Saffron gives this Indian sweet a lovely golden orange hue. Fragrant with ghee and cardamon this recipe for halwa is really easy to prepare. 






Skill level

Average: 4.6 (11 votes)


  • 1 cup semolina (coarse or fine)(see Note)
  • 4 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 pinch saffron threads - alternatively you can use good quality saffron powder 
  • 4 cardamom pods lightly pounded (not crushed)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


In a wok fry the semolina with approximately half the butter or ghee over low heat. Do this for about 10 minutes until the butter has been absorbed. Set semolina aside.

In a heavy based saucepan toast the saffron with the cardamom for a couple of minutes only. Add the water and milk and bring to a simmer.

Once the mix is gently simmering, slowly add the cooked semolina, tablespoon by tablespoon to avoid lumps. Once all the semolina is added, lower the heat and cover.

Allow to cook for 8 minutes, do not open the lid during this time.

Once the mixture is cooked add the rest of the butter and sugar, constantly stirring.

Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved to avoid lumps. Take off the heat once the sugar is dissolved into mixture. Remove from heat, allow to cool and serve.

Also known as rava, you can find semolina in Indian or Asian grocery stores