Badam Halwa / Indian Almond Dessert

Badam Halwa / Indian Almond Dessert

Diwali’s here. I know, it hardly feels that way especially if you are reading this from the US or some other place far from home. And that’s how its been every year that I’ve been away as well.. but I expect this one to be different. Reason? Well, I’ve made Badam Halwa – nothing screams Diwali more than Badam Halwa to me. It is such a vivid memory – paaty making the halwa in a huge hindalium kadai and amma taking up afterwards to do the stirring off the heat as the halwa gets harder and harder as it gurgles out all that ghee it had just ingested. Wow, too complicated. At least that’s how it was back then. You know, stuff that grown ups take care of. My job started pretty much right after all of that hard work was done and the amazingly slippery-smooth halwa had been portioned off into huge tin cans – eating whatever was left on the ladle! The same routine – every year – Diwali meant making Badam Halwa and the festival just did not feel the same without it.

This year, I finally decided to try making it, for the very first time, and called paaty for the how-to. I’ll be honest: the halwa was good, really good. But not quite the same as paaty’s. Maybe because I skimped on the ghee (nonstick pan, you see). Maybe because I skimped on the sugar (just prefer sweets to be a little less sweeter, if that makes any sense). Maybe because I never did watch her make it. Maybe because she’s just the best at it.

Well, you sure wouldn’t be disappointed if you try making this Badam Halwa recipe. Definitely not if you have never tasted my grand mother’s. You might even really really like it.. everyone at home did.

Paaty… I feel all grown up today 🙂

Happy Diwali and hope you find a way to make it special in your way too!

Source: Grand mom

Serves: 6 – 8

Cooking Time: 2 hours soaking + 15 minutes prep + 20 minutes cooking


  1. Almonds / Badam – 1 cup
  2. Sugar – 3/4 cup (1 cup is the usual measure, adjust according to sweet preference)
  3. Clarified butter / Ghee – 1/2 cup  (approx. 8 tbsp; 1 cup is the usual measure, adjust according to preference)
  4. Milk – 1 cup
  5. Saffron threads – a pinch
  6. Cardamom powder – a pinch


Prepare almond-milk puree:

  1. Soak the almonds in water for about 2 hours (or overnight) to help peel the skins off easily. Alternatively, boil them in water for 5 minutes then cool and peel skins off.
  2. Blend together peeled almonds and milk to make a coarse paste, almost like idly-dosa batter (you can make a fine paste too if you prefer not to have the grainy texture in the halwa).

Prepare the halwa:

Note: Cook on med-high throughout the process.

  1. Heat a pan (preferably non-stick as it is much easier to prevent burning and sticking unless you are used to aluminum/hindalium heavy-bottomed kadai pans).
  2. Add 2 to 3 tbsp ghee and the almond puree to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture starts bubbling.
  3. Add the saffron threads and cardamom powder and mix together.
  4. Add the sugar and a few more spoons of the ghee and stir well. The mixture will loosen up as the sugar melts and then continue to thicken with further stirring.
  5. Over the next 15-18 minutes, add the remaining ghee a little by little, stirring all the time as the mixture thickens and starts bubbling (be careful so as to prevent the splattering hot halwa from popping onto your skin).
  6. The halwa is done when it is no longer sticking to the kadai, there are goblets of ghee oozing out of the mixture and the halwa easily balls up when you turn/ flip it around.
  7. Turn off heat when you reach step#6, but continue stirring for 5 more minutes or so, which will thicken the mixture further as well as get more ghee out as it softens the halwa.
2 Responses to “Badam Halwa / Indian Almond Dessert”
  1. Pinky says:

    It looks delicious!!! After years I had badam halwa at a restaurant in Boston last year and since then have been looking out for a good recipe. Will try it out soon 🙂

  2. PoppyBhavan says:

    Hmmmm,nostalgic.Hope we’ll be together for next Diwali.HAPPY DIWALI.

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