This Suji Halwa is the Queen of all Suji Halwas. You’ll find this kind of halwa at roadside dhabas all over Pakistan. It’s famously consumed during the weekends with fresh crispy fluffy puris and choley. It’s the ULTIMATE sweet and savory desi breakfast.
- SUJI: I use fine semolina for this suji halwa. You can find that easily at any South Asian grocery store and even local stores.
- GHEE/BUTTER: The traditional recipe calls for ghee but I can’t rave enough about using butter. It multiplies that nutty flavor!
- WATER/SUJI MIX: To ensure that the halwa has a runny consistency, it’s key that the water and sugar are only heated enough to dissolve the sugar. We’re not making a syrup because that will harden the halwa. You can microwave the water and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl for convenience. I love this hack!
- FOOD COLOR: The suji halwa you get at the dhabas is yellow in color. I swear by powdered food coloring for South Asian cooking and use the same color for my Biryani rice. The color I use is “Egg Yellow”; you can find that easily at a South Asian grocery store.
- First, you will need to roast equal parts suji and ghee/butter on low heat until it develops a subtle nutty aroma and changes color. DO NOT modify this ratio. If you add less ghee/butter, your halwa will have a more coagulated look like this one I made a long time ago. That suji halwa is also another popular way of making it at home but this recipe is dedicated to the street-style halwa we all love.
- The roasting process takes about 20-25 minutes. The nutty aroma is very subtle so take a whiff of the halwa once the color changes a bit beige.
- While the halwa roasts, combine water, sugar and a few cardamoms in a microwave-safe bowl (bruised slightly) and heat in the microwave for a total of two minutes. After one minute, take the bowl out, give the water a good stir and nuke for another minute.
- Once the suji looks ready, pour in the water. It will immediately look all wrong and too liquidy! Relax. Don’t fret because the suji is going to drink up all that sweet water. While still liquidy, tip in the powdered color a pinch at a time until you get the color you’re happy with. I find myself adding about 1/4 tsp but see what you like and add some more.
- Let the suji cook on low heat and within a few minutes it would have soaked in the water and plumped up. Once you get there, the oil will separate. There won’t be much oil but–just a few specks here and there as I show in the tutorial video.
Dhaba Style Suji Halwa
- 1/4 cup suji fine, not coarse
- 1/4 cup ghee or butter for an extra nutty flavor
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 cardamom pods cracked open at the mouth so you can remove it later
- yellow color powdered food color adds the best color
- Roast #suji and butter on low heat uncovered for 20 mins or until nutty and brown.
- In a bowl combine water, sugar and #cardamom and nuke in the microwave for 2 mins (stirring once in between so the sugar can dissolve. We’re not making a syrup, just dissolving sugar so don't nuke for too long.
- Once suji has changed color and smells nutty, pour in the sugar water mixture, then add yellow color to your liking. Mix thoroughly so the color bleeds into the suji.
- On low heat, let the halwa drink up the sugar water and the ghee/butter separates a bit. You will be left with a suji that is glossy and runny--a classic look of the dhaba suji halwa.
- Serve with fresh puris and channay, and enjoy!
- Suji needs to be roasted on low to medium heat. Once it changes color, it can burn very quickly so keep a close eye. 20-25 minutes works for me!
- You can dissolve the sugar in the water on the stovetop but I find the microwave such a hack for convenience!
- Once the suji has soaked up the water, within a few minutes, you'll see the oil separate.