Apple Halwa (Indian Apple Pudding)

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Apple halwa is an easy and delicious halwa or Indian apple pudding that is made with sweet apples, ghee (clarified butter), sugar and nuts. The smooth texture of this apple halwa has aromatic hints from cinnamon and vanilla. Make this delish apple sweet when a sweet craving strikes. The recipe is easy but requires some hand work and patience.

apple halwa served in bowls

Like most fruits, apple is a versatile fruit that can be had raw or eaten cooked. While usually, we have raw apples directly or juice them, I also make apple halwa on occasions. Besides this recipe, I also make desserts with apples like Apple Cakemuffins, tarts, Apple Crumble, Apple Pie and apple kheer.

I have been making this recipe for almost a decade now and it has never failed. This recipe took life one fine day when once on a cold afternoon day there were too many apples in the kitchen. I was wondering what to make with them!!!

Then I found a halwa recipe using mixed fruits in the Hare Krishna book of Vegetarian Cooking. Adapting the same recipe I made apple halwa and this has been a favorite all these years. I also make banana halwa using the same recipe.

The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking has some really good recipes. The recipes in the desserts and sweets section are simply superb, with a few recipes dedicated to desserts made with fresh fruits.

apple halwa served in bowls

The best part of this apple halwa is that it is not a heavy dessert as no milk, cream or evaporated milk (khoya) is added to the halwa. This apple halwa is a good way to sneak in some apples for the kids who are not fond of apples. You can swap sugar with jaggery in this recipe.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Apple Halwa

Prepping Apples

1. Rinse 1 kilogram of apples (7 to 8 medium-sized apples) very well in water using a colander. Drain all the water. Then peel each apple.

I suggest using sweet-tasting apples. This way you will have to add less sugar. Here I have used the Indian variety of Kinnaur apples. You can use any good variety of ripe, fresh, crisp and sweet-tasting apples.

peeled apples

2. Using a knife, quarter them and slice off the part containing seeds and pith.

quarter and sliced apples

3. Then chop the apples into small cubes. You will need 7 cups of chopped apples.

chop apples into small pieces

Cooking Apples

4. Heat a heavy kadai (wok), skillet or frying pan and keep heat to medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons ghee to the kadai and let it melt.

heat ghee or oil in a kadai or pan

5. Add the chopped apples.

chopped apples added to ghee

6. Mix it with the ghee and begin to saute the apples on low to medium-low heat.

mix apples with ghee

7. Saute for about 5 to 6 minutes stirring often. You will see that some cubes of apples will soften and some won’t by this time of cooking.

stir and begin to cook apple cubes

8. Then add 2 tablespoons of water.

add water to apple cubes

9. Mix again.

mix water with apple cubes

10. Cover the kadai or pan and cook for 12 to 15 minutes on low to medium-low heat.

cover the kadai with lid and cook the apple cubes

11. Remove the lid and stir at intervals.

stir at intervals

12. On a low to medium-low heat cook covered with the lid till all the apples have softened and become mushy. The apple mixture will start to thicken.

When the apples have softened then with a spoon or a potato masher, mash the cooked apples and keep on stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. You could keep some small chunk-sized pieces or cubes of apples if you want.

continue cooking apple cubes till they become mushy and soft

Making Apple Halwa

13. Then add 5 tablespoons of sugar. In case if your apples are slightly tangy then you will require to add some more sugar. So the amount of sugar to be added depends upon the sweetness of the apples and also on your taste preference.

You can use raw sugar or white sugar. Here I have added unrefined sugar. You can also add jaggery, brown sugar, coconut sugar, palm sugar or maple syrup.

add sugar to apple mixture

14. Mix well until the sugar dissolves.

mix sugar with apple halwa mixture

15. Stirring often cook till some ghee can be seen at the sides or for about 9 to 10 minutes on low to medium-low heat. At this point, there should be no bubbling of apple juices in the halwa.

stir and continue cooking apple halwa

16. Then add 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (ground cinnamon). Apples and cinnamon together are a wonderful combination.

cinnamon powder added

17. Next add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

vanilla extract added

18. Add chopped nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios. Also, keep a few chopped nuts aside for garnishing apple halwa. I added 10 almonds and 10 cashews (all chopped).

