Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa


You can now make moong dal halwa, a rich and sweet Indian dessert, easily in an instant pot! I’m sharing my super quick shortcut method to making this decadent dessert!

instant pot moong dal halwa

Yes, I’m talking about the same dal halwa that traditionally takes ages to make on the stovetop. That same perfectly sweet, ghee-soaked halwa that always makes an appearance during festivals, weddings, special occasions.

Moong dal halwa is known for its labor-intensive process. Traditionally, you have to soak dal overnight and grind it and then stir, stir, stir the raw lentils until cooked. Nope. Not anymore. Thank you, next.

In true millennial fashion, I’ve found a lazier (smarter?) way to make this sweet dish. There’s NO grinding. NO stirring raw dal until cooked (but I mean, there is still some stirring involved because c’mon despite what I’ve said in the past, I’m not actually a wizard… maybe just a magician). 🧙🏾‍♀️

instant pot moong dal halwa

What is Moong Dal Halwa?

If you’re not familiar with this dessert, it’s made with these petite yellow lentils, called moong dal:

small yellow lentils - moong dal

This dal, when combined with a bit of cardamom, some sugar and a lot of ghee, turns into… the most amazing halwa.

We’re going to pressure cook this dal! Like the little lentils – forget grinding them – you’ll still get that silky smooth, melt-in-your-mouth texture. I was about to write the “same mouthfeel” but I had promised myself years ago that I’d never use that word. Sharing that with you just now doesn’t count…

instant pot moong dal halwa

How To Make Halwa Moong Dal?

dry roast the halwa, add water, and pressure cook!

Add sugar and ghee and stir! That’s it!

Indian Parent Approved

I’ve been working on this recipe with my parents for months now and it’s because of them that I’m sharing it here on the blog. My mom is a genius in the kitchen (have you tried her meethe chawal yet?!) and they’ve tasted and tested this for me – with my dad offering his usual helpful feedback like “too much cardamom, not enough ghee, needs more cook time” lol – so really, you have them to thank for this perfectly easy and delicious halwa. Also, my dad is definitely the reason there is so much ghee in this recipe – according to him, “if you’re going to make halwa, it should be made right.” 😂 If you haven’t tried the carrot halwa that he helped me with, you must.

I know I talk about family a lot on the blog but honestly, it’s because of them (parents, in-laws, family friends) that this little blog of mine exists. After all, without them, I’d have no idea how to cook or what awesome food is supposed to taste like.

And I can say with absolute certainty that this dal halwa is awesome.

How long does Moong Dal Halwa last for?

I suggest eating this halwa within a week of making it – I’m not sure it’ll last you that long though!

Halwa Recipe Chef Tips:

  • No need to rinse the dal. I dry roast the dal for 8 to 10 minutes until it changes from pale yellow to slightly golden.
  • Be patient – after presure cooking the dal, you’ll need to stir continuously for 10 minutes which will be a bit of an arm workout. This recipe still requires some work, but far less than the traditional route.
  • When the halwa is done, you’ll notice some ghee on the sides of the serving bowl – that means it separated a bit from the halwa and is perfect!
  • I highly suggest garnishing the halwa with some crushed nuts and serving it warm. Perfection!
instant pot moong dal halwa

Okay, now I’m really excited for you to make this dal halwa. Tell me what you think – I’ll just be here waiting!

Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa Recipe

instant pot moong dal halwa

Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa Recipe

This instant pot moong dal halwa is so much easier to make than the traditional stovetop version. With my recipe, you don’t have to grind the dal and there is far less stirring required. This is the easiest way to make this rich and decadent halwa!
5 from 24 reviews
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Servings 6
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 2 cups water
  • ¾ cup ghee
  • 1 cup sugar adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Crushed nuts pistachios, almonds or cashews, garnish


  • Press sauté and add the (dry) moong dal to the pot. Dry roast (stir) the dal for 8-10 minutes until you see it darken a bit. It will change from pale yellow to slightly golden.
  • Add water and stir, then secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 20 minutes at high pressure.
  • Quick release pressure and immediately add ghee, sugar, cardamom to the pot and mix well. Don’t panic if when you see the dal, it looks a bit dry – it will quickly absorb the ghee.
  • Once the dal absorbs the ghee, press the sauté button and stir continuously for 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot regularly. This will be a bit of an arm workout.
  • Remove the steel liner from the instant pot (so the halwa doesn’t burn) and immediately scoop the halwa out into a serving bowl. When you pour it out, you’ll notice some ghee on the sides of the serving bowl – that means it separated a bit from the halwa and is perfect!
  • Garnish with crushed nuts and serve warm.



  • Update 10/22/19: I have heard from a few people who have said that they’ve felt a few bits of dal in their halwa. I’ve tried this recipe with a natural pressure release which may help those who have had this issue. I am adding this as a note rather than changing the original recipe as I’d hate to make waiting an extra 25 minutes for a NPR mandatory when the recipe has already worked well for so many of you.  
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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instant pot moong dal halwa

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Ashok Kalburgi says

    Excellent recipe start to finish in less than one hour. The few whole daal after the high pressure step were soft but whole but after the sauteeing the halwa got smooth. Thanks for making it easy and quick.

  2. Maithil lakhia says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this simple and delicious recipe. A couple of questions.
    Can I make this with a sweetner and how long will it last I’m the fridge?
    Thanks again.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Maithil, I’m so glad you like this recipe! I’ve only tried this as written – you may want to search through the comments to see if other readers have used substitutions. As for storing it, I’d keep it in the fridge for a few days and then move it to the freezer for longer storage. I think it’ll be fine in the freezer for up to 3 months. Hope that helps!

  3. Mathil lakhia says

    Hi Ashley, this was so easy and it turned out great. One question. How long will it stay good in the fridge if I want to plan ahead.

    Thanks again.

  4. Rachita says

    5 stars
    First ever attempt at making moong dal halwa and it was such a big hit. Thanks Ashley for the recipe. Even my husband who doesn’t like any kind of halwa had 2 servings.

  5. Vidya Iyer says

    The dish came out so well, so close to original. Our guests found it hard to believe that it was a breeze to make it.

  6. Sarah says

    Hi Ashley! Love this recipe! Every time I make it, there’s a lot of water after the 20 mins. What am I doing wrong?

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Sarah! Hmm that’s unusual – just want to make sure, are you using a US measuring cup to measure? The dal should absorb the water. You can always press sauté to thicken it but I’m not sure why that’s happening. If you figure it out, please let me know!

  7. LotusGal says

    5 stars
    I tried this on a whim yesterday and very glad that I did! I modified a bit- added saffron, subbed some jaggery for the sugar, pulled back on ghee quantity and added heavy cream and the taste was so close! I did do quick pressure release without any issues. Thank you for coming up with this recipe and sharing it.

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