Moong Dal Halwa is a rich, delicious Indian dessert made with split yellow lentils (moong dal), sugar, and ghee, along with the flavors of cardamom and saffron. This easy version of Moong Dal Halwa can be made in a pressure cooker and is much less laborious than the traditional method.

Moong Dal Halwa sweet served in 2 bowls topped with chopped nuts
Moong Dal Halwa
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You will find that this halwa is made only on special occasions due to the lengthy, laborious process. Moong Dal is soaked overnight and then ground to a paste. Then it is cooked along with ghee for a long time with a lot of stirring (easily more than an hour) until the dal is cooked and changes to a nice golden color. Then, the outcome is the delicious rich moong dal halwa soaked in ghee.

I frankly don’t have the patience for that, so in the past, I would altogether avoid making this halwa.

But now I have the easy version of the halwa made by first cooking the lentils in the pressure cooker. Then mix it with ghee and cook further to get the perfect halwa taste and texture. We love to make this moong dal sheera on special occasions such as Diwali and Holi.

A note to the authentic halwa lovers. This halwa is pretty darn close to the real deal, Moong Dal Halwa, but it still may not be exactly the same. My family loves it and wants to eat more all the time, and I am happy that it can be made so easily without as much effort.

What is Moong Dal Halwa?

Halwa is usually made of flour (of various kinds), sugar, nuts, water, and some fat (oil or ghee). e.g., Sooji Halwa (semolina), Aata Halwa (wheat flour), Besan Halwa (gram flour), Lapsi (broken wheat), and Badam halwa (almonds).

This Moong Dal Halwa skips the flour and is made with small yellow lentils, called moong dal. This also makes this halwa gluten-free. This is the dal I use in this Moong Dal Fry and Moong Dal Chilla.

All the other ingredients – sugar, water, nuts, and ghee, are added to the moong dal to make this Moong Dal Halwa. To enhance the flavor, add ground cardamom and saffron.

Ingredients

Yellow Moong Dal: This split yellow moong lentil is a popular dal usually available in most Indian kitchens.

Ghee: For the finest results, make this halwa with ghee.

Sugar: Granulated White Sugar adds a sweet flavor and a desirable texture to the halwa. Adjust the sweetness of the halwa to your preference.

Cardamom Powder: Green cardamom powder can be added to the halwa for a mild, sweet scent and flavor.

Saffron & Milk: Soak saffron in warm milk. This adds flavor and aroma to the halwa.

How to make Moong Dal Halwa?

  • We will start with dry roasting the moong dal.
  • Then we will add water and pressure cook the dal.
  • After the dal is pressure-cooked, you will see well-cooked moong dal, which looks like a paste. Now, we will add sugar and ghee. I like to use homemade ghee that I make in the instant pot.
  • We seem to be adding a lot of ghee here, but that is required to make good moong dal halwa. So don’t skimp on the ghee, or you won’t enjoy it!
  • Also, add saffron strands soaked in warm milk and cardamom powder at this time.
Steps on how to cook moong dal halwa in a collage
  • Then, stir it for about 10 minutes on saute mode to get the well-cooked Halwa consistency.
  • This stirring time is much less than the traditional method, and even though it is an arm workout, I promise it is much less.
  • Make sure to get a nice golden color. Halwa is done well when ghee starts to separate. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so the halwa does not stick to the base. 
Halwa garnished with sliced almonds in the instant pot

That is all. See that awesome, delicious Moong Dal Halwa, which took much less effort.

I feel with this method, this halwa is much more reachable, and we can enjoy it more often.

This halwa is best enjoyed warm. Garnish with slivered almonds, pistachios, or cashews.

