Moong dal halwa or Dal ka seera as it is called in marwadi is probably one of the best desserts from Rajasthan. It is a dessert made from coarsely ground split yellow moong dal, ghee, sugar, and dry fruits. Given the small list of ingredients, it is not at all a quick dish to prepare. Have loads of time at hand and want to give your arms a workout – then do go for this one. It is worth all the hard work. My mom prepares this in kgs for family and friends and this is her recipe. Very easy to prepare and minimal ingredients but tons of hard work and patience. Want to give it a try? Read on!
Do not reduce the amount of ghee. It is a very important part of getting it right. Traditional sweets are high on fat and sugar but that is the reason they are unmatched and still so popular. You can replace khoa with condensed milk if khoa is not available. I like to keep it as authentic as possible so that it can match the taste of my mom’s recipe.
Use the husked moong dal and soak it in plenty of water for a good 6-8 hours. I like the seera grainy so I don’t grind the dal too fine. Grinding the dal coarse (resembling sugar) with prevent the seera from becoming sticky and paste like.
The most important part is roasting the ground dal. This is where all the hardwork comes in. You have to make sure that you roast it in on a low flame. Semolina is added to the ghee before adding the dal so that the dal does not stick a lot to the pan. But you need to keep scraping the edges and mixing it non stop till the dal stops sticking to the pan.
By end of appx 30 minutes, you should have nice brown granules of roasted dal. The aroma is enough to tell that the dal is roasted (or over roasted 🙂 )
The color of the roasted dal should be liked the skin of almonds. To make sure that the dal is roasted properly, keep mixing it even if the dal stops sticking to the pan.
The second important thing is the sugar syrup. It should be less than one string (approximately 220 degrees F or 85-90 degrees C. Cool it for couple of minutes before adding the dal.
This is a winter time dessert and it tastes good when it’s hot. If it gets too cold or dry, add a table spoon of milk and reheat it. Do not add water to reheat the seera.
- ½ cup yellow split moong dal
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup khoa
- ½ cup ghee
- 2 tbsp almonds chopped
- ½ tsp cardamom powder (ilaichi)
- 1 tsp semolina (rava)
- 1 cup water
Soak the moong dal in water for 6-7 hours. Drain water and grind the mung dal coarsely.
Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan or a thick kadhai. Add semolina and sauté for 10-20 seconds. Add the moong dal paste and keep mixing it on slow flame till the dal is brown in color. Add khoa and mix again for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the moong dal mixture to another bowl and keep it aside.
To make the sugar syrup, mix sugar with 1 cup water and bring to boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes. The consistency should be less than 1 string (approximately 200 degrees F/85-90 degrees C). Switch off the gas. Let the syrup cool for 2 minutes. Add the moong dal mixture and mix well. Switch on the gas and cook for 2 minutes while mixing continuously. Add almonds and cardamom powder and mix well. Serve hot.