chopped dry fruits added to halwa mixture

19. Mix very well. Check the taste and if required add some more sugar.

mix flavorings and nuts with halwa mixture

20. Sauté stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes till the mixture become one and starts to pull away from the sides of the kadai or pan.

cooked apple halwa

21. Serve apple halwa hot or warm garnished with some chopped nuts. Leftover apple halwa can be refrigerated. Stays good for about a week in the fridge.

apple halwa served in bowls

Expert Tips

1. Type of apple to be used
To make apple halwa use apples that are sweet. You can use any variety of apples that are sweet. Avoid green apples or apple varieties that are tart. If you use tart or tangy apples, then the halwa has a sweet-sour taste and you may also need to add more sugar. The sweeter the apples, the less sugar needs to be added.

2. Adding sugar or skipping sugar?
Sugar is optional in the recipe and can be skipped completely. So you can skip sugar entirely and make a sugar-free apple halwa. If the apples are very sweet then also you can skip or reduce the sugar quantity.

3. Alternative sweeteners or sugar substitutes
Instead of sugar sweeteners like palm sugar, coconut sugar, jaggery, maple syrup, brown sugar can also be added. Please do not add honey as honey becomes toxic on heating.

4. Substitutes for ghee to make vegan apple halwa
You can also make vegan apple halwa with a neutral odourless oil like sunflower oil. Coconut oil can also be used instead of ghee.

5. Flavorings
To add some warmth to the halwa, I have added cinnamon powder and vanilla extract and this apple pudding had the hints of cinnamon tinged with the flavor and aroma of vanilla. You can even add cardamom powder if you do not have cinnamon powder and vanilla. Even a bit of nutmeg powder can be added.

6. Choice of nuts and dry fruits
The original recipe from the book had raisins added to the apple halwa. I have not added them, but you can add them. Almond slices have also been added to the original recipe. You can add any dry fruits and nuts of your choice like walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, chironji and pecans.

7. Making halwa with other fruits
Seasonal fruits can be used to make this halwa. Ripe pears, mangoes and other juicy fruits can be replaced with apples. Finally, you could also make this delicious apple halwa on festive occasions.

If you are looking for more Halwa recipes then do check

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apple halwa recipe

Apple Halwa

Apple halwa recipe made with apples, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Apple halwa is a delicious halwa that is easy to make. This apple halwa does not use sooji (rava), milk, khoya or milk powder. Just apples, sugar (optional) and ghee. Flavorings and nuts of your choice can be added to the halwa. 
4.89 from 17 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine Indian
Course Desserts
Diet Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 6
Units

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram apple or 7 to 8 medium sized apples or 7 cups chopped apples
  • 5 tablespoons sugar or add as required – optional
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder (ground cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 10 almonds – chopped
  • 10 cashews – chopped

Instructions
 

Prepping Apples

  • Rinse 1 kg apples (7 to 8 medium-sized apples) very well in water using a colander. Drain all the water. Then peel each apple.
  • Quarter them and slice off the part containing seeds and pith.
  • Then chop the apples in small cubes. You will need 7 cups chopped apples.

Cooking apples

  • Heat a heavy kadai or pan and keep the heat to medium-low. Add 2 tablespoons ghee in the kadai and let it melt.
  • Add the chopped apples.
  • Mix it with the ghee and begin to saute the apples on a low to medium-low flame for some 5 to 6 minutes. Some apples will soften and some won’t.
  • Then add 2 tablespoons water. Mix again.
  • Cover the kadai or pan cook for 12 to 15 minutes. stir at intervals.
  • On a low to medium-low heat cook covered with the lid till all the apples have softened and become mushy. The apples mixture will start to thicken. 
  • With a spoon or potato masher, mash the cooked apples and keep on stirring so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pan. You could keep some small chunk sized pieces if you want.

