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Dessert and Sweets

Sooji Halwa for halwa poori /Semolina halva

Step by step sooji halwa recipe with photos.

Sooji halwa/halva is a popular Pakistani dessert. Halwa puri is eaten in breakfast in Punjab and many other places. Warm yellow semolina halwa is served with deep fried and thin, flour flat breads called poori. Halwa poori is just to Pakistani what doughnuts are Americans; a yummy, happy start of weekend. Yeah.. a not so healthy beginning. My kids just love it and having it on weekend is a ritual for us and many people in Lahore and Karachi.

It’s a day saver and can be made quickly for guest with simple ingredients. A halwa is considered good if it is soft and moist, not at all dry and lumpy. Another key to best halwa is properly roasted semolina. Apart from these details sooji halwa is very easy to make and  it is great for toddlers and babies.

How to make soft and moist Sooji Halwa

Author: Mariam Huzaifa

Recipe time:30 minutes|Prep time: 5 min| Cooking time: 25 min| Cuisine: Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Afghani |Recipe type: Dessert| Makes: 3 cup 


  • 1 cup fine semolina (sooji)
  • 1 & 1/2 cup sugar to taste (cheeni)
  • 3 tbs raisins (kishmish) (optional)
  • 3/4 cups clarified butter (ghee), unsalted butter
  • 3 cups water (pani)
  • a pinch yellow food color (peela rang)
  • 4 to 5 cardamom (elaichi)
  • 3-4 cloves (laung) ( optional)
  • Pistachio for garnishing (pista)
  • Almond for garnishing (badaam)


  1. In a wok add semolina and clarified butter, fry for 1 minute on low heat.
  2. Add cloves and cardamom to the wok.
  3. Fry more until color changes and fragrant. This step is very important because if semolina is not fried properly it will taste raw and uncooked. Semolina burns quickly so stir constantly.
  4. Add water and raisins. Stir and cover the lid. Cook for 5 minutes so semolina puffs up in steam.
  5. Keep stirring on low flame until oil separates from sides. We want the sooji to be runny and not lumpy here as the sooji will absorb more water upon cooling.
  6. Remove extra oil if required. Garnish with pistachio and almonds.


Along with water in halwa on step 4 you can add any of these to make halwa more tasty and to add a twist. These additions are great for babies and toddlers.Do not add food color or saffron if making for young children.

  • banana
  • mango
  • pineapple
  • marmalade of your favorite fruit.
  • orange zest
  • desiccated coconut
  • sweet potato (less sugar will be added)
  • potato
  • Saffron water instead of yellow colour

Except mango and marmalade, I have personally tried all variations, they all add more softness and add to the nutrional value of halwa along with flavors.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Looks yumm! I will definitely try it. However, you forgot to write when to add sugar in the method.

  2. Umm-e-Aimen Taaha

    Never tried with clove, i will give it a try.
    Adding milk for small babies makes it more soft. Soji halwa is usually made on birthday as well as a tridition.


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