Instant Pot Moong Dal Halwa

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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 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 30 reviews
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Servings 6
Cuisine Indian

Ingredients
 

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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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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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Comments

  1. rupali says

    Super awesome and a v quick recipe . I added 1 cup milk and 1 cup water, for pressure cooking, and almost 1.25 cups of ghee, and lastly sprinkled some milk (3-4tbps),- (This, gave a coarse texture to the halwa) before finally switching off the heat.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. Kay says

    If I make this recipe for a larger batch, can I double the amounts? Do I need to adjust the cooking time. Your suggestions are appreciated!

  10. Sona K says

    5 stars
    This recipe turned out perfect. Just followed it to the T. So easy, quick and melt in the mouth. Thanks so much for sharing it, you are awesome!

  11. Madhu R says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe…have made a good 2-3 times now and I enjoy the taste and how easy it is!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  12. Neha Shah says

    5 stars
    OMG!! The halwa turned out amazing😊2nd recipe tried in a day. Love following your recipes. So simple and easy!!

  13. Tarun Chawla says

    Hi, One of my favorite dishes, can’t wait to try. If I have to double the quantity, do I still pressure cook for the same time ?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Aw man, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like the halwa. If you want to share a picture or get any ideas as to what might have gone wrong, feel free to share a picture in my FB group – I’m sure readers will be able to help!

      • Dotty says

        Really interested in making this but unfortunately currently dairy free. Do you think it’s worth making using oil or better to wait until I can use ghee and make it?
        Thank you 🙂

  14. Shruti Bansal says

    Hello,
    I made this recipe today, the taste was great, however, I dal after pressure cook did not have the mashy consistency( some of the grains were little tough- not uncooked though).. so for me i think instead of quick release, natural release would have worked better…

    But just a quick question .. could this be because i roasted the dal a little more???

  15. Noory says

    5 stars
    I love this recipe. It’s the first time I ever made this halwa and I’m glad I found your recipe before I did. So many people have told me it’s a very tedious dish to make. So I thank you and your parents for the trial and errors before sharing this perfection. I put 3/4 cup sugar since most Indian dessert recipes are too sweet, but I feel that if I had put 1 cup as instructed it would have been perfect. It seems you and your parents have very similar pallets to ours. ☺️ Thank you again for sharing.

  16. Komal says

    5 stars
    I used to avoid making this because of the effort and number of steps involved in the traditional method but this one was amazing and tasted perfect. Thank you for giving me a great instant pot recipe.

  17. Anisha says

    5 stars
    Loved this! This hit the spot!
    Instead of 3/4 cup ghee- I used a 1/4 cup ghee and 1/4 to 1/2 cup half and half..(added as I cooked it and watched the consistency) and I made it a little less sweet with 1/4 cup jaggary and 1/3 cup sugar… the recipe as printed would have been exactly like the perfect sweet and rich halwa.

  18. Farida says

    I made it today and it was amazing. I used 1/3rd cup brown sugar as that’s what I had. It was a good arm workout as you mentioned but it was worth the effort. Thank you Ashley.

  19. Ajit says

    I love your carrot halwa but unfortunately this one didn’t do it for me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s an interesting approach, and I admire the experimentation and work you did to find this recipe, which is obviously much less labor intensive than the “traditional method”. I also think it is a decent dessert with a pretty pleasant taste (though I had to saute it for at least double the time listed in the recipe before it started tasting like a halwa rather than a mushy sweet dal).

    That said, if someone is looking for the slightly chewy, fried texture of typical North Indian moong dal halwa (as I was), they will be disappointed with the texture of this halwa.

  20. Bhavya says

    For dessert lovers like me , this recipe is worth trying for 😍
    You have made the traditional method modernized in an effective manner . You even kept the authenticity retained in the dish . Thankyou for such a good recipe , I’ll surely try it out .

  21. Sreeparna (Mimi) says

    You have really eased out the traditional moong dal halwa recipe!
    Thank you so much. Would love to try this soon.
    Quick question- 3/4 cup melted ghee or solidified ghee?

  22. Archana says

    5 stars
    Your gajar and moong dal halwas are on point! A lot of Indian-American bloggers lose the authenticity of the dish, when they recreate it to a science in modern gadgets. I’m really glad you have critical taste testers in your parents since they bring the authentic taste of India and you make the tasty recipe accessible without losing the authenticity. Kudos on job well done! I’ve made these recipes to rave reviews.

  23. Anu says

    5 stars
    I like my desserts and I like them to be good, no compromises when you are inhaling a truckload of calories. This dessert was excellent! Will be making this one again and again. The sugar was just right, the ghee was a little much but then that is a Halwa for you. Thanks for this recipe. Loved it!

  24. MP says

    Hi Ashley,
    I am so glad I came by your website for such an easy recipes.
    I have a question regarding instant pot. So I see all your recipe as you mentioned are made in 6 qt. size instant pot. I want to buy one for my big size family and decided to go with 8 qt. Can I use all recipe for 8 qt pot size.??Any other suggestion would be great too.
    Thanks in advance.

    • My Heart Beets says

      MP, thank you! All of my recipes are tested using a 6 quart but I know a lot of folks in my facebook group use an 8 quart and make my recipes so I think it should be fine. You can try asking there if you’re wondering about a specific recipe to see if someone can chime in!

  25. Nikki says

    5 stars
    Made this today and it’s AMAZING!!!!!!!! My mom asked me if I’m lying to her about this being homemade, haha!
    Delicious and so easy and quick!

  26. Saritha says

    5 stars
    Ashley

    I have never eaten Moong Halwa. In Kerala we make Parippu Paysam. Gave this a try using half cup moong. It was so simple, quick and yummy . Thanks for sharing.

