Boondi ke Laddu

Boondi Laddu is an Indian sweet. Pretty commonly made and easily available in all sweet stores, well almost. They are different from Motichoor Laddu since the boondi isn’t tiny. Motichoor Laddu has a different preparation method as well. Getting back to Boondi ke Laddu. I have a special connection with them, which I feel every kid brought up in India has. Every Independence Day and Republic day, schools in India have it mandatory for children to come to school and attend the flag hoisting ceremony along with programs that teach us the importance of freedom and also pass the information of how our freedom fighters worked together and fought to gift us a free country.

Boondi ke Laddu was a staple sweet distributed to all the kids at the end of the ceremony. Not just that, every Ramadan when the 27th Shab-e-qadar was celebrated and around that time the reading of the Quran in the local mosque, Boondi ke Laddu were distributed by my father. There were so many occasions and this sweet seemed to be the perfect thing for distribution and I have never met anyone who didn’t like them.

I never saw anyone ever make them at home but since we are all now in the USA and the Indian sweet stores here do not make these Laddus, so I had to get down and make them at home. I searched a few blogs and also some food websites, but the pictures they had and the explanation they had were more of Motichoor Laddu. See the fact is that at times you don’t want anything fancy but you just want to relive your childhood or you want to just get a taste of your country.

I tried making the Boondi Laddu a long time ago but the boondis came out long and they could not be bonded. Then during one of my visits to India, my Rakhi brother took me to a store that makes specialized ladles used for making boondis. I then tried making the Laddus again after coming to USA. Though I don’t think anything you make here can ever bring back the same happiness as being in your motherland and enjoying it since you would still miss the people you would enjoy those foods with. But as they say, you cannot fight your destiny, but you can always enjoy things that are around you and do everything that’s under your control.

These Laddus will definitely remind you of your childhood days. Though they require a little extra effort and it gets a little messy too, but it’s all worth the effort.

Gajar Ka Halwa

Gajar ka Halwa is our winter favorite. The lovely sweetness of carrots mixed with sugar and milk and a hint of cardamom with desi ghee leaves you taste buds asking for more. Every family has their own version of Gajar ka Halwa and it’s the most common dessert in winters and can be found in most homes, specially during winters. With fresh carrots available in the market and the need to finish every meal with a dessert, this Gajar ka halwa definitely scores high.

I make mine with grated red carrots, milk, Khoya and sugar. It’s a winter delicacy and is made using the juicy red carrots. I also make it another way, which is my Mother’s recipe. Growing up I always felt that my mom makes the best ever carrot halwa. She would in fact even freeze the Halwa so we could enjoy it longer. My mom would cook her Halwa for hours on low heat and I as a kid, I would look forward to the Halwa. This sweet dish is mainly associated with North India. It is a rich, the texture is slightly grainy, with sweetness that makes the warm winter dessert taste delicious. I haven’t heard of any Indian who doesn’t love a good carrot halwa.

Garnished with slivers of dry fruits, it goes well with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side. I have a recipe of Gajar Ka halwa with Vanilla Ice cream on this blog too. That Halwa is made using condensed milk. So, it can be made any which way, eaten warm, with/without Vanilla Ice cream.

Most households in North Indian have their own recipe to make Gajar ka Halwa and with minor changes here and there, the taste changes drastically. This recipe of Carrot Halwa is my own and is one of the quickest and best I have had.

I grate the carrots and cook them in Ghee till they start releasing water. Once the water is dried, I add milk and cook the carrots till they are completely soft and the milk thickens while cooking the carrots and is only 1/4 left. I then add Khoya followed by sugar and cardamom powder. Cook till everything blends well and there is no liquid left in the Halwa. I only add Almonds, Pistachios and sometimes, cashews to my Halwa. But some people like adding Raisins which is completely optional and a personal choice.

I make Gajar ka Halwa pretty often and it finishes pretty quickly as well. You can easily double or triple the quantity of the ingredients and make a bigger batch if you want to. Along with the ingredients, the cooking time will also increase.  I try and pick carrots as red as possible and in case if I don’t get my hands on carrots that are red, I sometimes use a pinch of orange food color. It’s completely optional though.

Rose Kulfi

The wonderful world of cold desserts and the version of ice creams served in India “Kulfi”. The word Kulfi or Qulfi is an Indian word derived from the Persian word “Qufli” which means “covered cup”. The dessert was likely originated during the era of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. The mixture of milk, sugar and nuts. Kulfi is a gifted recipe from the Middle eastern travelers and settlers to India and neighboring countries. Along with so many architectural gifts to India, like the Taj mahal, which even till date makes our country so proud and has millions of visitors travel India only to see Taj Mahal once in their lifetime and so many gorgeous forts, along with Red Fort where the PM addresses the nation every year are all an awesome example of Mughal architectural skill.

