Ashoka or Asoka Halwa is a popular dessert from the musical place of Thiruvaiyaru in Thanjavur district. It is traditionally served in many Tamil weddings and always part of a feast. Made from moong dal, wheat flour, sugar and ghee, it is a distance cousin of the Moong Dal Halwa which is the North Indian favourite.
As in any Indian dessert, the amount of ghee makes a whole world of difference in taste and texture. Hence the more the ghee, the merrier it is. Also, what is more unique in Asoka Halwa, is the addition of food colour. Orange/Kesari or Red food colour is quite a popular ingredient used in many sweet dishes. Just a pinch of it is more than enough to bring out the vibrancy in the dish. If you don’t want to add any colour, it’s alright, that won’t alter the taste.
Have you made it? Do share a picture and your experience in the comments section below. Also, check out our Beetroot Ashoka Halwa here.
Ingredients for Asoka Halwa
- 250 gms Moong Dal
- 2 tblsp Wheat flour
- 250 gms Sugar
- 150 gms Ghee
- 2 tblsp Almonds broken
- 2 tblsp Cashewnuts broken
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
- Food colour Red/orange/yellow – a pinch (optional)
How to make Asoka Halwa
- Dry roast the dal for a few minutes and soak it in water for 4-5 hours.
- Drain it, use sufficient water and pressure cook it in the cooker until it is soft & mushy. Set this aside.
- Dry roast the wheat flour until it gets a nice golden colour and starts giving an aroma. Set this aside.
- Heat a spoon of ghee in a frying pan and fry the almonds and cashewnuts until they are golden. Set aside.
- Pour the remaining ghee to the pan and add the cooked moong dal, wheat flour and sugar. Stir well till it reaches a halwa consistency.
- Once you see ghee starting to leave the sides of the halwa, add the cashewnuts, kesari powder, cardamom powder and almonds.
- Mix well and remove.