Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tricolor Halva for Independence Day

Indian TriColor Independence Day Halva Dessert

Happy Independence to you all my dear Indian readers!! It's been 64 years, and India is really shaping up to become a great country. I just know I won't be happy anywhere else, India is home, India is heart for me! Usually, in many posts, I'm cribbing about the non-availibility of some or the other ingredient or gadget, but today, I decided to embrace it, and make something that is truly Indian.

Halva is a traditional Indian dessert, made in a jiffy in most homes, and is quite fattening, thus, true comfort food! I wanted to make some dessert with the Tricolor, and I initially thought of making decorated cookies. But later, I decided making Halva would be a better fit for the day. It's actually a very easy thing to make, took 20 minutes in total. And it looks so pretty, though ofcourse, color isn't usually added. It's a sweet, veryy slightly gelatinous,pudding-y buttery sin!! Though here's something that should surprise you- I cooked. This recipe doesn't use the oven at all, it is completely done over the stove, something that I hate doing!!

There are as many variations to this recipe as there are people in India, but this is a basic one, you can add whatever you want! Elaichi [cardamom] is something I like adding, people add crushed pineapple, all kinds of nuts, basically, whatever they choose/

Indian TriColor Independence Day Halva Dessert

Tricolor Halva
This recipe is usually made according to ratio, so that you can scale up and down as you want. To fill an 8 inch cake pan 3/4 of the way - follow the amounts I've given below. Feel free to change the cup size as you want, and follow the recipe. You get about 4 times the volume of the cup used.

1 cup suji [semolina]
2/3 - 1 cup ghee [I prefer using 2/3, it's still pretty buttery, but now overpoweringly so]
1/4 cup raisins/cashews [optional]
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 cups water/milk, as per preference [Water gives a lighter, more traditional halva, milk makes it richer, creamier. I usually use 2 cups water : 1 cup milk]
3-4 drops orange color
3-4 drops green color

Instructions -
  1. Divide the water/milk mixture into 3 parts, color 2 of them orange and green respectively. Leave one plain. Keep the orange and green mixtures in wide pans, they will go on the stove later.
  2. In a kadai [wok shaped pan], over medium hear, dry roast the suji for about 5 minutes to bring out the flavor. Constantly stir throughout the halva process, otherwise it will burn.
  3. Add the ghee, and let it brown, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add in the raisins and cashews or whatever else you choose, cook for a minute.
  5. Reduce the heat to slow, mix in the sugar, and immediately divide into 3 parts, add one each to the orange and green liquid containing pans. Add the plain water/milk mixture to the remaining part.
  6. According to your desired order of layering, decide the order of semolina mixtures to be cooked. Since I would invert the pan later, I chose orange first.
  7. Cook the orange mixture until it thickens , and leaves the sides of the pan. Layer onto a prepared pan, or ring mould while hot, it will be easiest to handle.
  8. Now cook the white mixture and then green mixture until ready, layer them both while hot, packing well, and then invert the entire thing. The halva has enough ghee that it will come out easily, and if you pack it well enough, it won't crumble either. When refrigerated, it will look like above, when hot, it will be crumbly, and delicious :)
  9. Serve warm [usually served in bowls, not packed like above], keep in the refrigerator for atleast a week.


  1. what an interesting recipe! looks nice too!

  2. Happy Independence Day, Avanika! What a beautiful dessert, I especially love the fact that it's multi-layered.

    I don't like working over a stove either, it's often too hot and using a fan just disrupts the flame. :-)

  3. Happy Independence Day! Love the layers!

  4. Great way to showcase the colours of Independence. Happy Independence Day to you. KNow you had a good time. :)

  5. Never heard of this dessert! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Happy Independence day Avanika..tricolor halwa looks super cute!!

  7. Looks gorgeous - I'm so impressed you made your own. I've tasted halva a few times and I love it. Great job

  8. That is too good a treat! Apt for the day. Nice to be here. best wishes.

  9. first time visit to your blog and really happy to get u in the blog world... love ur recipes...

    When you find time, do visit my blog...

  10. These are so pretty! What a sweet way to celebrate independence :)

  11. How pretty and festive your havla is! I've never thought of using food coloring for mine...I always make it plan with lots of raisins and almond bits. What a great idea.

  12. What a pretty tri colour shade of Halva! :D What a clever idea! :)

  13. whenever i see desserts like this from Asian countries, I think "how did you make that?!"

  14. Natalie - You would love it, for sure!!

    Valerie - Thanks. I love layered things too. And yup, I hate the stove for the same reason. Someone should invent kitchens with AC's!

    Chef Bee - Thank you!

    Nags - Hehe. <3

    Ingrid - Thanks love. There's a chocolate post coming up, just for you :P

    Aparna - As did you, I'm sure! Happy Independence to you too!

    Ellie - You'll never know until you try! :)

    Divya Kudua - To you too! I loved how it came out.

    Katie - Awww, thanks!

    Sanjeeta kk - I would say so too, considering I haven't ever made an Indian dessert before on the blog!

    Akila - Here's a grand welcome to you :)

    Ovenhaven - Thanks!

    Xiaolu - Thank you!

    Indie.Tea - Actually, Mom used to color it pink for me when I was younger, because I wanted something different. Got the idea from there :)

    Poonam - *blush*

    Justin - Hehe and I am in awe of some of the things you guys make. It's actually really easy!

  15. It's so beautiful! You did a fabulous job!

  16. Happy Independence Day Avanika!
    I'm Greek and I had no idea Halva was Indian. It's a household, go-to sweet here. I make it when I don't have ingredients for something more sophisticated. And it's something I grew up with.
    Only difference is I use half sugar and half honey for the syrup, and roast the semolina with a mixture of olive oil and sunflower oil. But in Istanbul, they tradition says butter and milk instead of water.

  17. Happy Independence Day...and what a great excuse to have that colourful dessert!

  18. Happy Independence day..I know I am late but just bumped in here through PAB and amazed to see your recipes..each and every recipes looks delicious..Love this tri color Halwa..feel like having a slice

  19. Very tempting dessert! Just love the color and texture :-)

    Sawadee from bangkok,

  20. What a nice post. Your pride in your country shows through. Cool dessert too, thanks for sharing, I haven't heard of halva before.

  21. Oh my goodness...... Awesome way to wish all the fellow country men/women n dessert crazy people like me.....

    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

  22. Good for you, Avanika! I am a strong believer in the idea of loyalty and love for the place where you live, and/or the place where you were born. I admire this in you, and I think your tri-color halvah is a beautiful dessert celebrating a beautiful sentiment.
    :) Jane

  23. Amanda - Thank you!

    Sesi - I actually went and googled it, saw that halva is traditional to a LOT of countries, each making this in their own way! I was quite shocked to see the number of countries it's a household sweet in!

    Cakebrain - Thank you. The whimsical colors do make it more fun :)

    Suman Singh - Thanks! Hope to see you around!!

    Kris - Thanks so much <3

    Jacque - As I was saying to Sesi, it's a dessert that is traditional to atleast half the world!! You ought to try it.

    Nachiketa - Hehe thankss so much!!

    Jane - You always flatter me, I love you!! xoxxoox :)

    Malia - Thank you :D

  24. I've never had this dessert before, but it sure does look pretty!

  25. hi! this is my first visit and i'm loving it! great blog! can't wait to see more of traditional desserts recipes :D

  26. Deborah - It's pretty, and very tast!

    Ardna - Welcome to the blog. Thanks so much :)

    Nirmala - Thank you!


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