Coming back the Kulfi, Indian cuisine were not aware of using Orange blossom, Rose water, saffron or a wide variety of dry fruits in the cuisine. The Mughals while introducing their cuisines and blending them with Indian flavors resulted in wide variety of Biryanis, Kebabs, curries and sweet dishes including Gulab Jamun, Jalebi and Rabri to name a few and of course, Kulfi.

This sweet dish is rich in flavor and can be made in various flavors and is always served cold. It can be served with Basil seeds or sabza that are soaked for an hour, as falooda. It can be flavored while serving as well. I usually like mine to be served with Rose syrup, or the popular Rooh Afza.

This particular recipe has Milk boiled till it thickens and reduces. Added Khoya and cooked further after adding sugar, cardamom powder, saffron, crushed Rose petals, Rose flavoring, a little red food color and Milk powder to thicken the mixture making the Kulfi more dense and creamier. You can always change the flavors in a Kulfi keeping the base the same.

I also use Silver leaf for decoration, but that’s always optional, but something that makes you home kulfi different from the restaurant and trust me, even better.


Kalakand is a popular and delicious Indian sweet. Its made by mixing Paneer with sugar and further mixing them with Reduced milk. Its a pretty dense milk fudge. It’s soft, grainy and delicious. It has a light flavor of Cardamom and saffron.

It has a subtle flavoring of cardamom and fragrance of Saffron. The top is decorated with Almonds and pistachios. You can also add some Rose petals. This recipe helps you make Kalakand at home with ease. The fact is when you are in a country far from home and you don’t get your favorite sweets where you live, then you have to make them at home. This recipe has all the details that will make the perfect Kalakand, the exact flavor from our home country.

Not that this recipe will be easy, but for sure the steps from this recipe are simple to understand and if you follow them properly, your Kalakand will be as amazing as it should be. The recipe is made from scratch and you can do it pretty easily, no fancy gadgets or ingredients needed either. It requires basic skills to stir well and stay focused for an hour and trust me, the result won’t just amaze you but it will be worth every second you spend. My hometown Jodhpur has some wonderful stores that specialize in making Kalakand and every time my family wanted kalakand, we would always get it from that particular sweet shop. When I tried making it at home, my mother definitely thought that I have gone completely nuts, but I didn’t have another option. Another problem with sweet stores in USA is that they do not make sweets other than those which are popular like Bengali sweets, one or 2 kinds of laddus, jalebi to name a few. They do sell Burfi but if you ever feel that you will find a wide variety like India then you will be highly disappointed and that’s when people like me come in and teach you easy ways of making your own.

Kalakand recipe is made using a handful of very basic ingredients like Homemade Cottage cheese/Paneer, Milk, cardamom crushed / cardamom powder, saffron, sugar and almonds+pistachios to garnish. As fancy as it looks, there is actually nothing too hard about this scrumptious sweet dish. Kalakand is best served cold, so make sure you keep it refrigerated.

Just make sure you keep a few things in mind when you decide on making Kalakand. Its always advisable to use freshly homemade Paneer. Fresh Paneer is soft in texture and blends well when we cook it with milk, giving that perfect grainy texture to the Kalakand, which is what you really want. A store bought Paneer is usually not too fresh and becomes firm. A firm and old Paneer or a frozen Paneer will never give you the same results. Almonds, Pistachios are rose petals look on Kalakand. To make it look more expensively rich, adding a few saffron strands would be great too. Enjoy!!!

Sooji Ka Halwa

Sooji when made sweet, is called Sooji ka Sheera. Several variants of this dish are available under other names in various parts of India. People also call it Sooji ka Halwa or Mohan Bhog. This dish history shows its connection with the Middle east where this cuisine, semolina is roasted and then further cooked with water, honey, camphor, saffron, and sesame oil. In 14th-century Spain, semolina was cooked with almond milk, oil and optionally saffron for coloring, therefore the actual origin of our “Indianised” Sooji ka halwa is actually unknown. But, it still is one of the fastest and yummiest sweet dishes ever.

So, a friend called me asking me for the recipe of Sooji Ka Halwa. I just casually said, “you could have just checked my blog” to which she replied that she couldn’t find it there and decided to call. That’s when I realized that I have not shared the recipe here. Sometimes, the simplest of things are things we forget to do. Honestly, this Halwa is so easy that it can be made by my 9 year old…Okay! little exaggeration, but definitely by a Bachelor who’s missing his mom’s food and can do basic cooking like making an egg. Its easier than making an omelet, since no knives and chopping is involved, Sooji ka Halwa is an easy impressive dish.

