Punjabi semolina halwa (suji halwa)

Serve this Indian dessert at special occasions such as Diwali. With almonds, cardamom and raisins, it has a rich, buttery flavour and toasty semolina aroma

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:25 mins
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 414
  • fat 23g
  • saturates 12g
  • carbs 48g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 1g
  • protein 4g
  • salt 0.01g


  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 125g ghee
  • 125g semolina, chapati flour or wholewheat flour
  • 25g raisins, soaked in hot water
  • 25g almonds, sliced with their skin on


  1. Split the cardamom pods with a sharp knife and remove the seeds. Grind the seeds to a powder with 1 tsp of the sugar using a pestle and mortar. Keep the empty pods for the syrup.

  2. Heat the remaining sugar in a pan over a medium heat with 600ml water until dissolved. Add the empty cardamom pods and simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside.

  3. Heat the ghee in a wok or karahi over a medium heat, then add the semolina or flour. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring all the time, until it releases a toasted aroma and turns a biscuity golden colour, about 10 mins.

  4. Take the pan off the heat. Discard the empty cardamom pods from the warm syrup and pour it over the semolina in a thin, steady stream, stirring all the time. Take care – it will sputter. Return the pan to a medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the semolina thickens. It should have the consistency of creamy mashed potato. Stir in the ground cardamom, drained raisins and most of the sliced almonds. Serve piping hot with the remaining almonds scattered over.

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