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Diwali delight: Ashoka Halwa, a Thanjavur speciality

By Ranjani Raj
October 22, 2014 13:16 IST
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Rediff reader Ranjani Raj shares this Tanjore special recipe.

Ashoka Halwa is a famous recipe that has its origins in Tanjore district of Tamil Nadu.

This halwa is also known as 'Thiruvaiyar Halwa' and makes for a great Diwali treat.

Here's the recipe:

Ashoka Halwa


  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 2 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup melted ghee 
  • Any nuts for garnishing
  • A pinch of food colour


  • Dry roast moong dal till you get a nice aroma.
  • Add two cups water and pressure cook for four whistles and allow it cool. Drain excess water, if any.
  • Grind the dal into a smooth paste and keep aside
  • Heat half of the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan. Add wheat flour. Stir well for two minutes.
  • Add moong dal paste to it and stir continuously to avoid any lumps.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Stir for three more minutes. Add food colour.
  • Add remaining ghee and stir till it leaves the sides of the pan.
  • Remove from flame and transfer to a serving bowl.


  • Adjust ghee level while roasting wheat flour to avoid formation of lumps.
  • Use red food colour to give an enticing look to the halwa.
  • Don't add too much water while grinding moong dal. In fact, you don't need to add water as the Halwa will become watery when you add sugar. 



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Ranjani Raj