My mother never made Sooji ka halwa at home, but weddings in Rajasthan tend to have at least one gathering where this is served as a sweet dish. Don’t ask me why. While halwa is a broad term used for pudding like desserts in India, the most common halwa that my mom made was Gajar ka Halwa during winters, Ande ka halwa on some occasions halwa and Aate ka halwa on most weekends.

Sooji ka halwa was not that common and now when I think of it, I feel it might be something my mom never enjoyed cooking because if she did, she would have made it since it can be easily made it 15-20 minutes. So, Sooji Ka Halwa is made with sooji (semolina), ghee (clarified butter) , sugar and water. Everything else is optional. I only like using cashews, almonds and pistachios, whereas, Mr. Parveez likes Raisins as well in his Halwa. Some like adding milk in place of water, but I think that makes it a little heavy and creamy. Milk also tends to overpower the flavor of Sooji, so I prefer making it with water. I like flavoring mine with cardamom and saffron, making it more rich in fragrance, but you can always skip them both. Though, I would suggest that you use Cardamom powder, even if you omit the saffron.

I usually use half the amount of ghee as to Sooji. Some people prefer more ghee, but I feel this amount is good enough and it does really make a great halwa. For this recipe, I do use same amount of sugar and sooji. I use granulated sugar therefore this might sound too much sugar, though if you are using sugar with bigger granules, you should boil the sugar in the water till the sugar melts and add the water to the roasted sooji. If you are using granulated sugar like me, you can add the sugar straight to the roasted sooji and add warm water to it.

I use 3 times the water since I like my halwa more on the softer side. The most important step! If you don’t roast the sooji properly, the halwa will have raw taste. I don’t like to brown my sooji for the halwa. So I roast it on low heat, stirring continuously until it’s nice and fragrant. It takes around 7 to 8 minutes for it to roast on low heat. When you add hot water to the hot pan of roasted sooji, it bubbles up like crazy. So be very careful. Add it slowly and be careful. Make sure your halwa is smooth, so stir continuously as you add the water. If you don’t do that, it will form lumps and won’t have the creamy texture.

Aate ka Halwa

This sweet dish takes me back to my childhood days. Though this sweet dish is the most easiest and simple sweet dish you could ever make, but you know how somethings are simple yet delicious.

A delicious 4 ingredients Indian Dessert, Aate Ka Halwa is very easy to make and is quite scrumptious. Loaded with ghee and dry fruits, Atta Halwa or Wheat Halwa is definitely indulgent. This is easy to make at home with some simple tricks. It is usually served for breakfast or before bedtime to keep the body warm. You can also serve it as dessert after meals.

Although you can use any whole wheat flour available to make this halwa, making it using coarsely ground flour will give you the best result. If you have access to freshly milled flour, then the results will be best. This halwa should be made in ghee or clarified butter for the best result. If ghee is not available, then you can use unsalted butter, but not oil. If you are conscious and prefer your halwas in Oil, then I would say that you are depriving yourself with real taste of Halwa. Secondly, I see a lot of people use White sugar and Brown sugar, but the actual Aate ka halwa is made with Gudd/Jaggery.

My mother has often made this Halwa during weekends, specially in winters for breakfast. I loved the fact that it would be ready on demand and everyone at home enjoyed and loved it. Its always made our weekend more special and sweet. As much as I did try, I do not think I can make it as delicious as how my mother made it, but its still pretty close.

You can easily store the halwa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When you want to consume, just take it out and heat for a few minutes before serving. You can also freeze it in freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. My steps are simple and I keep it as basic as I can so it’s easy to follow and the taste connect us to the authentic flavor too. Enjoy!!!


Maleeda is a sweet dish made for weddings in Bangalore. During Muslim weddings, all over the world, its a ritual to distribute sweets and dry fruits to all the guests after the nikah. Different places have different kinds of sweets, as in if you were in the Middle east you’d be served with Cashews, Dates, Walnuts and probably Baklava. Where as, if you were in Europe, you will be served Chocolates with other things. The ritual is to distribute sweets and nuts, following the Islamic traditions set by the Prophet.

Now, when it comes to India, the country has Muslims as the second largest population and I happen to be a proud Indian Muslim as well. Its amazing how much culture, tradition and food variety we have from a Muslim community of one state to another. And, at the same time, we all pray the same way, have same celebrations and share the same belief. Coming back to the traditions, I am from the Northern west and my side they usually distribute dry dates with cashews and Almonds and sometimes sweet beetle nut. Around a year and half after I became a member of Mr. Parveez’s family, his younger sister got married, that’s when I discovered that they have a tradition of distributing a crunchy, crushed powder kind of thing in small packets, called Maleeda. Mr. Parveez was so madly in love with Maleeda that watching him eat was a delight in itself. He looked like a child who found his way to his favorite candy store with free candies.