Making apple halwa

  • Then add sugar. Tangy apples will require more sugar. So amount of sugar to be added depends upon the sweetness of the apples. mix well.
  • Stirring often cook till some ghee can be seen at the sides for about 9 to 10 minutes on a low to medium-low heat. At this point, there should be no bubbling of apple juices in the halwa.
  • Then add cinnamon powder. Apples and cinnamon together are a wonderful combination.
  • Next add vanilla extract.
  • Add chopped nuts. Also keep a few chopped nuts aside for garnish.
  • Mix very well. Check the taste of halwa and if required add some more sugar.
  • Sauté stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes till the apple halwa mixture starts coming together and pulls away from the sides of the kadai or pan.
  • Serve apple halwa hot or warm garnished with some chopped nuts. Leftover halwa can be refrigerated. Stays good for a week.

Notes

  • To make apple halwa use apples that are sweet. You can use any variety of apples that are sweet. Avoid green apples or apple varieties which are tart.
  • If you use tart or tangy apples, then you may also need to add more sugar.
  • Sugar is optional in the recipe and can be skipped. If the apples are very sweet then consider skipping sugar or adding less sugar.
  • Instead of sugar sweeteners like palm sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, jaggery, maple syrup can also be added. Don’t add honey as it becomes toxic on heating.
  • You can also make vegan apple halwa with a neutral odourless oil like sunflower oil. Coconut oil can also be used instead of ghee.
  • You can even add half a teaspoon of cardamom powder if you do not have cinnamon powder and vanilla. Even a bit of nutmeg powder can be added. You can add less cinnamon powder and vanilla extract if you want. 
  • If using artificial vanilla essence, then add only half a teaspoon of it. 
  • You can add any dry fruits and nuts of your choice.
  • The recipe can be scaled to make a small batch.

Nutrition Info (Approximate values)

Nutrition Facts
Apple Halwa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 151 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 206mg6%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 27g30%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 7.7mg9%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Apple Halwa recipe post from the blog archives (first published in February 2012) has been updated and republished on 6 July 2021.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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56 Comments

  1. I tried this recipe ma’am it was yummy. Thanks for giving me such easy and yummy recipes. I have tried many of your recipes and everyone at home enjoy it. Thanks a lot5 stars

    1. Hi Deepali, great to know and thank you for this super feedback on the recipes you have tried. Most welcome.

  2. Hi Dassana,

    Prepared this with green apples. Loved the sweet sour taste and aroma of ghee! My neighbour with whom I shared had a tough time guessing the main ingredient. Had to tell her eventually ☺

    Now I know what to do with excess apples. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe!5 stars

    1. hi hamsa, thanks for letting me know. yes, with green apples the halwa has a sweet-tart taste and is too good. even i love this sweet-tart combination. most welcome and thanks again.

  3. like you, apple is my least favourite fruit, I tried this recipe and added lots of roasted nuts and bit overcooked it. It turned out great. My husband hates eating sweet, but he loved it too. especially its bit tanginess with sweetness. Looking forward to more innovative usages of apple.
    And yes, you are my favourite chef. 🙂5 stars

    1. thanks shipra for your kind words. glad to know that both of you liked this apple halwa. you can make apple muffins, apple cake, apple pie or milkshake, smoothie with them. all these recipes are already shared on the website.

  4. Woww..Dis looks yummyyy…I want to try this..
    Can I add cashew powder to this.?
    I have tried many of your recipes..as images are available it makes the preparation go smoothly..Thank u..:)5 stars

  5. Hi Dassana this halwa looks yummy_yummy I want give it a go on this diwali as prashad could you please tell me can I use honey and sugar both honey just give glazing to halwa if yes what quantity do you recommend as I need to make quality huge amount about 12 to 25 apples

    quick response will be appreciated

    regards

    Urvashi shah5 stars

    1. urvashi, avoid honey. honey should not be heated as it becomes toxic when heated. you can use organic jaggery instead of honey. but with jaggery the color will change and also the taste will be different. for sugar or jaggery, just increase the amount proportionally. also the amount to be added depends on the sweetness of apples. if the apples are not sweet, then you may need to add more sugar.

