Halwa or Rava Sheera is an easy Pakistani / Indian dessert that can be whipped up in no time. Halwa is made with sooji (semolina) and sheera (sugar syrup), and only requires a few pantry ingredients. It can be served as a simple dessert or as part of halwa poori for a full breakfast.
I’ve shared Sooji ka Halwa recipe before, but today I’m sharing another way of making this delicious halwa. While the ingredients are same, the cooking techniques are different for both halwas, which results in different kinds of halwa.
While my Sooji ka Halwa is a softer in texture, the halwa I’m sharing today has a more pronounced texture. Both are delicious, however.
How to Make Halwa (Rava Sheera)
This halwa recipe has two easy steps: making the sugar syrup (sheera) and cooking the sooji (semolina) in ghee or butter.
Start by making the sheera which is super simple, just bring 4 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil, until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside, while you make the sooji.
Melt the ghee or butter, and add the sooji. Cook while stirring continuously for about 6-7 minutes until the sooji becomes golden brown and releases a nutty aroma. Sooji has the tendency to burn quickly, so stirring constantly is important to prevent that.
Once the sooji is ready, add the sugar syrup and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the halwa thickens. Top with your choice of dry fruit.
Tips for Making Halwa
While making halwa is fairly simple and involves only a few ingredients, it’s important to follow a few tips so that the halwa turns out perfect every time.
When cooking the semolina, make sure to keep stirring so that the semolina doesn’t burn. You can cook for 6-7 minutes for a golden brown halwa, or cook for about 9-10 minutes for a darker halwa. It depends on your preference, but I like to cook the semolina for 6-7 minutes until its just golden brown.
Use ghee or butter to cook the semolina, but ghee is obviously the more traditional option. I’ve tried both versions, and both taste really good.
When adding the sheera to the semolina, make sure its hot. It shouldn’t have gone warm or cooled down. If your sheera has cooled down, just heat it up on the stove before adding it to the sooji.
Dry fruit: you can use any dry fruit of your choice, I’ve got picky eaters at home, so I only added slivered pistachios. But traditionally, raisins, almonds and cashew nuts are added to the halwa. You can also add shredded coconut, it would be a lovely addition to the halwa.
Adding saffron or yellow food coloring: if you would like to add a nice color to the halwa, add a few strands of saffron or a few drops of yellow food colouring to the sheera.
More Pakistani Desserts
Halwa (Rava Sheera)
For the Sheera (sugar syrup)
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
For the Sooji / Semolina
- 1/2 cup ghee or butter
- 4 green cardamoms hari elaichi
- 1 cup sooji semolina
For the Sheera
- Add water and sugar in a pot, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and set aside.
For Cooking the Sooji
- In a separate pot, add the ghee or butter, and cook until melted.
- Add the green cardamoms and cook for a 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.
- Now add the sooji (semolina), and cook on medium heat until it becomes golden brown. This will take about 6-7 minutes. Make sure to keep stirring while cooking the sooji (semolina).
- Remove from heat, and add the sugar syrup (it should be still hot when adding to the sooji) and cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until it is thick.
- Remove from heat, and top with your choice of dry fruit, such as sliced almonds, raisins, cashew nuts and slivered pistachios.