Chana Dal Halwa

Chana Dal Halwa is a dessert of my childhood. I literally grew up eating this dessert. Channa Dal, the main ingredient, is simply split bengal gram, a variety of chickpeas.

I come from a large family where my dad was one of twelve siblings, seven of them sisters. All of my dad’s siblings (including him) were exceptional cooks.  As both my parents were busy professionals, one of my seven aunts would always be taking care of us when my parents were away for work.    This recipe was taught to me by an aunt on one such visit.

A bowl of Chana Dal Halwa

What is Halwa:

Halwa is sweet Indian pudding. To make it you cook flour with ghee until it is roasted and starts to perfume. Then you add water and cook till the flour is cooked through. Sugar or some kind of sweetener is added for sweetness and then nuts or dried fruits to give it that extra richness.

It is a great dessert that is both rich and decadent. Like any Indian mithai (just a Hindi name for dessert) halwa makes frequent appearances on the table specially on festivals. Like on Holi, the festival of colors we will be celebrating soon. People will be throwing colors at each other, bhang spiked drinks will be served and of course there will be food. Lots of it!

So for Holi and also for my first video recipe on the blog, I thought it only fitting that I make this dessert of my childhood, Chana Dal Halwa.  With new gadgets like the Instant Pot available, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe to save some time, without compromising on flavor!  So let’s get cooking.

A bowl of Chana Dal Halwa
4.8 from 5 votes

Chana Dal Halwa Recipe:

Chana Dal Halwa is traditionally cooked by roasting chana dal and then cooking it into a pudding. This recipe is a simpler, faster and equally delicious version of the traditional recipe to fit our busy lives.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 cup chana dal split black gram
  • 1 ½ cup water + extra for soaking chana dal
  • ½ cup ghee
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • Silvered almonds
  • Golden Raisins


  1. Soak chana dal in 3 cups of water, for 6-8 hours.
  2. Strain water from the chana dal and transfer into a pressure cooker or instapot. Add water to the instapot. Cover and cook until the chana dal is cooked through.
  3. Transfer cooked chana dal into a skillet. Cook on medium high heat, stirring continuously until the excess water has evaporated form dal, 2- 3 mins.
  4. Turn the heat to medium low, add ghee. Cook, stirring continuously until chana dal turns golden, 8-10 mins.
  5. Add sugar. Mix everything well together and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the sugar melts and mixes well into the halwa.
  6. Turn off the heat. Add silvered almonds. Mix. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle a little more almonds or pistachios. Serve warm.

7 Responses to Chana Dal Halwa

  1. Victoria Adams 1 month ago at 1:14 pm #

    Very nice to see you cooking in this video. I want to try cooking it myself. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Amy 1 month ago at 4:06 pm #

    I will be cooking this! Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Pratibha kumar 1 month ago at 5:28 pm #

    Sasrikal Aunty Ji. Aap ki yeh recipe bahot achi lagi. I will surely try it. I have 2 beautiful girls they just love Sikhi foods. We always shop in Costco n my girls try all the samples. They just loved chicken tikka masala and Lemon rice. We all would like to wish a very very Happy Holi. Holi ki dher sari sub kamana.

    Regards from
    Kumar family

  4. Cynthia Woolfolk 1 month ago at 7:53 pm #

    Thank you for the cooking lesson Mrs. Singh. I am looking forward to more posts and recipes.

  5. Fritz Jandrey 4 weeks ago at 4:22 pm #

    Look forward to trying it. Thank you!

  6. Michele Riggi 4 weeks ago at 4:54 pm #

    Hi, and thank you. I will make the dessert as part of our many Italian Easter desserts. I will buy the ghee unless you teach us how to make it before April 21th. There is also another small problem. In 2017, my husband, became a vegan. Is there a substitute for the ghee. Or does he skip this great sounding sweet?

    One other note, Whole Foods should give your frozen items better placement.
    The Manhasset store on Northern Blvd, Nassau County, New York, has you on the bottom shelf. The last time I was there a free standing display was obstructing your products. ( “Amy” seems to have most of the space). I like all of your frozen goodies.

  7. Terry 4 weeks ago at 9:03 pm #

    I have eaten this many times. I love it. I can’t wait to cook it. Thank you for showing us. I would like to see more. You did a great job

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