Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)

Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)

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.

Dal ka Seera (Moong Dal Halwa)



  • 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.

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)

Mogar is a summer dish from Rajasthan. It is moong dal cooked with raw mango and dry spices. Mogar is indispensable with aamras in any marwadi family. My mom cooks this at least 2 times in a week during summers. We have a fixed menu at home whenever it is aamras for dinner. It is Aamras, mogar, and roti or aamras, mogar, and rice. This is a quick recipe when you don’t want to spend lot of time in the kitchen. The tricky part in this recipe is to not to let the lentils over cook. It has to be cooked only till each grain is cooked but separate.

Moong dal is kind of staple food in Rajasthan. Since it is the local produce, it is used to make, snacks, main course, and even desserts. You can find moong dal pakodi, moong dal kachori, and even moong dal halwa in Rajasthan. Lentils are rich in protein and this particular dal cooks quicker when compared to other lentils. The quick cooking time explains its importance during the hot summers of Rajasthan.

Raw mango has a cooling effect on body and also adds a fresh tangy flavour to the dal. You can also use dry mango powder if raw mango is not available but I prefer the raw mango. Also, the quantity of raw mango in this recipe depends on the sourness of the raw mango so use it as per preference of sourness. You can also add fennel seeds to the tadka. This dish goes well with roti and rice both but I like it more with roti.

Rajasthani Mogar (Split Yellow Gram with Raw Mango)


Serves 2

  • ½ cup yellow moong dal(Split yellow gram) washed and soaked for two hours
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • ½ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • 1 tsp red chilli
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 2-3 dry red chillies
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp raw mango chopped
  • ¼ cup water
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Method 1

Drain the water from moong dal. Heat oil in a cooker. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and ginger. Sauté and add asafoetida, dry red chillies, and green chillies. Cook for 30-40 seconds and add chopped raw mango, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for one minute. Add the moong dal and ¼ cup water. Mix and adjust the seasoning if required. Close the lid and cook for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the gas just before the first whistle. Once the cooker is cooled, open the cooker, add the chopped coriander and mix very lightly. Serve hot with roti or rice and aamras. The trick is to not let the dal over cook. Or else it will get mashed.

Method 2

Boil the dal separately in 2/3 cup water till it is cooked but firm. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a kadhai or thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and ginger. Sauté and add asafoetida, dry red chillies, and green chillies. Cook for 30-40 seconds and add chopped raw mango, turmeric, red chilli powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked moong dal and mix lightly. Check for seasoning and add the chopped coriander. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Chandrakala (Sweet filled with Khoa and nuts)

Chandrakala (Sweet filled with Khoa and nuts)

Two three days before Diwali, my home resembles a sweet shop. The aroma of the sweets and savories can be felt in the neighborhood. My grandmother, mom, and aunt make lot of sweets and savories to be distributed to family, relatives, friends, employees, friends of friends, the postman, sweeper, and anybody and everybody who comes home to get the Diwali inaam. The most popular of these preparations is chandrakala. I end up eating them for lunch the day they are being made. This is the by far the best mithai/sweet my grandmother makes. No garnishes, no saffron in sugar syrup, plain simple chandrakala which is crispy outside and melts in mouth with each bite. Heaven!

This mithai is a sweet kachori/pastry filled with dry fruits, fried in ghee/oil and dipped in sugar syrup. Its heavy on calories but isn’t Diwali a perfect excuse to indulge.

Folding the chandrakala is an art. I have learnt this from my grandmother. Once you seal two puris with the stuffing inside, gently pinch the edges and twist them to form a pattern. This will make sure that the filling does not come out while frying.

Do not keep these in fridge. They can be stored in an airtight container for few days. Enjoy the sweet treat this Diwali. Wishing you and very happy and sweet Diwali!

Chandrakala (Sweet filled with Khoa and nuts)


Makes 20 Chandrakalas

  • 1 cup refined flour (maida)
  • ¼ cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • Oil for frying


  • ¼ cup khoa/wava (dried whole milk)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp coarsely crushed dry fruits
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder

Sugar Syrup

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp ghee (optional)

Mix the refined flour and ghee till it resembles bread crumbs. Add very little water at a time and make a firm dough. The dough should not be very stiff or very soft. It should be of medium consistency. Cover and keep it aside for 15 minutes.

Put khoa in a microwave safe bowl and heat it on full power for 20-25 seconds. Add sugar, nuts, and cardamom powder immediately and mix well. Keep aside.

