those desserts that you can make and keep for several days... if it lasts that long.

Semolina Halwa Recipe

Sadia Hussain




30 Minutes


  • 3 cups water

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron ground to powder (optional)

  • 5-6 cardamom pods, peeled and ground to powder

  • 1/2 cup ghee (please don't use oil)

  • 1 cup semolina

  • Fried or raw almonds and pistachios for garnish (optional)


  1. In a pot, boil water and sugar until you have a thin syrup.

  2. Add saffron (optional) and cardamom.

  3. In another pot, heat ghee and gently fry semolina on low heat for a few minutes.

  4. Slowly add the sugar syrup stirring continuously to prevent lumps.

  5. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

  6. Add 1/2 cup water, stir and continue cooking on low heat until semolina swells.

  7. You may need more water if semolina is too thick.

  8. Cook until ghee rises to the sides and you have a smooth consistency.

Tips and Bits

If you don't want to grind the cardamom to a powder, just drop the whole pods into the ghee before adding the semolina. Fish them out before serving.

Please don't use oil as it will alter the taste and don't use butter as it will burn.

I keep the halwa on the thinner side because it gets stodgy and thick as it cools.

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