Funny enough, it was only made for the purpose of distribution during weddings. Well, after 4 years every brother and sister and cousins in the family were married and my dear husband would miss having his favorite Maleeda. That’s when I tried to find out how exactly it was made and tried making my own at home for him. Now, its not just him but even my boys are huge fans.

Usually for the Maleeda, the Roti is made fresh and fried and, further crushed to almost a thick powder. I always use my leftover Rotis since I feel this is the best way to utilize it. After that they add coconut, sugar, cardamom powder and carom seeds with little ghee. If you want it fancier, add almond powder, saffron and chopped almonds and pistachios. I make this pretty often and keep it in airtight jars. I find this healthier as a sweet snack for my kids than to any of the sugary store bought cookies. This has a shelf life of around a month if kept in an airtight container in a cool dry place. Enjoy!!!

Besan Halwa

It is the month of September and despite the pandemic, the festival mood has been set all over the world. Autumn season is coming and the cool breezes brings nice nip in the air and declares the beginning of the festivities. Besan ka Halwa is the quintessential dish to celebrate the season for every reason. The rich and decadent Besan ka Halwa takes you over the moon and make you fall in love it.

Besan is also known as Chickpea Flour or Gram Flour. Besan has a high protein content that makes it good for weight watchers. It is also good for heart health and managing the cholesterol. But, I don’t mean you eat Besan ke Pakode and Halwa everyday, I wish we could but NO. But, what you can do is eat this Halwa with a little lesser guilt than what you would usually do.

There are many ways that people prepare Besan ka Halwa. Everyone makes it super amazing. Honestly, I don’t think there is any way you can go wrong with Besan ka Halwa, its so easy to fix if you do go wrong by any chance. I start with roasting besan in ghee and once it is done roasting, I add hot milk infused with little saffron and once the milk is all absorbed, I add sugar and cardamom powder for sweetness and enhancing taste and cook till desired consistency.

A lot of times people turn on their “guilt mode’ while cooking sweets and substitute Ghee with a healthy Oil. What you need to understand is that you cannot make such changes and complain of the flavor. If you are avoiding any dish for health reason then either you do not make it altogether or make it only once in a while, but do not substitute Ghee or Sugar. Using the right quantity of ghee will also give your halwa the right texture.

There are few things to remember while making besan ka halwa.The Besan flour needs to be sifted through a sieve, to make sure that there are no lumps. Besan flour has tendency to clump up into mounds, so make sure it is a fine flour. The Besan tends to burn easily, therefore the roasting needs to be monitored at all times, while you saute’e and roast the besan.

Besan ka Halwa is more regularly made during winters. My Grandmother and Mother and My Mother in law always say that Hot or warm served besan Halwa is great during winters specially because it keeps our body warm and also is soothing when you suffer from cold and congestion. I also feel that Autumn brings in ,more Orangish and Golden foods, specially the sweets, Pumpkin pies, Apple pies and Besan Halwa. This moreish halwa redolent with fragrant ghee, saffron and dry fruits is perfect for celebrations or any time you crave a sweet treat. So, make it and Enjoy!!!


This is a fusion dish which was made specially for Eid-ul -Adha of 2020. I wanted to come up with something different other than the regular desserts that I make and a fusion idea felt like something new and different.

Now, the basic thing for any fusion dish is that the flavors you fuse together should be able to maintain a balance. They should be flavorful, but the flavor cannot overpower one another and the most important thing that I feel is that if you eat the dish with your eyes closed, you should be able to tell the names of the dishes [if you have tasted them before] or at least be able to differ between them while savoring each bite.

This dish is made with Khoya seviyyan, Rabri and Gulab Jamun. The name is a given by my youngest sister in law who suggested the name after looking at the pictures of the dish and I feel it couldn’t have had a better name. All three dishes are made separately and put together. The recipe for each dish is available on this site.

The sweet dishes can be made well in advance and can be put together at the day of the party.

Moong Daal Halwa

A sweet dish from the heart of Marwar. Moong daal Halwa is a popular sweet dish made on various occasions in families. Festivals have this Halwa as one of the main sweet dishes.

This is one of my most favorite sweets and Making it perfectly took a little while. I searched loads of recipes and tried recipes shared by friends, but either they were too time consuming or never came out tasting perfect.

Going through trials and errors, I finally came up with this recipe which is easy to make, less time consuming and tastes perfect as well. Moong daal Halwa has a long shelf life. It can be frozen for up to 3 months and in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.