You can even fry the khoa in a pan for 1-2 mins and move it to a cool bowl immediately and mix other ingredients.

Divide the dough into 40 portions and roll out small puris (approximately 3 inches). Take two puris at a time. Put one portion of khoa filling in one puri, cover it with the second puri and seal the edges and pinch and fold the sides in a pattern so that the edges do not open while frying. You can use the moulds available in the market.

Heat enough oil in a deep pan/kadhai and fry the chandrakalas few at a time, till they are golden brown. While you are frying the chandrakala, bring to boil the water and sugar for sugar syrup and make a sugar syrup of one thread*.

Once all the chandrakala are fried, poke each chandrakala on top with a fork. This will help it absorb the sugar syrup. Put them in the hot sugar syrup and coat them with sugar syrup on all sides. You can leave the chandrakala in the syrup for few minutes (3-4) and remove it carefully. Garnish with dry fruits or eat as it is.

*Sugar Syrup

Consistency of sugar syrup is very crucial for Indian desserts. You need to be very careful while working with sugar as it gets extremely hot and can even burn your skin. This recipe calls for one thread consistency of sugar syrup.

One thread consistency is when a single thread is formed when you take little syrup between your index finger and thumb and pull apart the fingers gently. The thread should not break.

Second way to test this is, pour the syrup in a small plate with water. If the syrup does not dissolve immediately and dissolves when you try to gather it, it is one thread consistency.

Another simpler way is to use the cooking thermometer. Single thread syrup is approximately 220ºF – 222ºF/104º-105ºC and is used for sweets where it needs to be absorbed

To test the consistency of sugar syrup, dip a wooden spatula in the syrup and lift out. Allow to cool for a few seconds. Now touch the syrup with a clean index finger to pick a small amount of syrup and bring your thumb and index finger together and pull apart gently.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun

When I decided to start a food blog and was thinking of recipes to include, this was the first recipe that came to my mind. Gulab jamun; this is perhaps the best of the sweets that my grandmother makes. I have very fond memories of helping my grandmother roll the gulab jamuns. As an 8-9 year old, I used to feel so proud to have contributed to a recipe.

Though I am not a fan of oily and fried food, this is an exception. I do not prefer gulab jamun made in oil. It has to be made in ghee (clarified butter). I think that is what gives it the yummy taste and aroma. Fresher the ingredients, better the taste. There are various versions of this sweet too. You can stuff it with mishri, chironji, or any other dry fruit of your choice. Though I do not try to modify such time tested recipes, this time I tried using chocolate chips as a stuffing and was happy with the result.

Gulab Jamun can be enjoyed warm and cold both. It particularly goes well with Vanilla Ice-cream. Warm Gulab Jamun with a dollop of Vanilla Ice-cream tastes delicious. What else, it is indeed a quick dessert.

Gulab Jamun


Makes 10 Gulab Jamuns

  • ½ cup dried whole milk (khoya/mawa)
  • 1 tbsp  Indian cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 1 tbsp multipurpose flour (maida)
  • 2 pinches soda
  • 3-4 pinches cardamom powder (ilaichi)
  • Few chocolate chips
  • 8-10 strands of saffron (kesar)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Pure ghee to fry the gulab jamuns
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Chopped almonds for topping


Crumble or grate mawa and paneer. Add maida, soda, and cardamom powder. Mash all the ingredients using the heel of your palm and keep mixing till you get an even mixture. If you find the mixture too dry, you can add 1 tablespoon water at a time till you get a soft dough. Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll into balls. You can add the stuffing at this time. Press the ball to make a hole, add the stuffing, seal the ends and roll into a ball again making sure there are no cracks.

Heat sufficient ghee in a thick bottomed deep pan/kadai.  Fry on sim gas till golden brown. Do not over crowd the pan. Once you put the gulab jamuns in hot ghee, do not put spoon in the pan till the balls come up in ghee or they will break.  Fry gently and drain and keep aside.

In another pot, heat sugar and water till the syrup becomes light golden. Add saffron strands. Do not over boil the sugar syrup. It should be boiled enough to be sticky. Switch off the gas as soon as the syrup startsbto boil and let it cool a little. Add the gulab jamuns to the syrup when it is warm. Let the gulab jamuns soak in the syrup for at least 30 minutes before serving. You can garnish them with chopped almonds or pistachios.