Holi 2024: 8 Best Halwa Varieties For Your Sweet Celebrations

Holi, a colourful Hindu festival, marks the arrival of spring and the triumph of good over evil. People get together during this joyful, colourful, and communal time to dance, play with coloured powders, and eat festive delicacies. This year, Holi 2024 will be celebrated on March 25 across India and the world.

During Holi, sweets are very important because they represent the sweetness of life, spreading joy, and fortifying relationships with loved ones. The rich and decadent flavours of halwa, a classic Indian dessert made with different ingredients, ghee, sugar, and almonds, contribute to the festive mood and make the celebrations more joyous and unforgettable. Halwa is particularly significant during almost every festival and celebration.

Here is a list of different types of halwa to enjoy during Holi:

1. Sooji Halwa: 

Semolina Halwa, also known as Sooji Halwa, is an authentic Indian recipe with a texture that is a bit grainy, and a thick, rich taste. Semolina, or "sooji," is roasted in ghee till brown and then it is boiled in milk with ground cardamom, sugar and water until it thickens as a pudding. It is often consumed when it is warm and its wholesome ingredients are complemented by roasted nuts like cashews or almonds. In Indian cuisine, Sooji or semolina halwa, is typically a sweet delicacy that is made to celebrate festivals.

Video Credit: YouTube/ Kunal Kapur

2. Badam Halwa: 

Among the few Indian desserts, Badam Halwa is one of the most popular for its elegant texture and full flavour, for which it is renowned. It is prepared with sugar, milk, ghee (clarified butter), almonds (badam), and spices like cardamom, for a beautiful aroma. The nuts are then immersed in the water to remove the bitterness and then pounded into a paste with milk, sugar and ghee and boiled until the entire combination becomes thick and has a custard-like consistency. It is often served hot, with almonds in slivers and saffron added to its emerald topping.

3. Moong Dal Halwa: 

Moong Dal Halwa is an age-old Indian sweet dish which is famous for its wonderful taste. The preparation is done by splitting the yellow lentils (moong dal) and washing them, then grinding them into a paste and cooking them in ghee with sugar milk and aromatic spices like cardamom until thickened. Therefore, it keeps the native characteristics of halwa, the insidious flavour enhancer being roasted dal, which leads to the deep golden colour and a truly extra decadent flavour. Moong Dal Halwa is decorated with chopped nuts like almonds and pistachios and it is served hot as one of the popular sweets for festive and celebratory occasions.

4. Atta Halwa: 

A traditional Indian sweet dish, Atta Ka Halwa, includes whole wheat flour, sugar, creamy butter (ghee), cardamom and crushed almonds. Its texture is smooth and velvety with partly visible grains, and its flavour is saturated with sweetness and nuttiness. To make it, wheat flour is sauteed in clarified butter until it turns golden in colour. Add milk gradually till it turns into a nice, thick paste. The end presents chopped nuts like pistachios and almonds and it comes warm as a delightful dessert like Holi, which is why we celebrate.

5. Besan Halwa: 

The Indian classic dessert, besan halwa, has acquired its rich texture and velvety nature as the result of a long cooking process. It is prepared by cooking besan (gram flour), sugar, and milk until it has thickened and turned into a smooth, golden-brown paste. Ghee, or clarified butter, is added as the mixture thickens. The cardamom powder is then added to the halwa, and then it is served warm with the chopped almond and pistachio nuts to garnish it. It is flavourful by itself, with the gram flour giving it a nutty taste that is exalted with a sweet aroma. 

6. Pumpkin Halwa: 

Pumpkin halwa is an Indian delicacy that is a combination of flavour and texture, which, due to the presence of several spices, provides a tangy taste. Grated pumpkin is cooked with butter and milk, sugar and milk; cooked in clarified butter to add a glossy look and aromatic spices, including cardamom and saffron. And finally, a beautiful dessert, pumpkin halwa, is ready, which is smooth and thick in texture. It is usually consumed warm by adding nuts like pistachios and almonds, which offer an extra nutty texture. 

7. Pineapple Halwa: 

Indian desserts like Pumpkin Halwa, or Kaddu Ka Halwa, are rich in flavour and have a smooth, creamy texture. Grated pumpkin is cooked in clarified butter, or ghee, until it becomes mushy. After adding sugar, milk, and fragrant spices like saffron and cardamom, the combination is boiled until the pumpkin is cooked through and the sauce thickens. The end product is a velvety, silky halwa with a flavour that is both sweet and subtly spicy. Traditionally, it's served warm or cold as a delicious dessert and decorated with chopped nuts like pistachios or almonds.

8. Coconut Halwa: 

A creamy, flavourful Indian delicacy with a silky, melt-in-your-mouth texture is coconut halwa. To make, heat sugar, cardamom powder, ghee (clarified butter), grated coconut, and milk until the mixture thickens and takes on a fudgy consistency. For extra crunch and flavour, chopped nuts, such as cashews or almonds, are added as a garnish. Traditionally served warm, coconut halwa lends a delicious coconutty sweetness to events such as religious ceremonies, weddings, and Holi celebrations. It can also be served as a stand-alone dessert or presented alongside other festive sweets.