  27. Punam Chandra says

    5 stars
    I put 3/4 cup sugar instead of 1 cup and added 1/4 cup powdered milk.
    It was so easy to make! My arm hurts now…. lol
    Thank you for your recipes!

  28. Shruti Grover says

    Hi Ashley

    Thanks for the wonderful and easy recipe for the halwa.If I have to make this for around 20 people.. should I double or triple the quantity?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Shruti, another reader mentioned that they tripled the recipe in my fb group, so it can be done and if it’s the only dessert you’ll have that’s what I’d do. If you are serving something else too then you can just double it.

  29. Sima says

    Ashley, must be the slow release option that you posted yesterday.! Let me try with quick release and also try fix the previous one.

  30. Maulika says

    Hi
    My first attempt to make moong dal sheera and the results was mouth watering and delicious. Followed the recipe and everything went smoothly. My family enjoyed it to the last lick. Thanks for sharing this and making this recipe so easy. Also shared it with my friends and family.

  31. Twinkle says

    5 stars
    Made the halwa yesterday and it was 100% success. Family loved it, was ready in no time while i cooked dinner on the side. Taste reminds me of the pooran of the pooran-poli 🙂 followed recipe to the t and no modifications needed, turned out great!

  32. Renu says

    5 stars
    I m so happy that I cm across this recipe. It turned out soo easy and equally delicious. I, shared the link with my family and frnds. Lukng frwrd to many more lovely recipes frm you. Thnks to U, I m in love with my InstantPot now 🙂
    God Bless U !!

  33. Somya Jain says

    Hi Ashley!
    I tried your recipe. It was really good in taste but daal wasn’t completely mushy. There were still whole daal grains in the last. What should I have done? Should I have cooked more to make it mushy? Let me know
    Thanks

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Somya! There definitely shouldn’t have been any whole grains after a 20 min cook time – I’m wondering, could it be that the dal is old? The reason I ask is because sometimes dal that is old takes longer to cook… you can also try asking this question in my fb group to see if anyone there may have a different answer!

      • Prabhjot says

        Hi Ashley
        Even I tried your moving dal halwa recipe last night and same happened with me.. I can feel the raw dal and bites of dal we’re coming in mouth. My dal is fresh so don’t know what goes wrong .!!

        • My Heart Beets says

          Hi Prabhjot, oh man so the dal should definitely not be raw – I’m not sure why that would happen especially after a 20 minute cook time. Was the seal on properly? Or do you mean that the halwa was mostly cooked with a few raw lentils (either way there should not be any raw/crunchy lentils…). Please let me know – would love to help troubleshoot! I actually just made this again tonight and did a natural release – the halwa turned out the same for me but you may want to try that if you make it again!

  34. Sajna says

    Can I substitute honey instead of sugar? I loved your carrot halwa recipe too. I would like to to try this too. But I try to avoid sugar in my cooking. Thank you.

          • Meena Ram says

            Thanks.. I am making this tomorrow and shall let you know. PS: Not sure what happened to my typing up there with ‘taste’ missing and ‘with’ 3 times.. sigh..

          • Meena Ram says

            Ok.. I have made this. It looks extremely brown instead of golden brown. Probably because of the coconut sugar. Also since the dal is actually visible (though cooked), it looks more like sweet pongal than a halwa … it tastes divine though …

  35. Navi says

    Looking forward to make this halwa. What size instapot you used to cook this as I find the timing differs big time . I have the 8qt …requires less time compared to 3 and 6 qt.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Navi, all of my recipes are tested using a 6 quart instant pot but you can try asking in my FB group (instant pot for Indian food) to see if anyone has made it using an IP of another size.

  36. C says

    Hey Ashley, I’m going to try making this halwa tomorrow. I’m ezcited but tbh am nervous about using 3/4 cup ghee for this recipe. I know you said you’ve tried this recipe multiple times before perfecting it but is there any wiggle room for the amount of ghee to be used here?

    • My Heart Beets says

      I totally get that – you can definitely start with less and then just stir in more ghee (during step 4) to your preference! I think 3/4 cup is really what makes this taste legit, but let me know what you think if you end up using less ghee!

      • Radha says

        I would love to try this. My husband loves this halwa and I’ve never tried to make it because it needs a lot of stirring and work.
        One question, is the sauteeing in step 4 done on low, medium or high heat?
        Thanks.

  37. Suruchi says

    Hi Ashley tried your gajar halwa yesterday and it came out awesome . Was planning to ask you for daal halwa and I find the recipe today . Thank you so much 😊

  38. Sweta says

    5 stars
    Just made the recipe. So easy to make and tasted awesome. Thanks for sharing before Diwali. Will make again on Diwali.

  39. Shweta says

    Hi
    I have a big doubt how will dal come to halwa consistency when we are not grinding.
    Also i have tried this once using traditional recipe in insta pot. It stick to bottom super fast even in saute low mode.

    Pls confirm

    Thanks

  40. Stacy says

    Will you be posting any new recipes soon that aren’t for instant pot? I live in Europe and they are not available where I live, but I have enjoyed so many of your past (non-instant pot) recipes very much. Whenever I see a new recipe from you in my feed I’m excited but then I realize I can’t make them without the instant pot 🙁 Thanks!

      • Stacy says

        Thank you Ashley! I will check those recipes out and keep my eyes open. I love all your recipes, so nothing in particular comes to mind. (And I will keep checking to see if we get Instant Pots here so I can make those recipes too!)

    • Sashiya says

      Hi Stacy, if you are an instant pot lover get it from Amazon. It is shipped from UK to Europe. I got mine in Germany from Amazon.de

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