Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa

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Popular in North India, moong dal halwa is a delicious lentil and ghee-based dessert that is typically made on special occasions like weddings or Diwali. This homemade version is reminiscent of what you’d find in India, but made quick and easy in the Instant Pot!

this quick and easy moong dal halwa in a dark blue stoneware dish on a dark blue plate withe a spoon
Quick Moong Dal Halwa

What is moong dal halwa?

Moong dal ka halwa is a famous (and addictive) North Indian dessert that many people enjoy during the winter months. It’s made using moong dal (aka split green gram without skin), ghee (aka clarified butter), saffron, and cardamom.

Traditionally, moong dal halwa is reserved for celebratory or festive occasions like Holi, Diwali, and marriages, partly because it is typically such a labor-intensive dish. However, with this Instant Pot moong dal halwa recipe, you can make it easily and quickly anytime the craving strikes!

Stovetop Method vs. Instant Pot Method

Anyone who has made moong dal halwa will tell you that a big reason why it’s so special and so delicious is because it takes forever to make on the stovetop. This way of preparing it involves soaking the lentils overnight and then almost constantly stirring them while they simmer on the stove.

I’ll say this – your arms will get a workout by the time you are done 🙂

Luckily for us, I’ve perfected how to make this moong dal halwa without soaking and in a fraction of that time using the handy dandy Instant Pot!

This new and improved method makes creamy, decadent moong dal halwa in under 10 minutes all in one pot!

If you’ve ever wondered whether there’s anything this kitschy kitchen gadget can’t do, this Instant Pot moong dal halwa recipe proves that there’s not!

the author's hands holding a bowl of this homemade moong dal halwa recipe topped with chopped almonds

Key Ingredients

  • Several saffron strands (soaked in a little warm water) – for that beautiful golden hue.
  • Ghee – homemade is the best but storebought is okay too. Here’s an easy recipe to make ghee in the Instant Pot. While you can use oil but the taste just won’t be the same.
  • Moong dal Also called as split green gram dal without skin. This nutrient-rich dal is high in fibre and protein offers a myriad of health benefits.
  • A pinch of saltto enhance the sweetness
  • Waterfor pressure cooking
  • Granulated sugar – It can be replaced by jaggery too.
  • Whole milk for extra creaminess and rich taste. It is optional though.
  • Chopped almonds and pistachios (for garnish)

Equipment

All you need to make this homemade moong dal halwa is your trusted Instant Pot! Unlike the traditional way of preparing this over a hot stove after soaking the lentils overnight, everything is done in one convenient place in the Instant Pot version.

Step by Step instructions

  1. If you are using saffron, soak the saffron strands in about two tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
  2. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and heat 2 tablespoons of ghee.
  3. Once the ghee heats up, add moong dal (no need to rinse – see note). Saute the moong dal in ghee till it is golden brown – will take about 5 minutes. Keep stirring continuously so as to evenly cook the dal.
  4. Add milk and mix well. Deglaze the pot – i.e make sure there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and select Pressure cook mode. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  6. When the cooking cycle is complete, release pressure immediately.
  7. Open the lid and give the dal a good stir. Mash it using the back of the spoon.
  8. Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and add 4 tablespoons of ghee.
  9. Mix well and continue to cook until all the ghee has been absorbed and has started to leave the sides. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
  10. Add sugar, saffron, and milk. Stir it in. Mix well.
  11. Continue to cook till the halwa starts to leave the sides. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
  12. Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode. The mixture will solidify and come together in a few minutes.
  13. Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot otherwise the halwa will completely dry up.
  14. Serve warm topped with nuts.

Notes / Tips

  1. You don’t need to rinse the moong dal before cooking. But if you feel the need to, make sure to pat it dry before roasting in ghee.
  2. Soaking saffron threads in warm water instead of milk gives a deeper orange hue.
  3. Don’t forget to stir frequently– it keep the lumps away and prevents the halwa from sticking to the base of the inner pot.
  4. You can make moong dal halwa without milk but I love the creamy taste it imparts. Feel free to skip it though.
  5. Don’t skimp on the ghee! It is what makes moong dal halwa taste so good. If you are calorie conscious just take a smaller serving.
  6. You can replace sugar with jaggery. I would substitute the sugar with 1/2 cup powdered jaggery and then add more as needed.

Storage, freezing, and reheating instructions

  • Store cooled, leftover moong dal halwa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bags for up to 1 month. It will lose some of its texture during the thawing and reheating process, but the flavor will remain.
  • Reheat chilled or frozen moong dal halwa in the microwave with a little ghee until warmed through, stirring at the halfway point.

Serving instructions

Serve warm moong dal halwa with ghee, chopped nuts (I like almonds and pistachios, but cashews would also work), rose petals, and more cardamom.

More Indian dessert recipes to try



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Moong dal halwa served in a black bowl

Instant Pot Moong dal halwa

5 from 1 vote
Popular in North India, moong dal halwa is a delicious way to use lentils and ghee, typically on special occasions like weddings or Diwali. This homemade version is reminiscent of what you'd find in India, but made quick and easy in the Instant Pot!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Pressure building time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 6 small bowls
Diet : Vegetarian
Course : Dessert
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 7-8 saffron strands, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ cup ghee, divided
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • teaspoon salt , pinch
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • chopped almonds and pistachios (garnish)

Instructions
 

  • If you are using saffron, soak the saffron strands in about two tablespoons of warm water. Set aside.
  • Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and heat 2 tablespoons of ghee.
  • Once the ghee heats up, add moong dal (no need to rinse – see note). Saute the moong dal in ghee till it is golden brown – will take about 5 minutes. Keep stirring continuously so as to evenly cook the dal.
  • Add salt, water and mix well. Deglaze the pot – i.e make sure there is nothing stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and select Pressure cook mode. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, release pressure immediately.
  • Open the lid and give the dal a good stir. Mash it using the back of the spoon.
  • Set the Instant Pot on Sauté mode on ‘Low’ setting and add the remaining ghee.
  • Mix well and continue to cook until all the ghee has been absorbed and has started to leave the sides. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
  • Add sugar, saffron, and milk. Stir it in. Mix well.
  • Continue to cook till the halwa starts to leave the sides. Add cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode. The mixture will start to solidify and come together in a few minutes.
  • Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot carefully otherwise the halwa will start to dry up.
  • Serve warm topped with nuts.

Notes

Notes / Tips

  1. You don’t need to rinse the moong dal before cooking. But if you feel the need to, make sure to pat it dry before roasting in ghee.
  2. Soaking saffron threads in warm water instead of milk gives a deeper orange hue.
  3. Don’t forget to stir frequently– it keeps the lumps away and prevents the halwa from sticking to the base of the inner pot.
  4. Adding milk to the halwa is optional but I love the creamy taste it imparts.
  5. Don’t skimp on the ghee! It is what makes moong dal halwa taste so good. If you are calorie conscious just take a smaller serving.
  6. You can replace sugar with jaggery. I would substitute the sugar with 1/2 cup powdered jaggery and then add more as needed.

Storage, freezing, and reheating instructions

  • Store cooled, leftover moong dal halwa in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container or plastic bags for up to 1 month. It will lose some of its texture during the thawing and reheating process, but the flavor will remain.
  • Reheat chilled or frozen moong dal halwa in the microwave with a little ghee until warmed through, stirring at the halfway point.

Serving instructions

Serve warm moong dal halwa with ghee, chopped nuts (I like almonds and pistachios, but cashews would also work), rose petals, and more cardamom.

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Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 361kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 9gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 72mgPotassium: 30mgFiber: 3gSugar: 27gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

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Keyword : easy, No soak

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