      1. thank you so much for quick response will do the same as recommended…..one more thing I have made apple pie for Dhanteras yesterday and it turned out yummy. it looks like i sm having Appley Diwali lol….in London we do get quite a few variety of apples and I am sure I will find so sweet and juice apples for halwa I am into healthy eating so I like sweet made with fruits thank you so much for your recipes they are healthy and tasty both…..will let you know how halwa turn out to be once I made it.

        thanks again5 stars

        1. welcome urvashi. happy diwali to you. of course you will get more variety of apples, then what we get in india. sweets made from fruits are much better. you can also have a look at the pumpkin halwa and ash gourd halwa that are already posted on the website. and you can reduce the ghee or sugar as per your requirements in the halwa. sure do let me know how the apple halwa turns out.

        2. Hi Dassana, hope you had wonderful Diwali!

          the apple halwa I made for Diwali day was amazing as you suggested an option of raisines I did the same but I added dried cranberries and raisines and it wad too good thank you so much I like the way you represent recipes with pictures atleast we cannot go wrong…..I never enjoyed cooking like this before…..keep it up and thanks for other halwa suggestions it will surely try them too….you and your cooking both are marvellous thanks for everything.5 stars

        3. thats great urvashi. thanks a lot. glad that the pics helped you. do try the other halwa recipes too.

  6. Hi, Dasanna I love your blog and have tried quite many. My favorite ones are whole wheat eggless almond cookies and rajma. Have many apples at home and just checking if you have any suitable recipe and found this one.This halwa looks too delicious. Can’t wait to try.5 stars

    1. surely try durga and let us know how it was? glad to know you liked the apple halwa and thankyou for your kind words.

  7. Hi,

    If we peel off the wax coated apple then also its a concern or then the apple is safe to be consumed??

    Regards,

    Teena

    1. teena, then its safe to consume. you can also check videos on youtube on how to get rid of the wax.

  8. Hi! I do not have cinnamon powder with me, but cinnamon sticks. I am not confident about grinding them properly. So how can I use that in this dish. Please help4 stars

    1. rajshree, just add 1/2 inch of cinnamon stick to the halwa. when you add the apples you can add the cinnamon stick with them.

    1. kashif, the apples must be tart. if the apples are sweet then the halwa is sweet. for tart apples, you need to add more sugar. hope it helps.

  9. hello Dassana. this is an awesome recipe. plz tell me if there anyway i can avoid the sugar part, I have diabetics at home. thank u.5 stars

    1. thanks for sharing the link. the sourness is due to the apples that one uses. i agree on that.

  10. Hi,

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My family and friends love it! I have tried it twice and it has turned out great each time.5 stars

  11. Thanks for the recipe Dassana! Happy Diwali & Saal Mubarak to you and your family!
    I made this recipe yesterday, the only suggestion I have is that it took a while longer to cook the apples.
    This is an amazing recipe! Thanks again!

    1. welcome preeti. the cooking time depends upon the quality of the apples. sometimes when i make this halwa, the apples cook very fast and some times, the cooking takes some time.

  12. Hi Dassana
    Just chanced up on ur apple halwa recipe a few days back .shared it with my colleagues.all three of us made it.turned out to be yummilicious.that was a bhog for matarani on ashtami.thank u .since it was free from khoya i indulged.thanks for the presentation.just eases my nerves.thanks for all the appreciative smiles who tasted my halwa.vanilla flavour turned out to be the hero.
    Bye…keep up…..love u…

    1. welcome mukambika. reading your comment i can imagine that apple halwa was a hit and you all liked it. glad to know that the recipe brought some good moments in your group.

  13. Hey Dassana, Ive tried out your recipe and it turned out exactly the same. I am not sure how to send you the picture of d apple halwa I made. But I can say it is succesful.

    1. thanks for the feedback harish. you can send email me at vegrecipesofindia(AT)gmail(DOT)com or send via the blog’s fb page.

  14. looks awesome… My recepie for the coming week end :D…

    Dassana, do you have any idea of the exact quantity ratio of rice and milk for rice kheer “Payesh” as we call it in bengali….

    1. thanks sudeshna. the proportion would depend on the consistency of the kheer. i think 2 litres of milk with one fistful of rice… may come to approx 1 cup rice is fine.

  15. Hey Dassana, awesome clicks!!!!!! Really loved the idea of apple halwa with vanilla, I am sure would have had a differant taste all together.