saffron sooji halwa recipe with step by step photos. smooth, delicious and velvety sooji halwa made with saffron and cashews. sooji halwa is one of the popular halwa recipe made in many indian homes, especially during festive seasons. the recipe shared here is of saffron sooji halwa where saffron is added. addition of saffron gives a lovely aroma and a light yellow color to the halwa.
saffron is also known as ‘kesar’ in hindi and ‘zafran’ in urdu language. hence this delectably smooth velvety halwa is also known as kesari halwa and zafrani sooji halwa. sooji is ‘cream of wheat’ in english and ‘rava’ in marathi and south indian languages.
this recipe is the north indian version of making kesar suji halwa. there is one more simple version without adding saffron and is made mostly in north indian homes. you can check this plain sooji halwa recipe here – sooji halwa recipe.
in south india there is another version called as rava kesari. a few variations of rava kesari are pineapple kesari, kesari bath, mixed fruit kesari and mango kesari. i have shared all the versions of halwa on the blog including the maharashtrian banana sheera. this recipe of saffron sooji halwa is closer to the sheera recipe.
the difference in these recipes is due to the proportion of ghee, sooji and milk or water. for the suji halwa to taste good, it should be roasted very well. if even a slight rawness remains, the sooji halwa does not taste good. you will know something is wrong with the halwa when you see it or taste it.
even though i like suji halwa, my personal favorite is kada prashad which is made with wheat flour and served as prashad in gurudwaras.
to make saffron suji halwa i have used hot water with sugar, but if you want you could substitute milk with water. add your own choice of dry fruits like raisins, almonds, pine nuts. i have only added cashew nuts.
saffron is expensive. so to substitute saffron one could use cardamom powder (elaichi powder) or rose water. this is the way halwa is made in many indian homes without saffron.
to get the yellow hue in the halwa, artificial yellow color can be added to the halwa. when choosing or buying any food color go for a good brand and check for the contents in the food color, whether they have been approved by the FDA or not. personally i avoid food colors and use natural ingredients to get the color in food.
in this suji halwa you could also add fruits like banana, mango, apple, pineapple. the fruits give their own flavors to the halwa and also make the halwa more nutritious.
if you are looking for more halwa recipes then do check:
saffron sooji halwa recipe
INGREDIENTS FOR saffron sooji halwa recipe
- 1 cup fine sooji (cream of wheat or rava or rawa)
- 2.5 cups water or milk
- 1 generous pinch of saffron, approx 30 to 40 strands of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons warm water
- 5 to 6 tablespoons ghee
- ¾ to 1 cup sugar or as required
- ¼ cup cashew nuts (kaju)
- 3 to 4 cardamom pods (hari elaichi) - crushed or ½ teaspoon cardamom powder (choti elaichi powder)
HOW TO MAKE saffron sooji halwa recipe
- heat a pan and roast the sooji for 6 to 7 mins on a medium-low flame. keep on stirring in between so that the sooji does not burn and gets a uniform color. keep aside.
- warm 2 tablespoons water and add saffron to it. keep aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
- in another pan take water and sugar and bring it to a rolling boil. switch off the flame. strain the water to remove the sugar impurities and keep aside.
- in a kadai or pan, melt ghee. fry cashewnuts in the ghee till golden brown.
- add the roasted sooji and mix it with the ghee.
- mix everything well and after 1 to 2 minutes add the crushed cardamom.
- roast the sooji mixture further for 1 to 2 minutes on a low flame.
- add the hot sugar water to the sooji mixture slowly and gradually.
- keep on stirring while adding the sugar solution. take care to see that no lumps are formed.
- also add the saffron dissolved water to this.
- mix and stir the whole mixture very well. let the whole halwa mixture cook for 2 to 3 minutes or more till you see some ghee releasing from the halwa
- serve saffron suji halwa hot or warm.
how to make saffron sooji halwa recipe:
1. firstly warm 2 tablespoon water and add 1 generous pinch saffron strands (about 30 to 40 strands of kesar) in it. keep this mixture aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. measure and keep all the ingredients ready for making kesar sooji halwa.
3. heat a broad heavy pan or kadai. add 1 cup sooji (rava or cream of wheat).
4. begin to roast sooji on a medium-low flame stirring often.
5. roasting sooji well takes about 6 to 7 minutes on a medium-low flame. keep on stirring continuously so that the sooji does not burn and gets a uniform color. the texture of the sooji granules will also change and will look crisp. sooji gives a lovely aroma after it gets roasted.
6. once the sooji is roasted well, then remove in a separate bowl or plate. keep aside.
7. in another pan take 2.5 cups of water or milk. also add ¾ cup to 1 cup sugar or as required. keep the pan on a medium flame and begin to heat it. stir so that the sugar dissolves.
8. when the sugar solution comes to a rolling boil, then switch off the flame.
9. filter the hot sugar solution to get rid of the sugar impurities and keep it aside.
10. in a kadai or pan, melt 5 to 6 tablespoons ghee.
11. fry ¼ cup cashews in the ghee till golden brown.
12. now add the roasted sooji slowly to the ghee and cashew nuts.
13. keep flame to a low and mix suji well with the ghee. suji will begin to absorb the ghee and leave a nice aroma.
14. after 1 to 2 minutes of stirring the mixture, add ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. it also contributes to the fragrance in the halwa. experience the fusion of the lovely fragrances of ghee, cardamom and sooji all together in your kitchen.
15. mix very well.
16. roast the sooji halwa mixture for 1 to 2 minutes more on a low flame.
17. the hot sugar solution is already ready. add it to the sooji slowly.
18. keep on stirring and mixing when you are adding it to the sooji + ghee mixture so that lumps are not formed.
19. mix very well.
20. now add the saffron dissolved water to the sooji halwa mixture.
21. stir the whole halwa mixture very well. the sooji granules will absorb all the water and swell. keep on stirring at intervals so that the sooji halwa does not stick to the bottom of the pan or kadai.
22. let the whole halwa mixture cook for 2 to 3 minutes or more till you see some ghee releasing from the sooji halwa. you should not see any creamish specks or dots in the sooji. this means that the sooji is not cooked well. in the below pic, saffron sooji halwa is ready.
23. serve saffron suji halwa hot or warm or chilled. leftovers can be refrigerated and warmed before serving.