• 400g chana daal, soaked overnight
  • 750ml whole milk (or use soya or almond milk)
  • 2 tbsp ghee or 1 tbsp unsalted butter and 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 6 cloves
  • 340g golden caster sugar
  • small pinch of saffron
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbsp chopped almonds


  • STEP 1

    Put the chana daal in a large bowl, pour over water to cover, and leave overnight. Drain, then tip into a large saucepan. Pour over the milk and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring frequently, for 25-30 mins, until the milk is completely absorbed.

  • STEP 2

    Set aside to cool for 20-30 mins, until it comes to room temperature. Tip into the bowl of a food processor and whizz until it becomes a smooth paste – you may need to loosen it with a splash of water if it’s too thick.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the ghee (or oil and butter) in a saucepan over a low-medium heat. When hot, add the cardamom and cloves, and fry for a few seconds until fragrant.

  • STEP 4

    Add the blended lentil paste and cook for 15 mins, stirring constantly, until it begins to smell nutty and turns a light brown in colour. Remove the pan from the heat.

  • STEP 5

    In another saucepan (or you could wash up the saucepan used for the milk), warm the sugar and 100ml water over a medium heat for 10-12 mins until the sugar dissolves and reaches a temperature of 104C on a sugar thermometer. It should look syrupy. Remove from the heat.

  • STEP 6

    Pour into the lentil mixture, add the saffron and mix well until smooth. Allow the halva to cool in the pan for around 30 mins until cool enough to handle.

  • STEP 7

    Shape tablespoonfuls of the halva into cylindrical shapes using your hands, then arrange on plate, and scatter over the chopped nuts. Serve straightaway or cool completely and keep chilled for up to four days.

Goes well with


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