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Photo of ASHOKA HALWA by Anjana Rao at BetterButter


Anjana Rao
30 minutes
Prep Time
60 minutes
Cook Time
6 People
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Ashoka Halwa is a famous sweet from a humble village ‘Thiruvaiyar’ in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu. It is also popularly known as 'Thiruvaiyar Halwa' and is often served at weddings. The halwa has a vibrant red color and it simply melts in your mouth because of the heavy dose ghee that goes into it, and if you still can’t resist it which I know is difficult don’t forget to go for a run the next day!!! I tasted this utterly yummy halwa at a very famous rather iconic eatery in Chennai known as Prem’s grama bhojanam which is famous for its menu which majorly consist of millets based preparations and there in the healthy thali they served us this not so healthy sweet. I thoroughly loved it and began to enquire the waiter how it is prepared and he very happily shared the recipe. I made a few variations to the recipe like I did not add the red food coloring, added in a pinch of edible camphor and reduced the amount of ghee. Surprisingly, even with less which ghee the taste remains the same.

Recipe Tags

  • Veg
  • Medium
  • Festive
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Roasting
  • Pressure Cook
  • Dessert
  • Gluten Free

Ingredients Serving: 6

  1. • 1/2 cup moong dal/split green gram
  2. • 1/2 cup sugar ( add more if you like it sweet)
  3. • 1 ½ tbsp. wheat flour/atta
  4. • 4 tbsp ghee
  5. • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  6. • 6 to 7 cashew nuts
  7. • 2 cups water
  8. • Tiny pinch of camphor


  1. Dry roast the moong dal till it turns golden brown.
  2. Soak the roasted moong dal for 30 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the moong dal with 2 cups of water until fully cooked. Mash and blend the dal to a smooth paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan heat 1 tbsp. ghee and fry the cashew nuts until golden brown and keep aside.
  5. In the same ghee fry the wheat flour on medium flame till it releases a nice aroma.
  6. In a separate non-stick pan over medium heat cook the dal and sugar for 5 to 7 minutes. The mixture will become watery from the moisture the sugar oozes out.
  7. Start adding the ghee at this stage, 1 tbsp at a time until all the ghee is incorporated into the dal mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Add fried cashew nuts and cardamom powder. Mix well.
  9. Now add the fried wheat flour to the mixture and stir continuously. Slowly the halwa will start to thicken and leave the side of the pan. Continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the halwa starts oozing out the ghee.
  10. Serve Ashoka Halwa warm.

Reviews (4)  

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Shoba Bharathraj
Shoba Bharathraj   Apr-13-2017

Mouth watering halwa :)

ishwarya narayanan
ishwarya narayanan   Nov-23-2016

Came out so well.. Thanks..

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