Halva is a typical Indian sweet that is usually made during holy days and given as an offering to the gods…. then eaten after blessed!

Halva is a rich, warm, nourishing Vata balancing desert that is ideal for winter. The ingredients in this recipe such as ghee, saffron, jaggery, cardamom, not only delight the tastebuds, but they build the essence of Ojas in our body. Ojas is the foundation of our immune system, positive emotions and energy. This desert satisfies sweet cravings, while builds healthy tissues.


  • 200 ml hot water
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 50 g semolina (medium grain is best)
  • 1 heaped tbsp gram flour (Besan/chickpea flour)
  • 45 g (or to taste) of Jaggery (Or any unrefined sugar such as brown sugar/ coconut sugar/ rapadura sugar)
  • A small handful of cashew nuts
  • Pinch of saffron strands
  • Small handful raisins
  • 1 tsp ground green cardamom


  • Add the saffron to the hot water and leave to infuse until the colour is a deep red.
  • Melt 1½ tablespoons of the ghee in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the semolina and stir for 10 minutes or until it is a medium golden colour. Be sure not to let it burn.
  • Add the gram flour and stir for another 2-3 minutes or until it is well roasted and has darkened a little. The colour should be deeply golden.
  • Add the Jaggery/sugar, cashews and sultanas and stir for another minute. Add the saffron water and cardamom and cook for a few more minutes or until it all comes together. Keep stirring until it leaves the sides of the pan easily.
  • Add the remaining ghee, remove from the heat and serve hot or warm.

Recipe adapted from Anjum Anand.