Halwa closeup in a ladle over the pressure cooker

Pro-tips for perfect Moong Dal Halwa in Pressure Cooker

  • If you have a separate sealing ring for desserts, do use that when making this halwa.
  • It is important to roast the dal well to get the nice golden color of this halwa.
  • Don’t skimp on the ghee when making halwa. If you are consuming all the calories when eating this dessert, it is best to enjoy it the most too.
  • After adding ghee and sugar, keep stirring and scraping the bottom when sautéing the halwa.
  • Once the halwa is cooked, remove the steel insert from the pot to prevent the halwa from sticking to the base.

Refrigerating and Reheating Halwa

This halwa can be refrigerated in an airtight container and will stay good for about a week. It becomes solid when you refrigerate as it has lots of ghee.

To reheat the halwa, put the portion you want to eat in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. If you are heating the whole quantity, you might need to microwave for about a minute. Or you can heat it in a pan.

Common Questions

Why is my Moong Dal Halwa sticky?

Moong Dal Halwa can seem sticky while it is being cooked. You need to stir the dal constantly while cooking the halwa and make sure to add enough ghee. Once cooked, the halwa will not be sticky. This issue is much lesser with the pressure cooker method, as we are starting with pre-cooked dal.

Why has my moong dal halwa become dry?

There could be two main reasons for this:
1. The mung dal must be cooked in enough liquid to become tender and create a creamy texture. The dal can become dry and tight if there’s not enough liquid.
2. This can also happen if the mung dal is cooked for too long. It will lose its moisture and become dry and tight. It’s important to cook the dal just until it’s soft.

Instant Moong Dal Halwa iin 2 bowls

I hope you give this delicious Instant Moong Dal ka Halwa a try!

More Halwa Recipes You’ll Love

4.88 from 16 votes

Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa

Moong Dal Halwa is a rich, delicious dessert made with split yellow lentils, sugar, and ghee, along with the flavors of cardamom and saffron. This easy version of Moong Dal Halwa can be made in a pressure cooker and is much less laborious than the traditional method.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 teaspoon Saffron
  • 3 tablespoon Milk, warm
  • 1 cup Split Yellow Lentils (Moong Dal)
  • 2 cup Water
  • 3/4 cup Ghee, increase to 1 cup if needed (see notes)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar, increase to 1 cup to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom
  • 3 tablespoon Roasted Mixed Nuts, chopped (I used almond and pistachios)

Instructions 

  • Soak saffron in the warm milk and set aside.
  • Start the instant pot in saute (normal) mode. Add the moong dal and dry roast for about 10 mins. You want to stop roasting when the color changes to darker yellow or golden.
    dry roasting moong dal
  • Add water and stir well. Cancel Saute mode and close the lid with the vent in the sealing position.
    Dal and water ready to cook
  • Pressure Cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. When the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
  • After opening, stir the dal and mash it with the ladle.
  • Now, add the ghee, sugar, cardamom, and saffron soaked in milk to the pot. Stir everything well.
    Mash dal and sugar added to instant pot
  • Now press the saute (normal) button and keep stirring for about 10 minutes. Make sure to get nice golden color. Halwa is done well when ghee starts to separate. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot, so the halwa does not stick to the base (see notes if additional ghee is needed).
  • Garnish with chopped nuts. Then take the steel insert out of the instant pot. Transfer to a bowl and serve.

Notes

Pro-tips
  • If you have a separate sealing ring for desserts, do use that when making this halwa. 
  • Don’t skimp on the ghee when making halwa. If you are consuming all the calories when eating this dessert, it is best to enjoy it the most too. 
  • Once the halwa is cooked, remove the steel insert from the pot to prevent the halwa from sticking to the base. 
Refrigerating Halwa: This halwa can be refrigerated in an airtight container and will stay good for about a week. 
Reheating Halwa: To reheat the halwa, put the portion you want to eat in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. If you are heating the whole quantity, you might need to microwave for about a minute. 
Created: This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Pressure Cooker. 

Nutrition

Calories: 440kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 9gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 342mgFiber: 10gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 3mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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24 Comments

    1. Hello – I would suggest using equal proportions of milk and water. Would love to hear how the halwa turns out.